Have you ever found yourself looking for a great adventure to have with the significant other? Are you looking for one that involves some pretty incredible music, celebrities, and a skyline that beats every other place in the world? If you are, look no further than to the incredible city of Chicago. This year Chicago's own Grant Park welcomed Lollapalooza's 21st festival hosted by the wonderful people of C3 Presents located in Austin, TX. This year, the 3 C's welcomed some of the most talented acts and put on one hell of a festival that still lingers long after the 90,000 guests have cleared. This year SoYouHaveAGirlfriend was personally invited, and so I went off to explore all that this city had to offer during this creatively influenced time. And what I came back with was more than just a head full of music and memories, it was an opportunity that only so few ever get the chance to experience.
If you're looking to visit Chicago, there is no better place than in the heart of the city. Chicago offers so much during the week of Lollapalooza. Tickets for this festival go on sale months before the gates open. . . so it's best if you follow @Lollapalooza on Twitter for some of their 'secret sale' tweets. Secret sales start at around $75 for a 3-Day wristband, and after the secret sale, do not fear. . . each day goes for about $95/wristband, and about $230/3-Day wristband (regular price). I know some of you readers might be thinking that's a lot of money, but it is a lot of music in 3-days! You'd probably spend more seeing individual bands in a year than dropping some well-spent cash in one sitting. Plus, this package makes one of the best gifts to give for those of you who want to celebrate birthday's, anniversaries, etc. And the best part: Tickets are tax and processing fee free!!!! No kidding, no strings attached!
Ticket pick-up for those coming from out-of-state is beyond easy and requires valid proof of identification (drivers license, passport, etc) at their Will-Call tent set up just outside the main gates off Congress and Michigan. So have no fear and head on over here!
While you're visiting Chicago be sure to check out all the accommodations the city offers. With hotels all along Michigan Avenue and towards the outskirts of the city, traveling to Lolla with the boy/girl is a breeze. The Lollapalooza website even offers it's own travel packages associated with some of the best hotels in Chicago. I personally recommended to stay at either the Palmer House or the Hitlon. Both hotels are within walking distance and make for easy escape to shelter should another rainstorm dampen Lolla. Finally a great piece of advice: Be sure to book months in advance for the best rates possible!!!
Chicago offers easy transportation with The El and the CTA. Believe me, driving a car and finding parking might be a lot more of a headache than you can imagine. But if you do want to drive in, be sure to check out the app on your phone called SpotHero. This is our SYHAG's own bit of advice. SpotHero allows you to book 24-hour parking in garages all throughout the entire city at the lowest prices ever! It's easy and hassle free and we totally recommend it over getting ticketed or paying up the *** for meter parking.
As for eating food on the grounds of Lollapalooza, I recommend checking out the vast selection of vendors that the festival hosts. This year there were some pretty incredible vendors that definitely topped all the previous years. I was able to check out the Gibsons booth and Chicago's own Kuma's. The food was incredible. But my favorite vendor this year was the Chizakaya booth which had pretty incredible Japanese style street food. While I was in line, I was able to enjoy the hilarious antics and friendly service of staff member Dino and chat a bit with the owner and chef Harold. I must say, if you get the chance to visit Chizakaya outside of Lollapalooza, be sure to check out their Japadogs and Tako Yaki! Both were excellent choices and are definitely on my 'To-Eat' list for next year's Lollapalooza.
Hydration and happiness are easy to find. Lolla offers plenty of beverage tents that offer beer, wine, coffee, juices, and water. My favorite new drink this year has to be Vita Coco Coconut Water. That stuff hydrates you better than water for your near hangovers. And for those who come with a CamelBak, Lolla offers free filling stations. Not too bad of an investment if I must say. And it is definitely recommended to prepare for thirst. . . August just happens to be one of Chicago's hottest and most humid months of the year. Also if you get a chance, be sure to check out the friendly faces at the Chicago's own Goose Island, assisted by SYHAG's friend and fan Eric Daugherty. He'll welcome you with a smile, great conversation, and possibly a beer hand poured.
Once Lollapalooza is underway there is no way that you could afford to miss your favorite acts. Lollapalooza makes scheduling your favorite acts super easy with a downloadable app for your smartphone. And if you truly have time to plan, their website allows you to print your own schedules from their site that way you'll never miss a beat! This years headliners included, Ozzy in Black Sabbath (best musical train-wreck you can't take your eyes off), The Black Keys, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Avicii, Jack White, and Justice. I can now proudly say I've been a part of history hearing Ozzy perform. As for the other headliners, I was honored to be amongst The Black Keys, Avicii, and Jack White fans. Other fantastic acts I was able to attend were Sigur Ros, Kaskade, Florence and The Machine, Franz Ferdinand, Frank Ocean, Of Monsters and Men, J Cole, Doctor P, Band of Skulls, and many others just to name a few. Lollapalooza tends to book some of the best bands, and each year it only gets better. the This year and last year Lollapalooza welcomed the newest electronic DJ additions to their lineup. And it looks like their expansion will continue in the upcoming years. So if you and your partner want more than just good old fashioned rock n' roll, Lolla just might be the place for the two of you.
Aside from the average experience, Lollapalooza allows attendance to mix and mingle with some of Hollywood's hottest celebrities and artists. This year Lollapalooza made headlines with the amount of celebrity sightings, and amongst them I happened to have a moment to chat it up with one of television's Emmy-Award Winning actors Aaron Paul. After talking with Aaron Paul of AMC's Breaking Bad, I learned that this is the festival he makes a point to attend regardless of rainstorms and crowds. Aaron recalled the mess of the storms last year, but said it is worth attending and being able to see all the musicians he appreciates. This year Aaron brought his absolutely stunning fiance Lauren Parsekian (so beautiful in person!) along with him and mentioned how it was a wonderful bonding experience for the two of them. He spoke about the show, his chance to play in Lolla's celeb kickball tournament, the nephews he adores so much, and the engagement/wedding to his bride-to-be. She was super kind to let us grab a few pictures and introductions to fellow friends. I must say it was one of the most generous experiences I've had, and quite the privilege since I am a fan of his show. And we here at SYHAG wish him nothing but the best with his 2012 Emmy nomination! Go get 'em!!! Aside from Aaron, True Blood's Joe Manganiello, Men At Work's Danny Masterson, and quite a few others were some of the guests spotted amongst the crowds that took the time to meet and greet fans.
So, if you've never been to Chicago, we suggest you do in the year 2013. Chicago has so much to offer to every tourist, resident, and temporary guest that visits. Make it a point to check out Lollapalooza next year with the significant other, and let them know SoYouHaveAGirlfriend sent you. We promise it will be music to your ears. From the bottom of our hearts, we love you Chicago!
SYHAG would also like to welcome 2013's newest Lolla addition hosted in Israel. So be sure to check out Chile, Brazil, Chicago, and Israel next year and make it count! And once again we would like to take this time to thank the wonderful Charlie Jones and the rest of C3 Presents for their accommodations they provided for us. We truly appreciate it and wish you all the very best.
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