Lolla Lolla Lollapalooza

August 3, 2012 at 11:35 am (Uncategorized) (, , , )


Full disclosure: I can’t remember if I’ve ever blogged about Lolla before and I’m too lazy to do a detailed check.  So if you have a better memory than I do and you know that I have, feel free to skip this post and send me a scathing email reprimanding me for my lack of research/lack of care.  Otherwise, please feel free to read on per usual for my witty comments and fabulous insights.

So.  Lollapalooza is a giant music festival held in the heart of Chicago, i.e. Grant Park, and it’s happening again this weekend.  Created in 1991, it features rock, metal, punk and hip hop bands plus a variety of everything in between.  There’s also comedy shows, food and beer/wine vendors, environmental awareness displays and activities for children (most of this was not at the initial few festivals but as the shows have grown, so have the attractions).  My first trip to Lolla in 2007 left me feeling rather bizarre and is not something I’ll ever forget.

Yup, surreal.

I had just spent an entire month studying primates and wild animals with a group of 13 others in the South African bush.  My days were full of hiking, observing said animals and analyzing fecal samples (and yes, it was all as awesome as it sounds).  At the end of our trip I flew into Indianapolis and was promptly picked up by a buddy of mine and we began driving to Chicago immediately.  I had been up for something like 30 hours by the time we arrived at a friend’s place and I crashed for a brief few more before we woke up, showered, and headed downtown to the music fest.  The only other time I’d been to a music festival anything like this was Bonnaroo, which was held in a huge field in Tennessee and did not provide such a dramatic backdrop.  At this point, the culture shock of being back combined with my jet lag caught up with me and I was feeling funny (I promise there were no substances that contributed to this. Well, not much).  Anyway, at this point in my life I’d only ever been to Chicago maybe twice and was still fairly unfamiliar with the city.  So you can imagine just how out of it I felt while standing in the midst of a huge rock and roll festival, with the Chicago skyline in the background, thinking about how that time two days ago I’d been backpacking around on the other side of the planet with a group of people who I’d never see again.

Talk about surreal.

It took a few more days for the jet lag and culture shock to wear off and by that time, Lolla was over and it was time to return to the real world.  I went back a few years ago and it was just as much fun as I remembered but I haven’t been since.  The cost is mostly what’s stopping me but this year I had planned to purchase tickets, until the summer slipped away before I knew what was happening.  I could still get a last-minute pass but I’ll be at the other end of Grant Park this weekend instead, doing the docent thing at the Field Museum.  Which is fine by me, since I’d rather be hanging out with mummies and dinosaurs than smashed in a huge, sweaty crowd in the blaring sun trying to find bands whose line-up didn’t particularly impress me anyway.  Maybe next year I’ll head back out – I’ve still got the Camelbak water bottle/backpack I used in Africa and it could come in handy at an event like this!

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