Stranded In Stereo: Lollapalooza: One Week Away

Friday, July 25, 2008

Lollapalooza: One Week Away

Stupid blurry picture. Anyway! So, this time next week, I will be taking in the sounds of Rogue Wave on the MySpace stage in the South End of Grant Park, or Southapalooza as the Lollapalooza map clearly notes it this year. This is my second trip to the Windy City for the annual fest that goes down in one of the most beautiful places ever (I mean, really - an awesome park with the skyline of Gotham City on one side, and Lake Michigan on the other - $5 bucks says Zach Rogue makes a reference to it as an intro do the song "Lake Michigan") and I wanted to give you, fellow readers who are attending the fest, some tips and tricks for how to get around Grant Park and take care of yourselves.

Hotel - Cheap Is Good!
Now, it might be because I have privledges through the great friends in my life, but you don't have to stay downtown y'know. Why not save hundreds of dollars and stay at a nice hotel out by the airport? Most hotels out that way have free shuttle service to and from the airport and other things like public transportation, so you can take the El downtown and be a few blocks away from Grant Park. Don't get caught up staying at some luxurious place that overlooks the park - big deal. All you need is a place to sleep and shower at, you aren't staying the weekend there.

Stay Hydrated!
Seriously, it can get pretty hot out there, so you want to make sure you drink plenty of water. They allow you to bring in 2 one liter bottles of water that are sealed (can't let people bring in spiked drnks) which they'll be selling in mass quanities at the 4,831 convenience stores nearby. I suggest only bringing in one because, A) it's easier to carry one thing, not two and B) because there are several water fountains around the park where you can refill your bottle for free. Also, that second bottle will get warm quick, which is blaah. They'll have alcohol on site, so make sure you see one of those attractive promo models by the fountain when you enter to get a 21+ wristband and head over to the new for '08 Biergarten. This is good because this mean's they will have more than just Bud and Bud Light. I suggest keeping in to 1-2 beers a day, spaced out during off-peak heat times (anytime after 4 or 5 PM being that).

Me, not staying hydrated. Also, I'd like to note that I no longer have such long hair and that crazy facial hair going on.

To Rush or Not To Rush?
With the opposite sides of the park mirroring one another in both set up and scheduled set times, you might run in to the occassional dueling band feud or, even worse, one band ending at one end of the park, and the next band you want to see startng the second they end literally a mile away. This brings the debate of where does the sacrifice come in? Do you want to miss the end of one band's set to gaurantee you see the other band start? Do you care how close you are to the stage? These are all important factors to take in when deciding when and where you will be speedwalking to. Please, don't run - I don't remember seeing many people running by the Buckingham Fountain, but I don't think it is necessary. Also, if you are going to see a band you've seen previously, you've already seen them - it's arlight to miss them play a song or two. Hell, I skipped out on the second half of Spoon's set last year to get a good spot for Interpol. It was the fifth time I had seen them, and this was my maiden voyage on the Interpol sea. But, yeah - no rushing, we're all probably going to see Radiohead so let's take our time, ok? Plus, if you want to get close to the front, I really had no problem - people are pretty spaced out tend to clear out between each band and the time between their sets so you can get pretty close.

Holy shit, a lot of people - yes!

Close without rushing - LCD Soundsystem in '07.

Pack Lightly
Or better yet, don't pack at all! Do you really need an extra t-shirt or another pair of shoes because the ones you are wearing don't match the shirt you wore in to the park? This isn't a place for fashion, it's a place for music and fun! Plus, you don't want to hold the line up getting in, so make sure if you do bring a bag in (I have my WXRT drawstring bag from last year still - super handy!) that you have it emptied out as you approach the main gate so they know your camera is just that and not a swiss army knife or something.

Have Fun!
That's the real reason we're all there anyway, isn't it? Go on, be yourself, and have a blast! At least that's what I plan on doing.

The frequently mentioned and best friend for life, Gianni Antonaccio, having fun during the Kings of Leon set last year.

So, there you have it! Now it's time to start doing your laundry and pack your bags and bring those rechargable batteries for your camera!

To see my schedule and make your own custom one, click here.

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