Lollapalooza Adventure Time: Autostraddle’s Summer Festival Tour Continues

Hey guess what, I’m going to Lollapalooza! Yeah, I know, three music festivals in one summer — Bonnaroo, Lilith Fair and now this. How does a girl fit it all into three months? Well, such logistical problems are the perks of volunteering your life to Autostraddle for a period of time. Perhaps you should apply.

Here’s the basics: Lollapalooza happens in Chicago’s Grant Park and will run from August 6 to 8. There are some three-day passes ($210) and some day passes ($90) left, so if you live near the city, consider picking one up. It’s gonna be a fun time.

I will be road-tripping to Chicago on Friday with my friend Emily. She’s the events reporter for Ink Magazine in Kansas City, and she’ll be making appearances in my daily Lolla coverage. Luckily, Emily has roughly the same priorities as me this weekend: Gaga, Phoenix, sunburn (but not too much), hipster-watching, unhealthy food and maybe some beer.

Unlike Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza takes place in a real city with real Internet. Festival goers can take a shower every day, go out to bars at night, and eat food that didn’t come from a truck. I’m sure there will still be plenty of shenanigans, and I’ll give you daily updates about them!

Of course, the music is really the point of this whole thing, so let’s talk about some bands. This is my first Lollapalooza, but I’ve been keeping an eye on the lineups for years. Lolla usually has one of the strongest tickets of any summer festival, and this year is no different. Lucky for me, this year’s offerings are also the most in tune with my iTunes. Here are the bands I am most excited about:


Lady Gaga

Even though I just saw Gaga in St. Louis, a few weeks ago, I am still PUMPED about this show. I’m really looking forward to seeing how she changes her act for an outside venue. The real question here is how early we should show up and camp out at the stage…

Also: The Black Keys, Semi Precious Weapons



I hear Phoenix is even better live, which is a very exciting prospect. They were at Bonnaroo, but they didn’t play until Sunday after I was long gone. If it’s possible that you’ve never listened to 1901, please do that now, kthx.


Seeing Stars is going to be a full-circle Autostraddle moment for me. I first started listening to them because Riese so ardently quoted them on This Girl Called Automatic Win. And now I will be covering them for AS! Old school Autowin, holler! I expect to have some #feelings during their set.

Also: Metric, Spoon, Cut Copy


Miniature Tigers

This band is from Phoenix, just like Laneia, and she says they do not suck. After a few listens to them on YouTube, I concur. Also their name makes me unreasonably happy, and they are currently touring with Neon Indian. Because of all those things, I’m going to drag myself to Grant Park at 11 a.m. to see them. Here’s “Cannibal Queen” (and I also like “Gold Skull“):


The Temper Trap

Laneia and I saw these guys at Bonnaroo, and they brought the tent down. It was possibly the best show we saw that weekend. Now, there are certain days when all I do is listen to “Fader” over and over. I’m really hoping they are even better at Lolla.

The Temper Trap at Bonnaroo

Also: Hockey, MGMT, Arcade Fire

So that’s my plan for Lollapalooza adventures! Are you going? Who are you excited for? Do you have any tips on how to navigate Lolla?

Oh and one more thing, there will be a tattoo station in the press tent. If anyone comes up with a great idea for a tattoo in the comments, I just might get it.

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Sarah lives in Chicago with her partner and her big white Great Dane. She is a lawyer by day and a beer brewer/bread baker/knitter by night. She & her partner are currently learning how to grow their own food, and eventually they hope to move to a small farm outside the city. In 2009-2010, before jetting off to law school, Sarah was Autostraddle's Managing Editor.

Sarah has written 127 articles for us.


  1. I will be there all three days as well with my gay boyfriend Michael. We can only seem to agree on Stars, Semi Precious Weapons, Gaga and Phoenix, so I anticipate we will be split up a lot of the time. I am so excitant for this weekend!

    • We should meet up at one of those shows or something! Or we shouldn’t even try to meet up in the festival grounds, but should instead just grab a drink.

      • Haha, yeah, that is probs easier. On Saturday I am almost certainly going to the (free if you rsvped) aftershow at the Bottom Lounge to see The Spinto Band and Jukebox the Ghost. If my gbf doesn’t want to join me, you can be my plus one.

  2. Do you have access to better bathrooms with your press pass? If not plan to bring a roll of tp or wet wipes. Those porta potties get pretty gross quickly.

    It’s a good 15+ minute walk from one end to the other, longer during peak between show times. If you plan to jump shows (esp. if going from one field to the other) get your people darting skills ready.

    I’m still debating on getting a one day pass for Friday (not really debating, just hoping a friend says she wants to go) so fingers crossed, I’ll get to see GaGa.

    • If I had enough money to get a tattoo with color, I might actually consider that. Currently, I’m thinking of getting an otter.

  3. Don’t forget The National, New Pornographers, Hot Chip, Chromeo, The xx, and MGMT!

    I’ve had my 3-day pass since April, and I’m crazy pumped to spend the weekend with my girlfriend listening to awesome music until I can’t stand up any more.

  4. I’m kind of concerned about the bathroom situation, since my girlfriend is the Lolla expert and her advice was to NOT PEE IN GRANT PARK. I don’t think that is an option for my overactive bladder.

    • I have also been advised by a Lolla vet to pee early and bring my own toilet paper. Plus, with the 3-day wristband you can leave and re-enter the premises, so maybe a once a day run to Bennigans is in order?

      • Didn’t Bennigan’s close/go out of business? Either way it’s too far. Once you’re on the grounds you’re really not going to want to leave. You do enough walking on the fest grounds that it’s more tiring than you think (factor in heat and drinking.) We always brought travel tp and travel wet naps. The floors are usually tolerable just always out of tp and nothing to wash hands.

        I also advise eating a decent sized meal before you go in and just bring snacks for the rest of the day and eat after. I think both my friend and I were just not fest food type people, that or we were more concerned with drinking the rum we brought in water bottles.

        • Bennigans went bankrupt/was bought/closed tons of locations, but the one on Michigan Ave is still there. I’m defo going the bring tp/wet wipes route myself.

  5. I feel you on the Stars thing. Also, I wouldn’t skip fucking Drive-By Truckers, you know if you’re looking for some redneck badassery.

  6. I’ll be there! also my lucky ass successful friend gets to have drinks with Gaga afterward, im still trying to convince him to let me come… i have the feeling its not happening :(

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