As one of the most highly anticipated music festivals and events of the summer, Lollapalooza attracts crowds from all over the world and expects over 400,000 people this year alone! It all sounds a bit overwhelming and I remember this time last summer I was worried about how to make it through my first Lolla weekend.
Whether this is your first time or you’re a veteran of the festival, today I’m sharing my guide to surviving Lollapalooza and making this year the best yet!
The Basics – What to Pack
Reusable Water Bottle
Hydration during long weekend festivals are key! Save money and prevent burnout by bringing your own reusable water bottle to the festival and take advantage of the free water stations set up around Grant Park.
Sunscreen and Sunglasses
Being outdoors for so long baking under the sun is risky for your skin. Make sure you’re protecting yourself with sunscreen, preferably SPF 30 and above. Pack SPF in cream form because spray sunscreen is not allowed. And don’t forget those sunglasses!
You’re surrounded by thousands of people outdoors and portable public sinks don’t always work. This is one you’ll want to have handy.
Extra Pair of Socks and Shoes (if possible)
This might be obvious but wear comfortable shoes! Bring extra socks and a backup pair of shoes (if possible) to avoid blisters. The weather forecast this year also calls for rain so those extra shoes might save the day!
Chicago weather is unpredictable so it’s better to come prepared. Plus, ponchos are lighter than carrying around an umbrella.
Invest in a portable charger or a charging case for full access to your phone throughout the day.
It’s always good to have a little back-up cash ready. Pack some extra bills to avoid long ATM lines on-site. You also have the option to go cashless by linking your Citi card to your wristband. More info on that can be found here.
What to Wear
Festival season style is always unique and interesting. You can find inspiration almost anywhere! From baggy denim jeans, t-shirt dresses or lace numbers, you’ll see it all at Lolla. Here are some favorites to spark some festival style inspiration.
The Food Situation
Lolla’s Chow Town offers a variety of food to hungry festival goers from hot asian buns to the iconic Chicago deep dish. You can smell the deliciousness from at least a mile away, but prices can get steep for small portions. Luckily, your wristband lets you re-enter up to 3 times after initial entry, which means you’re able to buy an actual meal at a lower price outside of the festival grounds and use cleaner bathrooms elsewhere (just make sure you scan out first!).
Make a Plan
Download the Lollapalooza app before you arrive at the festival because it features everything from including each day’s lineup, a personalized schedule and a grounds map. Use this to plan how you’re getting to and from the festival (public transportation will probably be your best bet), where you’re going to meet with friends before and during the festival and a schedule of who you want to see. When you have down time during the festival, check out some of the other acts even if you don’t know who they are. I did this with my friends last year and ended up discovering some awesome bands!
And for my last piece of advice, make sure you eat, stay hydrated and live in moment!
What bands are you most excited to see at Lolla this year?