You paid hundreds of dollars to be extremely hot and tired running stage to stage, all the while being surrounded by the types of people you thought you left behind in high school. You will shell out even more money for meager portions of food and drink in order to survive the day. And after a trying 12+ hours, you will be covered in dirt and have to hike through your misery back to your hotel.
But that’s a rookie move. So don’t be that guy. Read this list; we’ve been there so you don’t have to.
TRAVELING IN CHICAGO
-You can’t park downtown Chicago without shelling out wads of cash. The best thing to do is get an Uber or take the L train back to your hotel. Plus, if you’re new to Uber, use the code LOLLA2016 to get $15 off your ride.
WHAT TO BRING/NOT TO BRING
-Backpack. Bring one. Please do it. Nobody wants to carry stuff and you will have so much stuff. There’s freebies, you will take off your clothes, buy merch, buy food, have water and sunscreen. So please, bring the backpack.
-The weather calls for so0me rain this weekend, so make sure you bring an umbrella (42in. or smaller) or poncho if you care about getting wet. Even if you don’t mind getting wet, your phone does. So bring a plastic bag or a waterproof case.
-Extra empty water bottles. Lolla and Camelbak are buddies, so Camelbak has water refill stations across the park that are lifesavers. You’ll want to fill a couple bottles up at a time since the lines can get long, and you have places to be. Lucky you have that backpack to store them in while you wait 7 hours in front of the headliner’s stage.
-Your phone needs energy too! With the bad reception and the amount of photos you’ll be taking, your phone will die fast. I recommend bringing a portable charger or two to keep your battery alive.
WHAT TO WEAR
-I kind of looked cute the first two days last year, but by day 3, I was wearing a baggy band t-shirt, running shorts and tennis shoes. It was probably the best decision I have made in my short lifetime.
-The weather is brutal, and you’re in it. The sun and the rain do not care about how cute you look, so think of them first.
-I know it’s hot, but wear closed toed shoes. The crowds do not care about your toes.
AT THE FESTIVAL
-Lolla Cashless makes it so you don’t have to risk losing your cash or cards. Register your cards to be attached to your wristband, and all you have to do is scan your arm at vendors across the festival. It’s the future, man.
-MAP + APP. The paper maps are at the front gates, and they’re a must. It’s easy to get turned around or spend precious time searching for a stage or vendor. The app also has a map, a customizable schedule, and pretty much everything else you could need.
-Sadly, Grant Park seems to be a dead zone for cell phone service. If you need it, there’s WiFi available at most vendors and sometimes even chargers.
-Hate to break it to you because I know you’re trying to see all 15 acts you scheduled on Saturday, but you will really only see 3-5 shows a day. That’s okay. Choose wisely and enjoy what you do see. If you want to see a big headliner, get there EARLY.
-If you’re in a group, it’s OK to break away. It’s hard to juggle everyone’s schedules and groups are often slower. Make sure you have a plan to get back together or a meeting place in case you can’t get in contact, though.
-Grant Park has some wonderful trees and hills. If you’re at the Samsung, Petrillo, BMI or Pepsi stages, I would recommend taking a break from the crowds and lounging around under the trees.
Remember to keep hydrated, be safe, and have a great Lolla!