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Lolla Survival Kit



Chicago is calling, music fans.
Are you ready for Lollapalooza 2014?
We know the drill and we’ve got the list.
So here’s what you’re gonna need.

STEP ONE: Staring at the Sun

There are equal chances that Lollapalooza will either be barraged by a deluge of rain (we’re looking at you, 2012) or baked in heat and humidity equivalent to – well, downtown Chicago in August. But there’s bound to be sun at least part of the time, so save yourself from looking like something out of an old ’80s B-52’s song by including plenty of sunscreen, plus sunglasses and a brimmed hat, in your daybag. Trust us on this one.

STEP TWO: Buckets of Rain

To follow our sunscreen lecture above, we’re going to suggest to you another dreary carry-along that you’ll resent us for initially, but will thank us for later once the skies open up and threaten to drown you in your new Supergas or Vans. Yes, we’re talking about the humble umbrella – or, even better, a foldable, lightweight poncho that won’t block the view of that short guy behind you. And don’t be a festival jerk and leave your broken umbrella or poncho lying on the ground somewhere once the sun returns – Lolla’s job isn’t to clean up after you.

STEP THREE: What’s the Story Morning Glory?

Yeah, yeah – we know that both musicians and music fans don’t tend to get moving too early in the morning. Trust us, we’re right there with you, as are the Lolla organisers, which is probably why the Lolla stages don’t even start running until 11:00 am each day. But planning out your mission early is important at a fest this big (it’s a mile walk between the two main stages) – so make sure you snag a pocket-sized map right when you walk in the gates, or if you’re really a planner, print out both map and schedule from the Lolla website. If you’re focused on seeing a particular headliner, being early is going to pay off here, too – crowds are often found sitting on the ground in front of the main stages and waiting patiently hours and hours ahead of each night’s headliners.

Lolla 2013 mapThis is a Lollapalooza 2013 map. Please make sure you get a
Lollapalooza 2014 map, because we won’t have the energy to rescue you.

STEP FOUR: Battle Born

Got your schedule? Good. Now sit down for a sec – this is where things get tricky. It’ll be pretty easy to fill your dance card up during the day with the secondary stage acts, which are chock-full of cool sets: our picks are Foster the People, Lorde, Chromeo, and Chvrches. But the two main stages on opposite ends of the park are where you’ll find the biggest bands each evening, with two major headliners pitted again each other battling it out for your attention. For 2014’s Friday, it’s the Arctic Monkeys vs. Eminem. Saturday, it’s OutKast vs. Calvin Harris. And Sunday, it’s Skrillex vs. Kings of Leon. We hope you have really good decision-making abilities. Or the ability to time-shift.

lolla picksOur picks for Lolla 2014 (clockwise from top left): Foster the People, Lorde, Chromeo, Chvrches


STEP FIVE: The Water

We got a peek into one of Lolla’s first-aid tents a couple of years ago when one of our own fell prey to a rather stabby shrub on the festival grounds. The biggest surprise? The fact that most of the people in the tent other than us were there for heat exhaustion, aka not drinking enough water. Between all the running around you’re going to be doing, plus the heat of the sun and the dust (four of the stages are set on Grant Park’s baseball fields), you’ve just gotta hydrate. There are free water bottle refill stations throughout the park, plus sodas and juices available for purchase, so drink up. And grab some snacks for fuels, too – water, proteins, and carbs will help keep you from become one of those Lollapaloozers passed out in the first-aid tent missing all of the bands that they waited for months to see.

STEP SIX: Chi-Town

One really unique thing about Lollapalooza is that it takes place right in the middle of a major metropolitan city. So make sure that while you’re running around chasing bands, you’re also immersing yourself in the entire Chicago experience. Lolla’s “food courts,” Chow Town, feature loads of Chi-Town’s best gourmet purveyors, which means you’ll get to sample the city’s food all weekend long – but when you do leave, take a few extra hours early in the morning or after the fest closes each night to check out what else Chicago has to offer. Once you’re back in Grant Park, check out all of the art displayed on the grounds, some from local artists; learn more about environmental issues both in the city and around the world on Green Street; and finally, one more piece of advice – don’t rush it. Lolla is one of the biggest and best music fests in North America, but you won’t have much fun if you’re sick, passed out on an emergency cot, or simply in a foul mood. Pace yourself, fellow Lollapaloozer, and we’ll see you there.


For this year’s full lineup and all the details, visit

Did you guess that our paragraph headings are song titles? If you’re currently fighting with your pals over which band sang which song, here’s the code:

Staring at the Sun | Fleet Foxes
Buckets of Rain | Neko Case
(What’s the Story) Morning Glory | Oasis
Battle Born | The Killers
The Water | Feist
Chi-Town | The Cribs