How to survive Lollapalooza: 101

Attention, Lolla newbs: You don't know what you're in for. The annual three-day music fest in Grant Park boasts more than 120 acts on eight stages and is expecting a crowd of more than 300,000 this year, its 10th in Chicago. Here are a few tips from RedEye staffers who've been around the Lollapalooza block on how to make it through the weekend.

Bring liquid -- not aerosol -- sunscreen. Security will confiscate your spray (but not liquid) sunblock, so bring the old-school tube stuff. -Kate Bernot

Wear a swimsuit
Every year, it inevitably rains. So why not be in a swimsuit when you get wet or, in some cases, get muddy in the mud pit? Don't let your good clothes get ruined. -Leonor Vivanco

Invest in a pair of `Lolla shoes'
They should be cheap enough that you won't care when they inevitably get covered in that wonderful goose poop-mud mixture, yet comfortable enough to not make you want to die by 5:30 p.m. Throw them out at the end of the weekend. -Ernest Wilkins

Text to tweet
Get the shakes if you haven't tweeted in a few hours? Set up your phone beforehand to tweet via text message. You'll thank yourself later when your Twitter app craps out from Lolla's inevitable terrible reception. -Jessica Galliart

Call for help
If you see someone who really needs help (escalating couple fight, someone legit passed out), grab a security guard. They have radios, you'll quickly be on your way and you won't feel crappy the next day for not saying something. -Mick Swasko

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Unlike some other fests, Lolla makes it SUPER easy to keep your water bottle overflowing by providing filling stations around the park. They're manned by friendly volunteers and are a heck of a lot cheaper than 14 beers (aka free). -Dana Moran

Don't be fancy
Why the hell are you wearing expensive jewelry or otherwise nice things? Besides pickpocketing being a major issue at Lollapalooza, it's highly likely you'll lose it. Leave it at home. Your boyfriend will forgive you (or you need a new boyfriend). J.G.

Buy the wine!
It's as much as a few beers, but you get a TON of it. (Note: RedEye is not responsible for your red wine hangover the next day.) E.W.

The price is right
Chow Town definitely isn't cheap, but it's also a delicious opportunity to try some real Chicago restos rather than the standard fest fare. Bonus: Some vendors will decrease their prices Sunday to get rid of excess food. Keep your eyes peeled for a bargain. D.M.

EXTRA: How much money should you expect to spend eating and drinking at Lolla?

Wrap it up
Bring a plastic baggie to put your phone in if and when it starts raining. You can still type on it through the bag! J.G.

Wrap it up
Guys. Wear a condom. Like, all the time. Even if you aren't planning on having sex. Always have a condom on no matter what. M.S.

Lines for free stuff? Nah
Why spend time you could be using to find your new favorite band standing in line for the opportunity to enter to win a chance to possibly win a pair of shoes or a free taco? You paid big bucks to be here, enjoy the show! E.W.

Be OK with being alone
Make a plan to meet at a specific location with your friends at the stage you want to watch or at the end of the night if you get separated. If you lose each other, go investigate new music instead of spending all day stressed you can't find your crew. E.W.

Pick a landmark
There's a reason that weird dude has a plastic baby duct-taped to a branch -- it's super easy for his friends to find him. Use this dude to your advantage when giving directions. In fact, just follow him around for the whole festival. Maybe you'll learn about some new bands or even score a hot date! D.M.

Stop for five minutes
I did this for the first time last year. Take a second to wander off by yourself and find an open grassy spot. Do a 360 and just take everything in, without distraction, and realize you've got an amazing view of the best damn city in the world. M.S.


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