Welcome everyone to Lollapalooza a three day summer music festival that draws throngs of young people who are cool and throngs of older people who think they are cool but are mistaken to Chicago's iconic Grant Park for a weekend of intense perspiration and regret.
Because I am in my 40s and have a job I don't technically fit into the Lolla demographic. Nonetheless I've been appointed by my newspaper which for those of you who don't know is like a very retro blog to guide you through the history and highlights of this annual lakeshore musicgasm.
Unfortunately I got to this assignment a bit late because I was busy disliking the band Mumford Sons. So I'll have to rely on my keen knowledge of pop culture some educated guesses and what we in the journalism biz call outright fabrications.Related
Let's begin with some history. The word Lollapalooza is actually a fusion of two Greek words lollagopolous which means standing uncomfortably close to and paloozaklava which means people who have dreadful facial hair.
The first event was held in 1936 when a group of Depression era hobos with unkempt beards gathered in Grant Park to share a surprisingly pristine potato they had found in a trash bin on Michigan Avenue. It's said that one of the men known as Grizzly Bear Thompson was so pleased with the meal that he broke into a long guttural drunken moan and Lollapalooza was born. (In Thompson's honor a band called Grizzly Bear is playing at this weekend's festival.)
Hobos carried on the event for many decades but it was slowly taken over by concert organizers eager to bring music to the masses with the help of independent mom and pop businesses like Toyota Red Bull Bud Light and Samsung.
The annual gathering now draws about 18 billion people to Grant Park and attracts hugely popular bands like The Lumineers Kendrick Lamar Vampire Weekend and the 237 member alt country/belching fusion band Uncle Constantine the Fraggled Yardslaws.
But Lollapalooza has become more than just music. It's an immersive experience that includes food fun and seeing a side of that guy from the IT department you'll never be able to un see.
You can grab some earthy grub at Chow Town North or Chow Town South choosing from a wide array of eco friendly vegan dishes like bacon sausage on a stick and rib eye steak sandwich. Or saunter over to the Farmers Market because nothing amps up the fun at an hourslong music festival like carrying around a bag of fresh cut kale.
Once your belly's full head to Lolla Cares and check out booth after booth of grass roots organizations. You'll be inspired to end poverty or raise political consciousness for at least five to 10 minutes after which you can race over to Green Street Lollapalooza's shopping district for a little cleansing capitalism.
If you've got the kids in tow don't miss Kidzapalooza a fun filled area where impressionable youths can engage in faux risky behavior like getting a tattoo at Tattooz or a pink mohawk at Funky Hairdooz or a candy filled bong at Doobeeeeeez.
But of course music is the centerpiece and it will be pouring from speakers on stages scattered across Grant Park. There's the Petrillo Stage the Lake Shore Stage the National Association for Premature Hearing Loss Stage.
Between sets fans can get autographs from their favorite bands including Frightened Rabbit Terrified Antelope and Extremely Worried Badger.
Other perks that come with the three day pass which costs $235 and prohibits holders from wearing deodorant are
Complimentary skateboard parking.
Access to a hipsters only eye rolling section.
Free workshops including How to Hone Your Dreadful Self Absorbed Poetry and Sulking Why You Should Do It More.
Souvenir Lollapalooza hand towel perfect for drying off the sweaty shirtless guy dancing frenetically next to you throughout the entire Nine Inch Nails set.
For those of you unable to get tickets the best way to create your own Lollapalooza is to put on a good pair of headphones cue up an album by The Killers go out in the sun and wedge yourself between two large steaks heated to about 99 degrees. Then stand there for eight hours and wish you were somewhere else.
Happy Lollapalooza everyone Rock on