Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Complete Guide to Lollapalooza

With Lollapalooza only a few days away, it’s time to start nailing down the nitty-gritty details to make the most of your music festival experience. We know finding tickets for Lolla is a task in itself and they they don't come cheap, so we can imagine that you'd like to weekend to run as smoothly as possible - meaning no dehydration, painful sunburn or worse. To help you get your festival on without a hitch, we've scoured music fest tutorials and collected information from the official Lollapalooza website to bring you a convenient guide to maximizing your fun.

Make a Plan of Attack
Before you hit Grant Park, make a plan with your group for the day. Know that because of the crowds and stage equipment, your cellphone reception will be spotty, at best. Your group will most likely want to separate throughout the day to see their favorite bands before that happens determine meeting places and times prior to entering the grounds. Also, don't forgot to fuel yourself throughout the day. Take advantage of Lollapalooza’s convenient food vendors at Chow Town. No need to leave and complicate group coordination even more!

What to Bring:

1. Water
While this may sound obvious, water can either make or break your time at the festival. Lolla allows patrons to bring two factory-sealed water bottles up to one liter each and empty CamelBak water bottles. Take advantage of this. It will not only keep your energy level high and prevent you from taking an embarrassing trip to the hospital, but refilling your water bottles at the free water fountains is a great alternative to paying for overpriced beverages from vendors.

2. Sunscreen
Again, maybe this sounds like a no-brainer, but a crispy, red face is unpleasant and a surefire way to ruin your entire weekend. Keep in mind that Lolla does not allow aerosol cans, so bring sunscreen in the lotion form. And, don’t forget to reapply. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, you should reapply water resistant, broad spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 every two hours.

3. Sunglasses
In addition to protecting your skin, it’s also important to protect your eyes from harmful UVA and UVB rays. Not to mention, wearing sunglasses will help you see the stage if the sun is shining. Sporting your favorite designer pair may not be the best decision for this occasion because they could get damaged. Instead, purchase a fun, affordable pair like these Rad Bands from Rad + Refined. Can you think of a more perfect occasion to wear these sunnies?

4. Rain Gear
While the weather for the upcoming weekend is looking pretty mild with highs in the mid to high 70s and a slight change of rain, we would hate to have a repeat of last year’s downpour. Chicago has done its part in creating an emergency plan for this type of situation, but it doesn't hurt to be personally prepared. Bring a poncho or raincoat but leave the umbrella at home. They are allowed on the festival grounds but they can be bulky and easily lost. You may also want to bring an extra pair of socks in case your feet get wet because no one enjoys sloshing around in wet shoes all day.

5. Bags
Try to pack as lightly as you can. It will save you back pain and help avoid long lines at security checkpoints. We recommend a compact backpack to carry all your festival supplies but nothing you would bring camping or anything framed. While you cannot bring any outside food or drinks (except the water bottles), you are allowed to bring soft-sided coolers, which may come in handy if you want to save the food you buy inside for later.

6. Money
Plan ahead which meals you will purchase on the festival grounds so you know approximately how much cash you need to bring since most vendors won’t accept credit cards. While there will be ATMs available, you should expect long lines and hefty fees, so hit the bank the day before the festival. Be mindful that while you should plan on bringing plenty of cash, it’s dangerous to walk around with large amounts of money. Bring only what is necessary and keep it close to you.

7. Camera and Cellphone
Lolla does not permit any professional recording equipment, but no one expects you to neglect your Facebook page and Instagram all day, so take plenty of pictures with a personal camera or cellphone. Keep in mind that you are attending Lollapalooza to enjoy the music and expose yourself to new artists, so limit your social media usage and live in the moment. (We're still trying to master this one...)

Most importantly, keep an open mind. Lollapalooza is one of the greatest music festivals in the world and you are exceptionally lucky to be attending. Make the most of your experience by following these helpful tips. Maybe we’ll see you there, and don’t forget to post your photos and give us a shout out at @monikadixonpr!

Happy festing!

By Rebecca Taylor, MDPR Team Member

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