Every August, the city of Chicago is descended upon by thousands of people looking for fun, music and the ultimate festival experience that is Lollapalooza. We have put together this little survival guide to help you squeeze as much out of your experience at the festival, whether it be for one day or all three.
This summer is on track to be one of the hottest to date. Being outside for 10+ hours can have serious implications if you aren’t careful. One of the most important tips we can provide is hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Did we mention that you should drink a lot of water? This year the festival guidelines stipulate that you may bring in 2 factory sealed 1 liter water bottles and an empty Camel Bak. Refilling stations are located throughout Grant Park.
Make sure you use the one to one ratio with alcohol. One bottle of water for each beer or other tasty beverage you consume. A great rule of thumb is to save the heaviest drinking for after sundown. Remember this is a marathon not a sprint. You want to be able to enjoy all that is Lolla, including the full day of music and after parties. Remember Sun + Tequila = Hot mess. Passing out on the lawn after two hours, not only insures that you will hate that you spent a fortune on tickets and didn’t see anyone but the openers, but also will likely result in a killer sunburn. Which brings us to the next tip:
Sunscreen. Non-aerosol can. Most people aren’t prepared to spend 20 hours in the sun over two/three days. I say two days, because it never fails to rain at least one day at this festival. Being prepared for both intense sun and rain can be tricky. Small hand held umbrellas are allowed, but we recommend a small poncho. You can pick one up cheap at a dollar store. You wont be blocking the view of others, and if you get muddy/ messy you can throw it away with less guilt.
A small bottle of hand sanitizer/ travel pack of baby wipes to wash your hands before you eat. We always try to schedule trips to the food areas before/after lunch and dinner rushes.
Familiarize yourself with the lay out of the grounds early. Scope out areas to rest in the shade. We always bring a small sheet or blanket to lay on. Take a breath during the festival and take it all in (and rest your feet)! Dress according to the weather. Function over fashion as far as footwear is concerned ladies. (Flip-flops or Toms, just no heels or platforms.)
Remember when you were in kindergarten and you had to line up to go anywhere, holding a rope with knots, counting off each person every couple of feet making sure no one got left behind? While this may be effective, (and entertaining to those of us around you) it simply isn’t practical. You should map out a meet up place just in case you should get separated from the group. Maybe pick someplace other than the fountain or a stage area where there are 30,000 other people. Cell phone towers always get backed up at Lolla, making it impossible to get texts in a timely fashion. Unless you make your friends wear leashes or ‘If Found Return To’ Tshirts… mapping a meeting spot isn’t a bad idea.
Lolla is an experience that only happens once a year. Make sure you take lots of pictures to document the memories. Have a great and safe weekend.