Lollapalooza Chicago – No excuses: Be there!

Lollapalooza hits Chicago this week. Don’t miss it! Here’s a list of excuses you’re not allowed to use in order to miss out on Lollapalooza:

  • You’re clearly not 20-something anymore and perhaps there’s no hiding it short of aesthetic procedures…But you really love music, especially live, and no matter what your age, that is never going to change! Age is irrelevant: You deserve this!
  • Maybe you cannot afford the pricey tickets; after all, not everyone can justify the expense. If it comes to a choice between keeping a roof over your head or spending the weekend at an unforgettable rock concert…Well, it’s a tough choice.
  • Perhaps you don’t relish crowds or being fenced in, the long lines waiting for something to drink, something to eat, or to relieve yourself. Keep reading for an alternate idea.
  • All the general admission tickets are already sold out…Well, obviously, there are ways to get tickets if you seriously intend to, sold out or not.
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Lollapalooza Gate

Lollapalooza is an experience of a lifetime, and if you’ve a mind to attend, I hope you will. When a gal pal called me a few years back while groovin’ to Snoop Dogg’s performance up close and personal at Lollapalooza, I endured huge pangs of envy overhearing Snoop and his exuberant audience over the phone.

And when I opted to miss Golgol Bordello at Lollapalooza — my excuse was that it was during work hours — I regretted it ever since, especially after reading the reviews and seeing the pictures. I repeat: Do not chance missing Lollapalooza; eating your heart out forever after is no fun.

Many of the bands live stream their shows on YouTube. So one option that’s better than nothing is armchair Lollapalooza. We chose this option when Foo Fighters played in the pouring rain in 2011. Perhaps you could throw your own Lollapalooza house party while streaming Lollapalooza.

But better yet: If you live in the Chicago area, I encourage you to come on down and make the scene! We do this every year; We call it “poor man’s Lollapalooza,” however politically incorrect that may sound. If you live downtown, you’ve got no excuse not to try this. You will discover the outer circle is full of fun-loving revelers. You’re not smashed together with the crowd in front of the stage, but you can still hear the music just as well — maybe better, and certainly differently — and see the light shows and the musicians on the big screen or on stage (bring binoculars).

Memorable Highlights

  • When long-time heart-throb Billy Idol came to Lollapalooza in 2005 — the summer Lollapalooza came to Chicago and made its home here — a gal pal and I took blankets and a picnic over to Lake Shore Drive for the concert. It was surreal with the traffic whizzing by, and we felt a bit conspicuous — but we were not alone: Lots of folks were doing it.
  • Rage Against the Machine was here in 2008, and my husband and I walked over from our downtown abode. As we approached, we could hear the concert just starting as it echoed eerily off the buildings. It sounded surreal, even psychedelic. As we walked through the peaceful park, Zack de la Rocha’s voice cut through the crickets and cicadas with clarity. Walking behind the stage, we discovered that is the best place to hang out if you favor the bass! It reverberated through our bodies and made me feel more exited than a kid on parade day when the drummers march by. We wound our way over to Lake Shore Drive where we found we could see them on the big screen, not to mention the music was clear as it floated out over the lovely lakefront, especially those insane guitar leads and the drums beating out a rhythm that was nothing less than empowering.
  • Walking back from Lollapalooza with thousands of music fans is a high-energy rush. Once while walking home from Lollapalooza, the crowds behind us started vocalizing. The sound was like a wave that caught on and caught up to us and we joined in as the wave of sound continued ahead of us: An unforgettable experience!

Have the best experience possible

  • Lollapalooza is heavily-guarded. Don’t try to penetrate or scale the fences. Plenty of people have been hurt/arrested doing this. It’s not peace-and-love Woodstock. Security guards are right there waiting in the cover of darkness and bushes to take you down.
  • To do a Lollapalooza walk-around will require plenty of walking: The whole area will be fenced off from Monroe to Roosevelt Road and parts of Michigan Avenue to Lake Shore Drive. But look at it this way: What could be better than to be out walking on a summer night in beautiful downtown Chicago. Oh the sights you’ll see, the music you’ll hear, the party people you’ll hang out with in the park and along the lakefront!

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    Perry’s Stage
  • Do your homework: See the schedule and map to find out what time and on what stage your favorite artist(s) will perform. Stay on the Michigan Avenue side, in Grant Park overlooking the train tracks, to best check out Perry’s Stage. Get over to Lake Shore Drive to experience the Grant Park Stage.
  • SummerDance is happening just adjacent to Lollapalooza on Michigan Avenue and Balbo. You can enjoy live free music there without any of the hassle.

You still have time to plan on Lollapalooza this year. There are so many great performers; here are some really popular ones (including links to their YouTube channels):

Thursday, August 3: Lorde, Porter Robinson, MUSE

Friday, August 4: Blink-182, DJ Snake, The Killers

Saturday, August 5: The xx, KASKADE, CHANCE THE RAPPER

Sunday, August 6: Justice, Zeds Dead, Arcade Fire

Maybe you’ll be one of the lucky insiders — or maybe we’ll meet you on the fringe. Either way, it’s all good at Lollapalooza.