Illinois Newbie’s First Time Ever in Chicago for Lollapalooza
Going to events like Lollapalooza was something that I've dreamed about ever since I was a kid. And if you were to tell 13-year-old Olivia that she'd be given the opportunity to go for her job in the future, she would never have believed you.
As the new Digital Managing Editor at Townsquare here in Rockford, I cannot express how grateful I was to be given the opportunity to attend Lollapalooza this year. Better yet, I get to do what I love on top of it! Which is write and tell you about the amazing time I had there.
Lollapalooza 2022 will be a moment engrained in my heart forever... First time ever in Chicago. First time attending a music festival. First time putting my feet into what I've always dreamed of doing in my career.
The Lolla Vibe
As an Iowa native and Illinois newbie, I had never been to Chicago. I know that sounds absurd, and that going to a literal music festival for your first time there is insane. But I'm a "rip the band-aid off fast" kind of person... so when the chance to attend Lolla presented itself, I couldn't resist!
In the days prior to going, I asked myself, "Am I REALLY doing this?" I was scared that I'd be thrown to the wolves and left to fend for myself in that type of environment. But let me tell you, I was DEAD wrong.
I have never been in such a large group setting where everyone was so genuinely helpful and kind. I loved how even the security was having the time of their life and dancing along with us in the crowd. Not only that, they were offering to take pictures for people in the crowd! How nice is that?!?
I'm also not a person who's very large in stature, but the security and friends I made helped me get a great spot to see Dua Lipa (by that, I mean the literal front row!) It also made me realize that there are MANY perks to being tiny! 😉
Every Lolla worker I met was incredibly welcoming and excited to have me there working. And I can honestly say, in my time as a writer, that is rare.
Cool Pop-Up Shops!
Call me an airhead, but I had no idea there would be fun pop-up shops around the festival. I'd only thought concerts were involved. So when I saw the countless pop-up shops, my jaw was on the floor.
The Dunkin' stand, Hulu Motel and Wrangler pop-up shop had to have been the major stand-outs to me. When I tell you I lept for joy when I saw them... I mean it!
Wrangler literally had a couch made out of jeans and the Hulu Motel offered a nice (AIR-CONDITIONED) place to chill and get a beverage while also receiving goodies and chances to win prizes.
Even when you're not at concerts, there was SO MUCH to do! There is no such thing as boredom when it comes to this place, let me tell you!
The Wild, Respectful Crowd
I've been to my fair share of concerts. But I've never experienced a show quite like the ones that Lollapalooza puts on. And I mean that in the best of ways.
I'd say the biggest part about going to a show there was the mingling. The Lolla crowd is definitely a big part of the shows that go on, and their vibe was magnetic! I don't think I've ever made so many friends in such a short period of time. Not to mention, people who are respectful to us shorties and let us get good spots to see!
I also want to make note that at every single show I went to, the entertainers did nothing but compliment the people at Lolla and the crowd that came. They all seemed genuinely excited and happy to be there. Especially Dua Lipa, who gave a touching speech reminiscing on her performances at the festival early on in her career. The fact that a star like her can remember the impact Lolla had on them tells a lot about how incredible of a place it is. (And yes, for those wondering... SHE DID WEAR THE GORGEOUS, SPARKLY, STUNNING, MAGICAL MUGLER BODYSUIT!!)
Chicago Lollapalooza 2023
Prior to Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot's confirmation, it was unclear whether or not Lollapalooza would be held in Chicago next year. If you're familiar with the festival's history, you'll know their 10-year contract ended this year.
Well, I'm excited to say that Lollapalooza will be in The Windy City for at least another decade. 😊 💗
I want to thank Lollapalooza personnel, Townsquare Media and 97ZOK for making this small-town Iowa girl's dreams come true. It was truly an honor and a blast to be given this opportunity. I'm very grateful and I look forward to hopefully continuing these experiences.
I especially want to give a shout-out to the kind workers who gave me my credentials at Bandit. Your kindness and excitement while you engaged with me really made an impact and eased a lot of my anxieties about this experience! Thank you.