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Grant Park is one big party as tens of thousands attend Lollapalooza 2014, August 3.
Photograph: cousindaniel.comGrant Park is one big party as tens of thousands attend Lollapalooza 2014, August 3.

5 things not to do at Lollapalooza

Written by
Lisa White
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Very soon, Lollapalooza will open its gates as a flood of music fans overtakes Grant Park for three days of music and fun set against a beautiful Chicago summer backdrop. It's a weekend we look forward to each year, and one we're seasoned pros at, our festival survival senses strong after more than a decade of trekking across Grant Park. But for the novice it can be a daunting weekend, full of pitfalls, possible bad decisions and a pretty bad sunburn if you don't have a little guidance before you enter the gates. Here are our top five things you should NOT do at Lollapalooza this weekend if you want to respect your fellow festivalgoer and guarantee you'll have a great time. 

Leave your sunscreen at home

It isn't just an inspirational song from the late '90s, it's solid advice in everyday life and mandatory at Lollapalooza. The lengthy journey from festival end-to-end has little to no shade, so "Here Comes the Sun" will end up being a literal warning if Paul McCartney plays it this weekend. Crispy, painful skin and dehydration is no way to cap off your weekend, so lather up early and often.  

Wake up in a porta-potty 

Yes, Lollapalooza is party central for many, with three days of copious amounts of alcohol, dancing and live music under the sweltering sun. But nothing kills your buzz like a wicked hangover one day in, or worse, waking up in a porta-potty not remembering the last few hours. Trust us, no one likes dodging sloppy drunk strangers who might vomit at a moment's notice because they can't hold their liquor. Party hard, but pace yourself, as all pro-party people do.
 
Bum-rush the crowd 

Quickly shoving past people to get a few feet closer to the stage is a true asshole move. Doing it as a group to break through a crowd is even worse and means you should rethink your life choices and get some new friends. A little common courtesy goes a long way when pressed into a mass of strangers. We know you aren't likely meeting a friend up front, but saying "excuse me" or a quick "sorry" with a smile will make everyone feel a little less stabby. And, old pro tip: The view up front isn't that great, stick near the soundboard for the best sound and vantage point. 
 
Eat a giant slice of "Chicago-style" deep-dish pizza

Look, we know it's the "thing to do" for many out-of-towners, but you don't want to go anywhere near that gut bomb known as deep-dish pizza when you're walking a few miles in the hot sun. Also, if you aren't following our advice and pacing yourself, we can tell you from past life experience that deep-dish pizza coming back up is not pretty. And hey, it isn't even the best pizza Chicago offers. If you must check it off your tourist checklist, save it for after you leave the park to carbo-load for the next day. 
 
Wear new shoes

Much of Lollapalooza is all about style, but leave your trendy platforms and flat flip-flops at home. Your feet will thank you come Sunday. You want something with coverage, a bit of support and a pair of kicks you don't mind parting with if a mud pit appears. Also, if said mud pit pops up, don't feel moved by the moment and rub it all over your body. Because let's face it, this is a major metropolitan city, not some rural farm fest. We aren't saying the mud isn't just mud, but we wouldn't bet on it being pure Mother Earth either.  

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