In less than a month, thousands will converge to Chicago's Grant Park for the biggest three day music festival the city has to offer; Lollapalooza!
By this time, everyone should have purchased their tickets and are gearing up for the festival, which will take place August 3-5 across from breezy Lake Michigan. Here are a few Do's and Don'ts from a fellow 'Palooza-head' to ensure an awesome and safe weekend.
DO bring your own water. The festival allows each person to bring TWO FACTORY SEALED water bottles (up to1 liter each) and be sure to HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE. No one wants to miss out on all the fun because of heatstroke, so be sure to drink plenty of water. They also allow you to bring in empty Camelbacks or plastic containers that you can fill up for FREE at the various fountains and water stations found around the park and easily located on the free maps. There are also a ton of drink tents around the park that sell water for two dollars (as of 2011) and soda pop for three dollars. Other beverages include beer and wine for five and six dollars a cup/bottle.
ALWAYS keep some kind of liquid with you at all times. It can be hard to battle through the crowds, especially the headliners, to get to a beer tent, so grab your drinks before you head to the stages.
DON'T bring flavored water that is also colored, they usually won't let you bring it in, so don't waste your money.
DO pick-up your 3 day WRISTBAND at the Box Office before the festival starts and beat the lines. The Box Office will be open Wednesday/Thursday (Aug 1 and 2) from 3PM to 8PM and it would be advantageous to swing by during one of these days to exchange your ticket for a wristband, that way you can get into the fest with ease at the moment it starts. The Box Office is located at "the Southeast corner of Michigan Avenue and Van Buren Street. If you're searching for it, type in "East Van Buren and South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL". If you can't pick up your wristband early, don't fret, the Box Office is open Friday-Sunday of the fest from 10AM to 10PM.
DONT bring in food, a huge backpack, folding chairs, large coolers, bikes, fireworks, aerosol cans or large/professional camera equiptment. These items are not permitted and they will not let you enter the gates with any of them. Avoid the hassle and stick with only approved items. For a full list of what you may and may not bring into the gates, check the official website.
DO WEAR AND BRING SUNSCREEN! Just non-aerosol.
DONT take off your wristband! This is what allows you to re-enter the festival after you go through security, so make sure it and the barcode printed on it remain intact all weekend.
DONT leave the park if you only have a one day pass. They won't let you back in.
DO map out a personal schedule of the bands you want to see and plan ahead. The official website allows you to do this easily online and print out copies. This feature should be posted soon, so keep checking back for it on their site.
DO pace yourself. Sometimes your favorite bands will play at the same time, on opposite sides of the park. Your best bet is to pick the one you absolutely can not miss and stay at that stage. Over the years, the festival has expanded beyond just the softball fields and onto the other side of Buckingham Fountain, which equals a longer walk between stages. (Not to mention the horrible dustcloud that is created from thousands of people kicking up the gravel that surrounds the fountain and leaving you with drymouth). Don't try to go back and forth from both ends of the park all day long. You'll wear yourself out. Also, DO take a break. There are plenty of excellent spots to simply sit for awhile. Or head to Chow town and enjoy some of the best food Chicago has to offer. Take a break in some of the air-conditioned buses they provide or check out the art/beer garden/hammocks etc. You can't and won't be able to see it all, the schedule isn't designed that way so prioritize and find some shade.
DONT be afraid to get help if you need medical attention. Plenty of medical tents are onsite with volunteers that are willing to help.
DO have a blast, take pictures, crowd surf, body paint, and rock out!
For a full schedule and other FAQ, check out the website, LOLLAPALOOZA.