Lollapalooza survival guide

The 2015 edition of the world's most prolific music festival (just ask Pearl Jam) is just over a month away. It's high time you got your 2015 Lollapalooza plans in order. In fact, if you don't already have a place to stay, you'll likely be sleeping in a stranger's truck bed, again. Not sure you should trust your unconscious safety to people you don't know, though allow us to help you with a few, if not life determining, certainly festival enhancing details.

To Schedule, or not to Schedule

3 days. 8 stages (if you count the Kidzapoolza area, which you should, because you may find yourself over there for a variety of reasons). 141 performers. Despite your level of ambition or delusion, you cannot see everything. If you are of a mind to be present and experience all of Lollapalooza, you have two choices: make and stick to a plan or go with the flow. Depending upon your penchant and personality, either approach can work, though most find a rigid schedule rarely suits the conditions. Theoretically, you can get from the Bud Light Stage to the Perry's in ten minutes. This does not mean you will be able to catch Sam Smith and Alesso on the same night. Once shrouded within any size festival crowd, once a set starts on any nearby stage, you can consider yourself established. No matter how convincing you believe yourself to be, nor how well-meaning the people around you, there are thousands of people around them, and none of you are going anywhere.

Your best bet for success, and survival, is to have direction, but remain flexible. If you absolutely have to see DJ Mustard up close, get where you need to be plenty early. Don't assume because you are someone's biggest fan, there won't be a crush of fans surrounding their particular stage. Then, believing an hour is early enough to arrive for Tove Lo, know Paul McCartney plays the neighboring stage that night, and you're probably already too late.

Festival Pub Crawl

Hugely motivated festival goers laud their ability to see a band on every stage and/or have a drink at every beer garden. The former is admirable and a blast. The later is expensive and dangerous, especially at Lollapalooza (in 2014 there were 22 separate adult beverage purveyors within the gates). To attempt both at a single festival, on a single day is an exercise in reckless over consumption. It's a good way to ruin your experience, and that of anyone within your gravity when you eventually exceed your limit.

Have a beverage or two, if you can do so responsibly, then absolutely see the heck out of the place. Lollapalooza is not a concert. It is a festival, and a grand one at that. Unless you luck into a prime spot at the Samsung Stage, move around and enjoy yourself thoroughly.


For reasons of logistics, rather than climate, Lollapalooza has settled upon Grant Park, Chicago for it's North America festival stop, in the middle of summer. Except for about the two worst days of winter, there is not a less pleasant time to be outdoors in Chicago. Alas. You are allowed, and heartily encouraged, to bring up to 2 liters of water inside. Do this. Drink them, and fill them up regularly. The FAQ says you can bring in a canteen if you want. Do this too. Don't use it to smuggle in alcohol. They will catch you. Even if they don't (they will), as your brain evaporates out through your hair during the Cold War Kid's set, you'll truly regret your inexplicable Fireball fascination.