If you don't know what Lollapalooza is, you should go search videos on youtube right now.
Lollapalooza is an annual music festival in Grant Park, Chicago that was started by Perry Farrell, lead singer of Jane's Addiction, in 1991. That makes 2016 the 25th anniversary. In honor of the quarter-century birthday, Perry extended the three-day festival to four friggin' days. Not only do you get a four-day weekend worth of excitement from the festival, but there are dozens of after shows, other concerts, and incredible places to explore around Chicago.
Here are some of my tips to you for making the most out of your Lollapalooza weekend:
1. Use a Camelbak and/or fanny pack.
They make your life a lot easier. With a camel back, you can stay hydrated and go crazy to your favorite artists' performances. With a fanny pack, you can dance around without constantly worrying if someone's reaching into your bag that you can't see on your back or having to hold it against your side.
2. Set aside a merch budget early.
Merch is inevitably expensive. Let yourself have fun, but control it. Not everyone can throw down cash or a card without a second thought. Maybe allow yourself two "reasonably" priced pieces of merch or one splurge.
3. Similarly, set aside a food budget.
Make this one bigger. If you plan to buy food at the festival, each pop-up has marked up prices. The restaurants are often within half a mile of the Lolla gate and you can get in and out of the festival up to three times each day. Doesn't it make a little more sense to talk a little walk, escape the Lolla hullabaloo for 30 minutes, and really enjoy some damn good Chicago eats? The food in Chicago is definitely worth it.
4. Be nice and considerate to other festival-goers.
This really shouldn't have to be a tip, but alas, it is. We are all going to the festival to enjoy music and celebrate togetherness around it, yet some people feel the need to make the time a little less sweet for those around them. Make some friends! Dance with the people next to you! Chat over a rainbow cone!
5. Pick a few acts to stake out each day.
If you want to get to the front or relatively close to the stage, you should stay at the stage your favorite artist will be playing on probably two or more acts before they begin. People stake out stages early in the day. This one is a toughie, especially for me. I love running around the festival and hearing different artists and genres of music.
5. Carry an extra (or three) portable charger with you.
Snapchat. Instagram. Twitter. Photos. Facebook. Camera. Lollapalooza App. We all do it, don't deny it. Hey, we are just trying to get our snaps on the live feed from the festival and wanna know what stage to head to next. If you follow Lolla on Twitter, you'll find hints and tips about guest appearances or cool things happening around the park. But you're sacrificing every battery percentage with it.
6. Put your phone on Low Battery Mode.
It helps, I promise. You won't get push notifications from the Mail app, but who really needs those during Lollapalooza??
7. Obtain a plastic poncho.
The weather in Chicago is pretty unpredictable, especially in the summer. It can be sunny and 90 one moment and storming and 80 the next. Ponchos are lightweight and will protect some of your body from wetness. More importantly, they're large enough to cover your bags and electronics from the water. They also double as tarps for you to sit on when standing becomes a no-no for your feet and legs.
8. Do you, boo!
If you are with people who don't want to see the same artists as you, who cares? Go see the artists you want to see! You can dance on your own, sit off to the side, or make new friends either way! You came there to enjoy the music, so you should not let anything stop you.
Music festivals are about going out and enjoying life centered around music and the things that get people really excited. You can go to tents around the park for giveaways, artist signings, and smaller sets. There's a Kidzapalooza stage, so don't be shy about bringing the little ones either. Actually, maybe be shy about it if you don't want to spend all day yourself at that stage. The point is that there is something for everyone at Lolla and you should take advantage of those things to have the best experience you can possible have.
Get ready for Lollapalooza 2017!