Lollapalooza is such a massive experience that it’s almost impossible to cover the full story of what happens there. Therefore, most people just end up covering the bands and/or any celebrity crap that goes along with it. When actual news happens – especially when it’s not related to the music – you end up dealing with organizers who aren’t prepared to deal with questions, not necessarily because they don’t want any bad press (although that’s part of it) but also because they don’t understand that real reporters have a job to do: Report the story that’s there. Just like asking questions about the actions of your government doesn’t make you an enemy of the state, asking questions about the story you’re being given by a promotional machine, doesn’t make you a hater of music and culture.
What happened during Rage Against the Machine’s set – inside the grounds of Lolla and out – has been mostly underreported or misreported (with the exceptions of the Sun-Times and Windy Citizen). But at least it’s been covered. There were likely many other stories that fell through the hole in coverage.
I’ve got more thoughts on this, but I’m going to wait until there’s some follow-up first.
Update: As you can see, the post linked to above now includes a response from a Lolla spokeswoman who says “proper safety procedures” were followed. In addition, I’ve created a Flickr photo set of all the photos we have of the incident. You can view that here. I’ve asked some additional questions, which I’ve listed in the post at the TOC blog.