This week, all the cool kids will be hanging out at Lollapalooza — in particular, at the Kidzapalooza Stage, where the youngest fans can partake in airbrush “tattooz,” get headshots at the rock-star photo booth, learn to beatbox, and of course enjoy daily entertainment geared for the entire family.
“There’s a lot of stimuli at Lollapalooza, and Kidzapalooza is a kind of escape from the sensory overload and the heat, and a place where kids can come and play,” says Anthony Moseley, artistic director of theater group Collaboraction and the stage’s official emcee for the weekend.
School of Rock students will play on stage with sets at 1:30 p.m. Thursday and 3 p.m. Friday.
“Our mission is enriching lives through performance-based music education, so putting students on stage is a central part of what we do,” says Andy Levenberg, manager of music education, who estimates that more than 200 school alumni have played Kidzapalooza over the years. Some have even gone on as adults to form bands that have played the festival’s main stages, including Hippo Campus and Dr. Dog.
The School of Rock students playing Kidzapalooza this year are aged 12 to 18 and exclusively hail from some of the 19 Chicago area schools that have open enrollment all year. Their two sets this week will run the gamut, from Deep Purple and Prince to Aretha Franklin and My Chemical Romance.
“I’d encourage parents and kids to come by and check it out,” says Levenberg. “Having young people in the audience really gets the students excited because they’re playing for their peers. … And my favorite part is watching the faces of adults when students play and blow them away.”
To read more about this year's Kidzapalooza programming, read the full article by Selena Fragassi for the Chicago Sun-Times.