Lollapalooza provided some of the biggest stages many Black Chicago artists have performed on. Valee, Supa Bwe, Femdot, Taylor Bennett and G Herbo made their debuts –  joining the ranks of the many hometown heroes who came before them – Common, Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco, The Cool Kids, Chief Keef, Chance The Rapper, Vic Mensa and more.

But at times there seemed to be a disconnect between the Black performers and the music festival’s predominantly-white audience.

Sure, G Herbo’s stage was packed with a sea of mostly-white kids, jumping up and down wildly to his hard-hitting beats, but when you watched their faces, many were watermeloning the lyrics.

“Matter fact, where the Lil Herb fans at?” G Herbo stopped midway through to find his real fans. He’d already cruised through “I Like,” “Never Cared,” and “Everything,” jams from his 2017 debut studio album Humble Beast, without him or his fans taking a breath.

And then, the iconic “Yeah, hoe” refrain began to bump from the speakers and the 90-degree temperatures seemed to rise even hotter. As most of the crowd rapped along to “Rollin,” a Chicago hood anthem from his 2015 Ballin’ Like I’m Kobe mixtape, some sweaty fans ran out of the middle of the bouncing crowd, gasping for air. “I can’t fucking breathe,” one Black teen girl said to her friends. New fans were drawn to the madness: “What is that?” a young white girl asked. Her friend replied, “I don’t know, but we’re just gonna go in there and do it!”

Meanwhile, Chicago Magazine senior digital editor Matt Pollock, posted a video of the wild scene on Twitter: “G Herbo is going to be popular,” he wrote.

Going to be?!

That’s the thing about Lollapalooza, fans weren’t necessarily there to see their favorite artist. The teenage concert-goers were there for the Lolla experience, bouncing around to whatever stage was hottest at the moment, frustratingly so to some artists. After two unrelentingly hot days, Bruno Mars closed out Friday night with an hour of bass-driven fireworks, 80s-era R&B and choreography reminiscent of James Brown.

However, after running through his hits, “That’s What I Like,” “Versace on the Floor,” and “Marry You,” to name a few, the crowd seemed bored when he went to one deep cut, “Runaway Baby.” Either the crowd didn’t know the song, or they weren’t here for any new arrangements of the song.

“If y’all ‘gon be quiet tonight, we ‘gon be quiet too,” Mars said. He backed away from the mic and the lights dimmed as his deejay encouraged the crowd to cheer to bring him back.

The same thing happened Saturday afternoon during rapper Logic’s performance. “Y’all ain’t giving me no energy. Do y’all know this song?” he said before walking off the stage.

Both Mars and Logic put on stellar performances. In Mars’s case, though, the crowd seemed to fade anytime a song went into a call-and-response arrangement. On “If I Was Your Man,” which Mars took his time to sing, he took pauses in between special notes in true Michael Jackson style – except, the crowd didn’t scream and give the feedback he wanted during each pause.

Thousands of fest-goers rushed towards the exits during an extended finale of “Just The Way You Are.” But for those who stayed for the whole song, Mars returned, with a costume change and some dancing shoes to rock out to an “Uptown Funk” encore. It showed that there were some true Mars fans at Lolla after all.

Perhaps, the crowd was too tired to participate. The festival grounds span from Roosevelt Road to Randolph Street, about 1.5 miles along Columbus Drive. Though the festival flowed seamlessly all four days, walking back and forth down that stretch in 90-plus-degree heat took a lot of our everyone.

Throughout each day, you could see kids stretched out on the ground with their eyes closed, others being carried to ambulances on stretchers and some vomiting in the streets because they couldn’t make it to the porta-potty.

On Monday, the Chicago Tribune reported that 160 fest-goers were taken to local hospitals, including a 16-year-old Mundelein boy who later died. His cause of death hasn’t been released.

With all the drugs, alcohol and moshing from noon to 10 PM to dozens of concerts across eight stages each day, it’s impossible to make it through Lollapalooza weekend without achy bones, headaches and a touch of dehydration. And yet, thousands fought to the end, raging to EDM, rock and hip-hop like they had just hit their stride in a 4-day-long marathon.

For more photos of Lollapalooza 2018, check out our photo gallery below. Photos by Morgan Elise Johnson and ThoughtPoet for The TRiiBE.