Lollapalooza is upon us! When you're rampaging through Chicago's music wonderland you best come equipped. Here are a few simple guidelines to keep in mind, in order to make sure your festival experience is a kickass memory-fest that doesn't involve trips to the emergency room after faceplanting because you can't handle the party.
10. Arrive early – Good positioning is a prime priority when there are 270,000 people to contend with. Arrive early and you won't have to worry about all the endless foot traffic and the hassle of squeezing your way through the sweaty hordes while the sun's beating down. There's nothing fun about stressing out in suffocating heat.
9. Hygiene! – It's blazing hot out there, and like it or not, you'll be contending with some pretty ripe individuals after a few hours of rocking out in the sun. Do yourself and everybody around you a favor and wash up.
8. Don't drink too much – Stumbling drunk into a group of girls is hardly a good first impression, and you'll dehydrate rapidly if you're choosing alcohol over water while that big burning deathball is high in the sky. Not only that, but it would be a good idea to steer clear of the temptation to moonwalk in front of cops while chugging a bottle of Jack Daniels (trust me, personal experience). Know your limits.
7. Get the app – Nearly all festivals these days have mobile apps with which you can make your own schedule, get up to date info on what's happening and check set times. Don't miss out!
6. Chargers! – Your battery is going to deplete faster than you can say, "Check out this awesome pic of Ozzy's dentures falling out!" Looking up set times, maps and stage locations will shorten your phone battery's lifespan in ridiculous ways, so keep your charger on you, with a backup on hand. There will be charging stations for mobile devices set up in various locations. Use them as often as you can – you don't know when you'll get another chance
5. Cash – Most vendors only accept cash, and those ATM fees are outrageous. Plan ahead! Careful where and how you keep it, however – you don't want to find yourself rummaging through a handful of crumpled bills when it's time to pay up, especially around thousands of strangers.
4. Rest up! – No matter what you put in your body, full days rocking in the hot sun are going to take their toll. Get a bare minimum of 5-6 hours of sleep each night, so you can be refreshed and raring to go in the morning.
3. Eat – Breakfast is the most important meal – load up on carbs and protein to fuel you through the day. You'll find a lot of the standard overpriced festival fare once you get inside, so think ahead.
2. Make a schedule – You will miss some performances you'll wish you had seen, but if you plan ahead you can cut down on the missed moments. Most fests offer perfect pocket-sized schedules at the event, but it's best to come equipped, so as to reduce the risk of last-minute squabbling over who to see with whoever you came with.
1. Hydrate! – Your chief necessity. Skip the alcohol in the first half of the day – when the headliners arrive, you don't want to be a cashed-out mess. Stuff bottles in every pocket you can find – you'll be thankful when you're up front and the sweaty goddess to your left starts begging you just to pour some on her.