How-To: Lollapalooza Guide
Lollapalooza has been a music festival that I've always wanted to attend. Since it's in Chicago, I didn't think there would be an opportunity for me any time soon but it just so happened that a good friend of mine just moved to the city for work and all of our schedules worked for us to visit him during that exactly weekend this year. I booked my tickets awhile back, so round trip was relatively cheap. It was 4 days filled with music, dancing, fun, laughter, and great memories! Here are so tips on how to do/survive Lollapalooza:
- Don't bring in a bag: the bag lines compared to non-bag lines were at least 2x or 3x longer. It was definitely not worth it. If anything, just hold onto an empty water bottle and keep your belongings in your pockets.
- Take public transportation: the best way to get to and from Grant Park, where the festival is at, is via the trains. Uber/Taxi/Driving are all very inefficient and costly options. We were lucky enough to be staying right by the blue line so we took that into downtown and walked for about 10 minutes to get to the park. This is also a good chance for you to pregame on and during your walk.
- Prepare a mix drink beforehand: since the festival is an all day thing, you need to be fueled. Therefore, before heading to the part, you should grab a couple water bottles and mix in chaser with hard alc and share that among all your friends as you walk to the park. This will keep you going for awhile until later in the night when you might need to hop in the bar line.
- Attend (an) aftershow(s): unlike other festivals, Lolla ends pretty early at around 10pm since the park closes at 11pm. Therefore, the night is still young and you will want to continue to go out and keep the party going. I would suggest scheduling at least 1 or 2 aftershows that will normally go on until 2am or even later.
- Buy your tickets last minute: I didn't have my ticket until the week prior but I had friends who bought it a lot earlier and pay way more for them. We didn't get the tickets when they first went on sale but we bought them off other people. At first people were asking for $375-$400 a ticket about 3 weeks before the event. I got mine for $350 but there were people offering it the week of for face value at $335 and I even saw some at $300. So don't worry too much about get tickets right away because there will be plenty to go around!
- Eat a big meal beforehand: food in the festival is quite expensive but you also don't want to spend most of the time in food lines and not listening to your favorite artists. So eat a hearty meal before going and that should hold you over until late at night.
- Do try the food at Lolla: the festival does a great job at bringing amazing food to the event so definitely try out the food in between sets or while waiting for the next set to come on. We had amazing pizzas, corn dogs, ice cream, etc. But be careful because food is pretty expensive and will add up.
- Download the Lolla app: this will list the entire festival's schedule so it will help you plan out your days and also see which sets are coming up next.
- Make a plan: before heading to the event, plan out a schedule of who you HAVE TO and can't miss and then plan your other schedules around them. However, be flexible with missing a few because things will come up and not always go as planned. Just make sure you do attend the sets that are on your MUST list. It is also a good chance for you to discover new music and artists.
- Live in the moment: although there is pretty good signal at the park, it will still eat up a lot of your data trying to connect to different apps on your phone and post on social media during the event since there are thousands of other people trying to do that same thing. Conserve your phone battery and data! Also, why would you pay all this money to go and be on your phone? Keep your phone usage to a minimal and you and your party will thank you, especially if you are known to be "that guy."
- Explore other aspects of the festival: this is something that I regret not being able to do as much. There are so many things offered at the festivals besides the music, even though music is the main priority, that we missed out on because we were so wrapped up in hitting all the sets. If you have some free time, explore a little and you will be pleasantly surprised at all the cool things the festival has to offer.
- Set a meeting place: although there will be minimal signal, sometimes your texts/calls won't go through for awhile or your phone might be dead so always set a meeting spot if you decide to split up during the event and at the end when you are all trying to head somewhere together.
- Wear sunscreen: the weather in Chicago during the summer can be a bit unpredictable but there will be many bright and sunny times. You will be thankful that you didn't come out of it with red patches on you that will hurt when someone touches you.
- Bathroom stop at The Congress Hotel: before heading to the lines, stop by The Congress hotel directly across from the park for a bathroom break. This will be the nicest bathroom experience you'll have the entire weekend so take advantage of it each day before going in. Address: 520 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605
- Don't wear nice shoes: Chicago is known to have sudden rainfalls so the ground will get muddy when it does. Although it feels great while you're sweaty and have been dancing all day, your new shoes will not be so great. So ditch the brand new kicks for some old beat-up but reliable converse.