After attending Lollapalooza 2010 in Chicago, I know the Windy City can bring it when it comes to putting on a festival. I’m from Austin, Texas, a city constantly looking for any excuse to put on a festival, so that makes me (or any other Austinite) sort of an expert. That weekend in Chicago will be one I’ll never forget, although it is hard to decipher and pick apart the weekend because it all kind of blends into one big memory. Regardless, I’m going to sketch you a list of the best and worst of Lollapalooza, along with some helpful hints. Hopefully this will give you some insight on the beast of a festival you’ll encounter in Chicago.
Best of Lollapalooza
The music. There were many bands, some of which I loved and some of which I didn’t enjoy quite as much. Lollapalooza provides something for everybody, though. You’d be hard-pressed to not find something for you at Lollapalooza. Some of my favorite acts won’t be returning for Lollapalooza 2011, but I’d still highly recommend them for future fests. If you haven’t seen Gogol Bordello they are a festival must! Their high energy show along with their gypsy infused punk boast even the squarest of squares to let loose and dance a little. I also enjoyed watching Austin’s own, Spoon. It’s good to see Britt and the boys doing well and representing Austin on a national platform. I had time to catch up with my very talented good friend, Brit-folk rocker, Frank Turner. He played to a very receptive crowd and we partied the night away after his performance.
Aside from the music and partying there was something else that must be duly noted on this list. Graham Elliot’s Lobster Corndog ($9, but deliciously worth it) was a life-saver on many occasions. When it comes to festival food, this is about as perfect as you can get. I would expect the festival industry to take note of this and make the Lobster Corndogs a festival staple, but there’s been some kind of hold up! (I’m looking at you ACL!)
Worst of Lollapalooza
I’m sure everybody has heard the saying, “You must take the bad with the good.” Yes, there are some bad aspects to Lollapalooza, but it helps to know about them ahead of time. So this list I’ve culled together from memory should help you avoid some of the more annoying aspects of the festival.
Helpful Tips for Attending Lollapalooza
- Buy yourself a “hip” pair of shades and avoid gazing at the sun.
- Bring some sunscreen unless you want to look like Snookie from Jersey Shore.
- Freeze a 1-liter bottle of water the night before. This way you will have cold water to last throughout the day’s events.
- Dress comfortably. It is hard to go wrong with a t-shirt and shorts, but avoid flip-flops. There are people everywhere and you want to protect your little piggys.
- Bring plenty of cash or make friends with one of the concession workers. The concessions are a bit overpriced, but if you go in knowing that it won’t be a shocker to you when you pay $8 for 24 oz. of cold beer.
All in all I had a great time at Lollapalooza. If you are in to huge music festivals and people watching, then Lollapalooza is for you. Feel free to tell us about your own Lollapalooza experiences–we’d love to hear about them.