The 2012 Lollapalooza music festival kicked off on a hot Friday in Chicago's Grant Park.
The three-day mega-fest features a packed lineup of more than 130 artists spread between 115 acres and eight stages. The sold-out festival is expected to attract 100,000 visitors daily, who will also have the opportunity to nosh on grub from dozens of vendors among a foodie's dream lineup curated by Graham Elliot.
(Scroll down to check out our Lollapalooza Spotify playlist and peruse some of the highest-profile comprising the festival's lineup.)
The high-profile event's impact reaches far beyond its front gate: Music venues throughout the city are hosting an array of parties and aftershows, both official and unofficial, many of which offer the lure of swag, booze and the high likelihood of a celebrity sighting or two. Last year, we watched Elijah Wood DJ. And spotted a very convincing Dave Navarro lookalike walking along Michigan Avenue.
Even the ticketless haven't been overlooked by Lollapalooza organizers: The festival will be streaming, in real time, on YouTube throughout the weekend. All the fest without the fuss of potential downpours and port-a-potties. And you won't have to deal with meeting any of these 10 people.
The bad news? No, Beyonce won't be there. At least, she won't be performing on stage, though we wouldn't put a Gaga-at-Pitchfork-esque swoop-in at Ocean's set out of the realm of possibility for the pop diva.
Festival co-founder Perry Farrell admitted to MTV that, indeed, his brainchild has grown into a monster of almost inconceivable proportions.
"I kind of have this vision of an octopus, because the tentacles of Lollapalooza — now all of a sudden this octopus goes really out until 4 a.m. in the city of Chicago," Farrell told MTV. "It was great to have it here up until 10 o'clock, and I know we're all out in these incredible hotels, but now we're really raising the bar when it comes to these after-parties. ... It's really stretching."
Meanwhile, for those with tickets, the only remaining question are some of those pesky set time showdowns that arise out of the festival's jam-packed schedule (posted here). Black Sabbath or Black Keys? At the Drive-In or Florence + The Machine? Santigold or Ocean? Our friends at Gapers Block have offered up some sage advice on how to deal with any indecisiveness.
Check back on HuffPost Chicago for photos and reviews from Grant Park throughout the weekend. Follow @robojojo on the ground for real-time coverage as much as the festival's notoriously spotty cell reception allows.
EARLIER ON HUFFPOST:
The Morning Email helps you start your workday with everything you need to know: breaking news, entertainment and a dash of fun. Learn more