A Grown Ass Woman’s Guide to Lollapalooza | lollapalooza, festival life,

I’m an adult but not like, a real one. Unique, I know. In utter un-self-awareness, I think I am hilarious and I love to force people to read my writings. So here I am to entertain you with my adventures at the hive of youth: a music festival! Namely, Lollapalooza!

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The only snap I took that wasn’t screenshotted off Snapchat.

Pre-Lolla Life:

My platonic soulmate and I bought tickets for just the two of us then promptly started to plan…our outfits. It was fun to pretend I’d meet my first husband there or get to become a roadie for a hot and upcoming band. Spoiler alert! Didn’t happen. So while we prepped our outfits and casually planned a schedule, we mostly decided to catch a few choice shows but let the wind take us where it may.

There was chatter about VIP until we looked at prices: general admission is a manageable $335.00 but VIP jumps to $2,200 and that’s a lot of makeup I could purchase instead so GA it was! We wandered, we drank, we ate, we judged. I’m making you join us.

Day 1:

We set out at (what we think) is a respectable 12:30 with a pitstop for sandwiches because you gotta carb up before you liquor up. Hopping in an Uber, our driver is a native Chicagoan who has some choice words about our outfits mostly revolving around how we’re overdressed. We laugh him off until we arrive at the gates to find that bralettes are now shirts and shorts that show your ass cheeks are in. Cool. The line was PACKED and chaotic. For a festival on it’s 25th year, you should probably figure out a better way to line up at a gate over the tried and true cattle method.

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Poncho Life: Round 1

First tip? Watch where you’re stepping. The Youths were in full force with water bottles of vodka and poor judgement so there was a fair amount of stuff you could step in that you really didn’t want to.

 

Once we’re finally in we do the proper thing and immediately locate the bar selling Tito’s vodka. The mixed cocktail tent fulfills your need for the hard stuff but it comes pre-mixed, a little too sweet, and you can’t take it out into the general park. We lurk under tree cover as it starts to sprinkle before deciding to just make do. So what do you miss if you are in VIP and not in the general admission land? Well friend, you miss out on free ponchos and Cottonelle wipes! You’d think that was sarcasm but it’s one hundred percent genuine because it was the best freebie to receive. It rained off and on Thursday and at one point we stupidly decided ‘nah, it won’t rain again’ and threw them out. Obviously it started raining three minutes later. You live and you learn.

The positives to being grown at such a festival? You can afford the booze you want to buy AND you’re legal drinking age. No scamming drinks for us broads!

With the rain and no real direction, we wandered a fair amount as we walked the length of Grant Park bouncing from main stage to main stage, tree covered bar areas to tree covered bar areas. Knowing it was day one and we didn’t want to blow our load, we decided to head out before the headliners because we’re idiots so we missed Dwayne Wade dropping in at J. Cole. Whoops. We DID see Hillary make history so that was cool.

The takeaway from Day 1? Don’t overdue it (side-eyeing the crap out of you, people we saw being escorted out by medical staff).

Day 2:

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Festival hair = half as sweaty but still sweaty

We kept to the same schedule but this time targeted a different entrance. Did it make a difference? NOPE. Pretty sure the line was even worse than the first day except hotter (weather wise) and more bras. I cannot stress enough to the young women of America: if it’s being sold at Victoria’s Secret, it’s an f’ing bra, not a shirt. But I embraced my ‘trying too hard’ look with an off the shoulder dress, top knot half bun thing and Kylie lip kit red lip so who am I to judge?

We wander and stroll a bit, not surprised to find it immediately started to rain. I love MO so we made our way down to her set, ponchos on and hoods up. She killed it despite nearly electrocuting herself due to the weather. After we had a gap in who we wanted to see so we took to wandering more, catching bits of M83 and Wolf Alice before posting up for Future. There we saw the YOUNGEST children (I’m talking 13-15 maybe?), sans adults and dancing inappropriately. I kept a careful eye on them to make sure no sketchy dudes approached them while also wondering who the HELL is parenting these kids. It was right about that time I had to get up and get a beer before I turned into my mother.

After Chance the Rapper made a surprise appearance we headed to A$AP Ferg, who is not, contrary to popular (my) belief A$AP Rocky…who knew? BUT TWISTA WAS THERE throwing me back to my early college years and I have never been more excited. Unfortunately, I never became an overnight celebrity like he said some of us could. Rude.

The takeaway from Day 2? Was it common knowledge Diplo was part of Major Lazer? Because it took him changing into two shirts with his name on it during his set for my friend and I to figure out it WAS Diplo and not just his biggest fan. Also, drunk people will piss anywhere. A girl asked us if we minded if she peed in the gated sound booth we were standing in front of. We wouldn’t have but I bet the event staff and electrical equipment might.

Day 3:

Learning from our passed mistakes, we show up before noon mostly so we could catch The Strumbellas. We find NO line and a guy dressed in a what I can only characterize as a dashiki with matching printed pajama pants. Security was pretty tight (and slow) so I had a front row seat to an unimpressed security staff member telling said gentleman he clearly had something tucked against his crotch. After removing some weed the guard told him ‘no, there’s still more’. At what point do you call the cops over? I’m not sure but the pile of weed and Molly probably made someone else’s day.

After laughing about that guy losing all his drugs, we hauled it down for The Strumbellas where I marveled over how amazing they were and the lead singer’s luscious beard. Far and above my favorite act of the weekend.

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On the way to The Perfect Drunk

It took until day 3 to realize the Alcoholic’s Dream Deal of Lolla was a $27 bottle of wine. This day I had two. Enter: The Perfect Drunk. Now, some guidance on The Perfect Drunk: if you’re telling people ‘you’re the perfect drunk’, you are not. You are TOO drunk. [Sidebar: my brother invented this term by loudly shouting he was the Perfect Drunk whilst attending Boston Calling then proceeded to throw a Stevie Flipout (aka temper tantrum) over CHVRCHES being better than alt-j]

 

We also found out Molly isn’t just for nighttime anymore when we found the EDM stage. Nothing says tripping balls quite like a DJ with a marshmallow/lego head mask.

The takeaway from day 3? I know way more Red Hot Chili Peppers songs than I thought I did (and a few I would have sworn were Foo Fighters songs).

Day 4:

Ah, we made it – the final day! And after a long weekend and a flight scheduled for 6 AM, we figured we wouldn’t drink that much today.

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Probably not sit on the grass or drink bottles of wine out of a plastic carafe

So obviously we skipped entering early and instead got brunch, explicitly telling our server to cut us off at three drinks. We’re adults!

We spend most of day 4 bouncing around and always with a drink in hand because f it. In true ~grown~ fashion we somehow become aware that Niall Horan of One Direction is somewhere in the vicinity so we take to trying to find the Irishman while fully understanding celebrities don’t wander about with the plebes. As I said, celebs that are totally not reading this, you’re missing out on the good life. So instead I amuse myself by taking snap chats of bands playing ‘The One Song I Know!’ and laughing at the teenagers that took discarded wristbands and tried to tie them back on. Your boobs may be perky and your ass cellulite free but guess WHAT, this beer tastes f’ing delicious.

Capping off the weekend is Ellie Goulding who at one point urges everyone to hug the person next to them – stranger or not – and I end up Heisman’ing someone in the face because I don’t like being touched. My b.

Take away from day 4? I you’re an adult with a real job – don’t get drunk on a Sunday night when you have to go straight off a plane and into work the next day. But if you do, at least skip the pre-flight McDonald’s breakfast…almost puking in an airplane bathroom isn’t as fun as it sounds.

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