Lollapalooza 2007: The Survivial Guide
By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Aug 2, 2007 2:10PM
The city's biggest music festival of the summer kicks off tomorrow, and you can feel the excitement building in the Chicagoist offices. However, we've had to put our cub reporters through some summer festival basic training, since this one blows all the others out of the water in sheer scope and size. The bands are the draw, and the primary source of fun, but there are a few other things you -- and our cub reporters -- need to keep in mind to ensure the experience stays positive. Believe us, there's nothing worse than waking up sunburned, drunk, and abandoned by your friends. Not that we would know. So to prepare you, dear reader, we've decided to share our top five tips on prepping for Lollapalooza this year.
It's going to be HOT!
We've gotten off pretty easy this summer, but Helios isn't letting us totally off the hook. It's going to be Buster Poindexter-level hot this weekend, so make sure you're dressed for the heat and drink plenty of water. In fact, either bring your own water bottle, or save the first one you buy, so you can refill it for free during the day. When you're losing water at the rate most people will in 90+ degree heat, it can get awfully expensive to stay hydrated if you keep paying for that agua.
This is also a pretty good reason to hold off the booze until later in the day, when it cools down a little. Seriously. We love to get plastered just as much as the next music critic, but even we know that you don't imbibe at 11 a.m. when it's already 93-degrees. And if you're as fair-skinned as we, after hours of either sitting in the office or sipping whiskeys by bar-light, slather on the sun block. Spare not an inch of skin that sweet, sweet protection of industrial strength SPF.
If you have a 3-day pass, take advantage of the re-entry policy.
One of the great things about a festival in Grant Park that allows re-entry is that it affords you all sorts of eating options that aren't just 2-pound slabs of funnel cake or 18-inch greasy slices of pizza. Sure the food downtown isn't any less expensive, but it sure tastes better. Also, re-entry means you can go wander around, take a break, and re-energize before re-entering the fray. Also, if you need to beat the heat for a bit, we hear the Art Institute is an awesome cooling station.
Never heard 'em before? Maybe now's the time.
You could go nuts trying to catch every band you want to see. After you've mapped out your schedule take a long honest look at the map. We know you see Regina Spektor and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs work out perfectly schedule-wise, but when you factor in that the stages are almost on opposite ends of Grant Park, it becomes pretty obvious you're not going to catch both.
So instead, while you're waiting for Spoon / Patti Smith / whomever to go on next, wander around and take in some of the surrounding bands you've never heard of. We've found some new favorites that way. (Case in point: Whilst we had heard Of Montreal before last year's Lollapalooza, we had never heard them live ... and that made all the difference in transforming us into fans of the band. Same thing went for the first time we saw Pearl Jam, the first time they played Lollapalooza.)
Get ready to hike about 27 miles a day.
Wear some comfortable shoes. Personally, we've stepped up our cardio training in the last month just to be able to survive.
Don't be a douchebag.
Or "that guy." Or Jeremy Piven. Just enjoy the show.
Photo of guy from Lollapalooza 2006 that could have used the advice above taken by Jeremy Farmer