Diving into Lolla

BY ANA BARRETT | AUGUST 04, 2014 5:00 AM

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As another year comes to an end, I have a lot to reflect during my time at Grant Park.

I used to live for music festivals — and although I still do, things have definitely changed since I last went to Lollapalooza, two years ago.

My biggest observation: Lollapalooza should be about the music.

But it’s turned into more of an event for only the ones who were privileged enough to spend an arm and a leg for a ticket.

Whether the festival-goers choose to go all weekend or just one day out of the three-day festival, there is a price to pay. The food, the alcohol, the whole Lollapalooza experience has become so commercialized.

Not to sound self-righteous, but I go for the music.

For the rest of the 500,000 people, it’s an excuse to drink and get high. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that that is part of the music-festival experience. But the older I get, I doubt my ability to tolerate the obnoxious groups of drunk 15-year-olds.

Overall, I have had a good experience at Lollapalooza, but there are definitely some low points that can make any music enthusiast less than pumped to be in Grant Park.

For starters, I was enjoying listening to a band such as the Head and the Heart when a group of boys clad in their jerseys and snapbacks started chanting “USA USA USA.” Then there was when I was at Grouplove and a girl on the verge of passing out spilled her Bud light Lime all over me.

As if everyone else’s sweat wasn’t enough to have all over me.

The beer didn’t kill my vibe, though, Grouplove was too incredible to not enjoy every second.

Before seeing Martin Garrix, I had the pleasure of taking a stranger to the medical tent.

Dana, who repeatedly told me I was the most beautiful girl she has ever seen, ended up on a stretcher after she slowly quit speaking and could no longer stand.

I’ve never seen anyone in such bad condition, so I was happy that we got her help before she completely lost it.

Right as she was loaded up onto the cart to be taken to the medical tent, she hurled all over the street, barely missing everyone in the surrounding area. Although I missed almost all of Martin Garrix, I was happy to help a stranger in need.

I ended the second night of the festival with Calvin Harris, who was spectacular. There were fireworks in each of his songs, and he did some really great remixes.

Despite the rain of the final day at Lollapalooza, it still didn’t stop me from dancing and singing.

I was able to see Cage the Elephant again, which I saw two years ago when I went to the festival the first time. Rain continued on as I danced to The 1975.

By the third day, no one even cares and everyone embraces the weather with the music.

I think I have contracted hypothermia because of the low temperatures and rainfall accompanied with minimal clothing.

It took me over two hours to leave the park and hobble to Union Station. Although Lollapalooza is a lot of fun, it is also full of blood, sweat, and tears — literally.

Grant Park really tested my patience and my limbs all weekend.

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