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Lessons from Lollapalooza 2012

  • Chris LaMorte

One intrepid Kempt contributor (and UrbanDaddy Chicago editor) braved the insanity that was this past weekend’s Lollapalooza—if you haven’t heard, there was an unprecedented evacuation mid-festival as a storm quickly descended upon Chicago. Luckily, our man Chris made it out alive to tell the story. Here’s what we learned from his harrowing tale.

How to evacuate 60,000 people from Grant Park in 38 minutes in five easy steps...

1. Trust but verify: At 3:17pm, the word “tornado” got a snort of derision from jaded Chicago journalists in the media tent. After a few Twitter feeds were checked, the tent was cleared by 3:20.

2. Always listen to Neon Indian: Frontman Alan Palomo assured the crowd, “If this is the first time on hallucinogens, everything is going to be fine.” We wondered if we were in a Woodstock flashback.

3. Wearing a shirt, totally optional: As security-ushered throngs moved down Monroe Street—“Sir, please leave your beer at the gate”—the already 90-plus-degree heat rose exponentially. So did the frat-boy propensity for shirtlessness.

4. Find the nearest place for a cocktail: Everything from local Loop joint Pizano’s Pizza to the Hard Rock Hotel VIP lounges became refuges from wind and torrential downpour.

5. Return in time for Franz Ferdinand: By 6pm, promoters sent an all-clear signal. Though those without a passion for mud pits just waited for the Avicii after-party at Studio Paris.