I’ve experienced many things while growing up as a suburban Chicago Jew. I’ve had more bagel-and-lox sandwiches than any human being could dream about. The smell of anything on fire reminds me of Chanukah. And, of course, every weekend during seventh grade – also known as the ‘Bat-Mitzvah Season’ – brought “Super Sweet 16”-esque parties, complete with extravagances ranging from rock walls to homemade music videos to five-star hotels on Michigan Avenue.
However, there is one thing I sadly have never experienced–the glory that is Christmas morning. Although I haven’t had the luxury of opening a roomful of presents at once or getting heinous Cosby sweaters from distant relatives, I imagine the anticipation to be self-sickening, and the excitement to cause one-track minded jitters for days. Even if I’ve never experienced it for real, now is my time to vicariously live through everyone else. For the past week now, I’ve officially had tons of those happily nauseated feelings, all because Lollapalooza is right around the corner. And if the actual thrill of Christmas is at least half of what my anxiousness for Lollapalooza is, then – well, fuck it … I’m converting.
I have been given the fantastic opportunity to live and breathe Lollapalooza for an entire weekend, and have been counting down the days until the festival begins. Like many of you who are attending, I really can’t fucking wait. (Apologies for all who have summer school finals this weekend…that’s just awful.) So, for those of you that live under a musical shell and have no clue what I’m talking about, I’ll save you the embarrassment of pondering to a friend and will just ask the question for you: Carlye, what exactly is Lollapalooza?
Jam-packed with music, entertainment, awareness and fun, Lollapalooza 2006 is the largest music festival to hit Chicago this summer. Located in Grant Park, this year’s festival is almost twice as big as last year’s, complete with nine stages, 130 acts over three days, and an expectancy of 60-65,000 people per day. Basically, if they were villains, Lollapalooza would be the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man (bigger, better, and a hell of a lot more interesting,) while other concerts would be the character from the ‘critically acclaimed’ movie Little Man (smaller, average, and in some opinions, a pathetic waste of two and a half hours).
With so many features to Lollapalooza, here’s breakdown of all the weekend’s highlights so that you don’t miss a thing:
Being a sad, pale girl who also loves music, outdoor concerts are pretty much the only thing that can force me to be outside in the blazing sun and deathly heat. (Well, that or my highly ironic camp counseling job at the beach – ugh, don’t ask.) With so many bands playing at the same time, I’ll have to make some hard decisions, or at least learn how to speed walk. Here’s my play-by-play for the upcoming weekend:
Actually, I’m going to pass on that. Shit. After staring wide-eyed and dropped jawed at the Friday schedule for the past ten minutes, I realized that I’m going to miss a lot of the bands I wanted to see. Unlike Summer Camp Music Festival which had new bands starting every half an hour, Lollapalooza has a schedule reminiscent of your sophomore year of high school. Every hour on the half hour has two bands at the same exact time, forcing you to pick one over the other. To see the full list of bands, I highly recommend logging onto their website (www.lollapalooza.com), because if I type all 130 of them out, it will just look like literary vomit.
Back for a second year, Kidzapalooza provides an area with music and entertainment geared towards children. Considered an opportunity to introduce children to concerts and festivals, this section definitely appeals to them, aiming to cultivate the newest generation of music fans. In addition to musical groups solely for children and their families, there are a wide variety of things to do, such as an area to record a rap or lyrics over a played beat, instrumental lessons and (my personal favorite), a rock and roll petting zoo – in other words, a cutesy tent with mini drum kits and Gibson guitars that kids can get their hands on. According to an extremely precious video of Perry and his children on the Kidzapalooza section of the main website, there are also musical chairs, arts and crafts, limbo, and the slightly pretentious kiddie yoga. But hey, maybe even kids need to reach their inner enlightenment from time to time.
The Mindfield stage located in the middle of the park has various activities throughout the day, including Battle Royale (random and quirky competitions), Mini Movies (a short-film festival), Playstation competitions, a VH1 Rock and Roll Confessional booth and improv comedy performances. Also, throughout the weekend, the entire grounds of Lollapalooza are turned into an interactive playing field through a text messaging game. Fans sign up through a database off the Lollapalooza website, and are automatically entered to play for the three days. Text messages will send clues about something in the park, and the first to find it wins a prize. Mindfield is teamed up with comedians from the hilarious Second City who will be running amuck in odd costumes and doing pranks on the grounds. Prizes range from free Lollapalooza, Adidas and Playstation giveaways to super sweet VIP passes and backstage tours.
In order to spread knowledge of world issues to such a large crowd, Causapalooza is an attraction that promotes non-profit organizations. This year, the central focus of Causapalooza is to stop global warming- particularly important, according to Ferrell, because everyone (both animals and people) will be affected by it. Laurie David, one of the leading advocates to end global warming will be supporting both the Causapalooza area and eco-salons backstage that inform artists on how they can make a change. Attendees can sign up for an online database in which a virtual march for Washington will be run by submitting letters asking Washington to help set up laws and look at how to end global warming. Featured organizations include stopglobalwarming.org, the NRDC Action Fund (an affiliate of the Natural Resources Defense Council), Music for America C3, Parkways Foundation, and Engineers for a Sustainable World.
Well, that’s about all I can cover here. For boatloads of more information, hit up www.lollapalooza.com. Tickets are still on sale ($150 for a three-day pass; single-day for $65), and children 10 and under are free. Stay tuned for the review of my faux-Christmas weekend, and hope to see you at Lollapalooza!