Lollapalooza 2016: 25 Best Things We Saw – Rolling Stone
Home Music Music Lists

Lollapalooza 2016: 25 Best Things We Saw

Red Hot Chili Peppers, Future, Radiohead and more

Red Hot Chili Peppers, RHCP, Lollapalooza, 25, Best Things We Saw, Kehlani, 1975, Kiiara, Future, Radiohead, Leon Bridges, Jane's Addiction

Barry Brecheisen/WireImage/Getty

Lollapalooza celebrated its 25th anniversary by becoming bigger than ever before: The music festival expanded from three to four days at its home base of Chicago's Grant Park and packed in as many newcomers and Lolla vets as possible over the decade-spanning weekend. Beyond the performances, the festival grounds were filled with fun activities and delicious food for fans who needed a break from dancing and singing along at the many stages of Perry Farrell's long-running summer celebration. Here are 25 of the best things we saw at Lollapalooza 2016. 


Andy Keilen for Rolling Stone

Best Mystery: Marshmello

No one seems 100% sure who Marshmello really is but the mystery of his identity mixed with his sweetly chaotic blend of EDM makes him festival gold. One of the weekend's biggest crowds for the Perry's Stage formed for the white helmeted DJ on Saturday as he powered through pop and hip-hop hits like Jack Ü and Justin Bieber's "Where Are Ü Now," Fetty Wap's "Trap Queen" and Desiigner's "Panda" above pure bass. At one point, A$AP Ferg popped on stage for a performance of "New Level" that made the entire crowd go bonkers.

Justice 4 Harambe, Lollapalooza, 25, Best Things We Saw, Harambe

Andy Keilen for Rolling Stone

Best Meme for Bros: Harambe

The death of Harambe the gorilla — who was shot after a child fell into his enclosure at the Cincinatti Zoo— has gone the way of many other shocking news stories: It has become an internet meme. Harambe jokes litter Twitter and Tumblr and have crossed over into festival season, with many tank-top bros sporting signs emblazoned with "Justice 4 Harambe" and other notes to the late gorilla throughout the weekend. It was one of the weirder festival props in a weekend filled with Steve Buscemi heads and Disney character balloons.

Snakehips, Lollapalooza, 25, Best Things We Saw

Koury Angelo for Rolling Stone

Best Sunday Come-Down: Snakehips

U.K. electronic music duo Snakehips provided one of the more soothing dance parties of the weekend. It came with perfect timing on Sunday afternoon as the weekend began to wrap up. Snakehips eased the crowd into the evening with their silky, dreamy beats and remixes, while featuring cuts like Baauer's "GoGo!" and Soulja Boy's "Crank That" in full. Naturally, they wrapped up their time with "All My Friends," their hit collaboration with Tinashe and Chance the Rapper, though the latter, sadly, did not show up for the song as he had done throughout the weekend for other sets.

Leon Bridges

Andy Keilen for Rolling Stone

Best Cover: Leon Bridges

"Y'all mind if I take it back to 1996 for a minute?" Leon Bridges asked before launching into his slowed-down take on unofficial Magic Mike theme song "Pony" by Ginuwine. He probably had to ask since his Sam Cooke-reminiscent sound is so deeply indebted to the early Sixties. Bridges dedicated the sexy "Pony" to all the bachelors looking for a partners across the festival grounds. The cover was a brief moment for the rising star to take a break between running across the stage and shimmying between his band members on songs like "Lisa Sawyer" and "Twistin' and Groovin'."

MØ, Lollapalooza, 25, Best Things We Saw

Tim Mosenfelder/Getty

Best Trooper: Mø

The rain was hitting hardest during Mø's Friday set, making for a muddy ground and several technical difficulties. The Danish singer handled all of it in stride, graciously thanking her audience for sticking with her as her microphone cut in and out. For the finale, she gave her all, performing her Major Lazer collaboration "Lean On" as fans danced in the downpour and she made her way to the barricade. Once there she performed the song's final chorus while crowd surfing over the first few rows of the audience. Later, Major Lazer experienced even worse technical difficulties — experiencing two power outages during their headlining set — but all was resolved just in time for Mø to reprise "Lean On."

Kiiara, Lollapalooza, 25, Best Things We Saw

Andy Keilen for Rolling Stone

Best Sad Girl: Kiiara

Lana Del Rey may be the reigning Sad Girl Queen of pop, but even with LDR's Thursday closing set, Kiiara took home the crown for the weekend. The Illinois native and musical newcomer performed her set in an oversized raincoat under grey clouds, which meshed wonderfully with her Kitty Pryde-esque cloud-rapping and minimalist beats. Between tracks off her debut EP Low Kii Savage, Kiiara debuted new material from her upcoming album, which showed that she more coming in the vein of her left-field alt-pop hit "Gold."

Kehlani, Lollapalooza, 25, Best Things We Saw

Andy Keilen for Rolling Stone

Best Reason to Brave the Afternoon Rain: Kehlani

Kehlani's Thursday afternoon set was peppered with rain and audio issues, but the singer pushed forward and gave a spirited performance early on in the weekend. After a tough personal year, the R&B star proved that it's possibly to triumph over tragedy. She was all smiles as she blazed through songs off her 2015 mixtape You Should Be Here, like standouts "Jealous" and "The Way."

Miley Buns, Lollapalooza, 25, Best Things We Saw

Andy Keilen for Rolling Stone

Best Hair Trend: Miley Buns

For many attendees, the perfect festival 'do meant throwing it all the way back to 2013. People tied up all or parts of their hair to sport a duo of top-knots recalling Miley Cyrus' hairstyle from the 2013 VMAs where she twerked her way out of a large bear and all over Robin Thicke. The Miley Buns were seen in every crowd, most likely because even as the weather soaked everything in sight, the hairstyle seemed to still be holding up for most of the attendees.

Arrow Created with Sketch. Calendar Created with Sketch. Path Created with Sketch. Shape Created with Sketch. Plus Created with Sketch. minus Created with Sketch.