The essential Lollapalooza survival guide 2015
Okay, it's that time of year again, it's all Lollapalooza time!
More than just a festival, more than just a music event, this has got be one of the world's greatest cultural experiences to be experienced. And yes, it actually has everyone from Paul McCartney to Metallica.
They have everything, they have a massive lineup (with this year alone having 114 acts, its own food Festival, a farmers market and even a environmentally responsible goods market).
This year's biggest headline acts include
- Paul McCartney
- Sam Smith
- Alabama Shakes
- Florence and the machine
- A$AP Rocky
- Twenty One Pilots
- TV on the radio
For the full list of the lineup see here
Check out some of the highlights from last year's Lollapalooza Festival
Being such a massive three-day festival, here are the top tips to make sure that you get the most out of your weekend.
It's going to be hot
Chicago might be known as the Windy city, but it's summer so you can expect that it will be about 29°C, and it's a festival so that means you can expect to be in the sun (especially when checking out the bands). So make sure that you bring sunscreen, wear a hat and please please please, bring deodorant.
This is a massive event, so you should put some thought beforehand into those boring logistic questions such as:
Have you organised somewhere to stay?
With over 300,000 visitors last year, places can book out early. But of course there are lots of options from couch surfing and Airbnb up to a hotel type accommodation. It's not uncommon for people to even find places to stay through the Facebook page 4 of lollapalooza.
Have you thought about how you're going to get there?
Like most festivals, parking can be a bit of a challenge.
Most of the local parking will book out in advance so if you are going to park, plan ahead and book it online. Check out this link to see where parking is, how much it costs and even to book it in advance.
If parking is too much of a hassle, trains, buses and cycling are all popular options (yes cycling, there are secure facilities to store your bike when you get there).
Do what the boy scouts do, be prepared
But remember, with the day being so long it's important to have some of the other essentials so that you can find some space to relax and recover from time to time.
You may want to bring water (you can bring up to 2 x 500ml bottles if they are factory sealed), blankets, an umbrella, binoculars, a camera and even a walkie-talkie (you can expect phone reception to be terrible).
And since weather will do what weather will do, be prepared for that as well. A couple of years ago it was expected to be quite warm with a few showers but to everybody surprise there was a few hours of massive rain and high winds and over 60,000 people had to evacuate. It's unlikely something like that will happen, but it's always best to prepare for the unexpected.
You should definitely check out the list here of what you can and can't bring.
Have you got a phone plan for all your Facebook posts?
While it's important to put your phone away and actually go out there and go have an amazing experience, it's safe to say that loads of people will want to post to Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. A local USA Sim card is a really cheap option with not only loads of data, but also unlimited talk and text. Grab a Sim card or learn more here.
Thongs and high heels are not great choices at festivals, so remember that whatever you where you're going to wear it for 12 hours plus each day so it had better be comfortable.
I would suggest bringing
- a second pair of shoes (just in case the first pair gets wet)
- a spare pair of socks
- a pair of shorts
- a raincoat
- a hat
- a cheap watch (your iPhone will run out of battery if you check it every five minutes to find out the time)
Know who's on first, what's on second
You can't be everywhere, you can't see everything, but you can figure out what you want to see most and make sure you don't miss out on that.
Personally, I really want to see Gary Clark Jr, and I know I would be quite disappointed if I missed out but of course I couldn't miss out on either Metallica or Paul McCartney either (yes, a strange combination but I am okay with it).
Checking the list of what is on at what times on and where can mean the difference between seeing something and not. It's a big place, and getting a great spot to headline acts means getting there early so knowing where to be next is important.
Don't be too rigid
So up until now, it's been all about planning and knowing. But don't forget, it's a festival and there is so much happening and so much fun to be had that if you didn't take the time to just go and explore and have fun than you would really miss out.
So you have to accept that you're going to miss some things, but you're going to be able to see so many other things that you never even knew were there.
Eat drink and be merry
There is some awesome food to be had over at Chow Town, so even if you aren't concerned about maintaining proper nutrition during your party, you will certainly one have some awesome food.
A good breakfast lunch and dinner will help make sure that you are able to keep up the party. Don't forget to drink water, lots of water, especially when it's hot during the day.
It's easy for a first time festival goer to forget how long these things go for but surviving for three days on beer does not make for a merry experience.
Consider going cashless
If you register your wristband, you can use it to purchase things by linking your credit card to it. That may just mean that you have one less thing to lose, and one less thing to worry about.
It can also help to keep the cost of ATM fees down low which can be nice as well.
Does this even need to be said?
Some more tips direct from Lollapalooza
Check out these massive playlist of some of the artists performing: