Lollapalooza is just a couple of days away and we’re already feeling a bit anxious to head to Grant Park. In our third year straight going to the famous three-day festival, we’ve learned some things that have helped us consider ourselves seasoned vets and pseudo-experts at this sort of thing. So, here’s a list of a few things you need to know/keep in mind to “survive” the festival, and have a kickass Lollapalooza 2013.
Prep your phone
Lolla is going to be filled with moments worthy of Instagram/YouTube/Vine/Twitter/Facebook posts. Prepping your phone for the long weekend is going to be one of the most important things you’ll have to do to prep for Lollapalooza. First of all, BEFORE heading to Grant Park, delete old/blurry/unnecessary pics and any other things (i.e. podcasts, apps) that take up space and suck up energy on your phone. Nothing sucks more than recording a video and your phone suddenly cutting it short because you’ve run out of space. Not only will you lose that video, but you’ll also waste time trying to figure out what to delete while you’re missing that perfect shot. Feel free to take whatever pics/videos you want to take throughout the fest, but let them just sit in your gallery until you get a hold of a charger because uploading these will suck up all of your juice. Considering how service is spotty at best, upload times will be much longer and phone batteries will die more easily. There are tents within the fest where you can charge your phone, so keep in mind where these are located so that you can put away some time during your day (especially when there’s no acts you want to see) to recharge your phone. We sure could use one of those cool portable chargers (we’re eying/suggesting Jackery’s portable charger) for future fests, but in the meantime we’ll have to stick to carrying a wall charger at all times.
Learn to Cut swiftly and politely
Unless you’re the sort of dedicated fan that shows up once doors open and then station yourself at whichever stage the one band you’re there to see performs, you’ll be cutting through crowds to get as close to the stage as possible. Sitting through a bunch of acts you may not care about as long as you can be close to stage for your favorite band is fine (I suppose) if you’ve only bought a single-day pass, but if you’re there all weekend it’s best to check out as many bands/artists as possible. One thing we’ve noticed is that you can show up late and still end up close to the stage, you just have to be smart and swift to accomplish it. By smart I mean take advantage of the gaps left by people just standing around; those gaps are like a secret road to the front. Also, if the schedule pins two completely kinds of acts performing on the same stage one after the other (think last year’s Passion Pit before Black Sabbath!), chances are many of the people there for one band may no longer be there once their band is done, and THAT’S when you must take advantage and run forward. Finally, don’t be a dick. Every year we see people who form a sort of douchey conga line that pushes their way forward without caring who was already standing there, regardless of existing gaps. Don’t be that person, because chances are you will bump into someone that won’t be cool with it and then you can expect some violence (ain’t nobody got time fo’ that!).
For those of you in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs, you already know the weather is pretty shitty right now and all signs point to it being like this throughout the weekend. So, to put it simply: BE READY! It’s stormed the last two years and both times that led to delays, cancelled performances and even evacuations. Although it was cool seeing fellow POD-er Alberto crowd-surf during the storm that hit us while the Foo Fighters were performing “My Hero,” what was not so cool was what that storm did to his phone. Whether you have that LifeProof case or something similar (we’re opting for a plastic sandwich bag; unconventional but effective), make sure you prepare for a storm to hit without it affecting your phone. Also, there will be mud and lots of it, so leave your blog-worthy streetwear and sweet kicks at home and go to Lolla wearing something you won’t mind sweating through and/or getting dirty.
Create a schedule
People that know me would know that I’m not one that enjoys planning, but my approach to Lollapalooza has basically become a meticulously thought-out assignment. Going with the flow is fine but if you want to pack in as many sets as possible from artists you won’t easily get to see at other times, you’ll have to work out a personal schedule so you can maximize your time at the fest. Keep in mind when each set begins and ends (the maps handed upon entry is super helpful for this). Make note of where the two stages are located so that you can factor in travel time. Your planning will help you decide whether you’ll need to cut some performances short in order to pack multiple performances within the same time slot or if you’ll just have to wait for the video footage to come out later. The Killers vs. NIN vs. Lana Del Rey, Chance The Rapper vs. Queens Of The Stone Age, Phoenix vs. The Cure. Damn.