Lollapalooza is annual music festival within Grant Park of Chicago, and this summer will mark its 25th milestone (July 28-31). That said, this year could be wilder than ever with a fourth day added onto the festival weekend. Lollapalooza is known for its wide variety of performers, so music lovers of all genres and ages attend.
What makes the festival unique is that you do not stay overnight at the park (sorry, you won’t be catching any z’s in your hammock). But that can be an advantage for festival attendees—preparing yourself before and after the festival at home or hotel is key, as well as during your time at the park. So grab ahold of a gallon of water, get some good Chicago food and drinks in the mix, and make it front and center to your favorite act with these tips in your back pocket.
But first, brunch. Let’s be real, you will not be getting up at the crack of dawn so that complimentary breakfast at your hotel will probably be over. Before you head off to Grant Park, you’ll need a good meal to provide you with the energy you’ll need to get to the front row for your favorite act (and stay there). Chicago offers a variety of amazing brunch spots, such as Bistronomic which is well known for its bottomless mimosa special on Saturday’s and Sunday’s. Be sure to pair your cocktails with a savory crêpe or a fresh slice of quiche.
Yes, Chicago is known as the Windy City, but in Grant Park in the middle of summer you can’t hide from the heat. Hydrate before leaving for the park and keep in mind that you are allowed to bring two factory sealed water bottles or an empty CamelBak to refill throughout the day at free water filling stations.
If you have never tried Chicago-style pizza, allow this musical festival to be your opportunity to try something life-changing. You will never want to eat a basic pie again. What makes Chicago-style pizza so special is the deep dish aspect of it. Pies in Illinois tend to have toppings piled into the center (in an opposite order from classic counterparts). For example, you’ll find cheese, meat, vegetables, and then sauce rather than sauce, vegetables, meat, and then cheese. Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria is a vendor at the festival, so be sure to grab a slice between acts.
Bud Light is one of Lollapalooza’s biggest sponsors. For those of you 21 and older, you can venture to any of the “Bar & Beverage” stations located around the park and enjoy a nice cold brewski. If you want something a little sweeter, sip on a Straw-Ber-Rita to quench your thirst. Be sure to bring your ID for the first day that you opt to drink, and you will be given a Bud Light wrist band for the remainder of the festival.
At Lolla, you are constantly on the move and don’t want to have to worry about your blood sugar getting low. Be sure to treat yo self and check out Windsor Ice Cream Shoppe celebrating its seventh year as a vendor at the festival. Windsor is “Home of the BIG Scoop” because they use the largest scoopers you’ve ever seen that collect 5.3oz a piece. Do not miss your opportunity to get a gourmet ice cream with a twist.
Chicago is known for its countless bars and night clubs. However, most music festival enthusiasts goal is to take a snooze for a few hours between the many, many performances. Instead of hitting the club all night long, try to head back to your bed at a reasonable hour. You will feel much more refreshed in the morning, and you’ll have energy to make it through the day so you don’t have to miss any headliners—not to mention getting your money’s worth (because we all spent our summer savings on that wristband).
Coming—mentally and physically—prepared to Lollapalooza will help you beat the heat, exhaustion and any other discomforts that could get in the way of you having an unforgettable experience. Get ready for Lolla 2016!