Lollapalooza 2012 | Perks, activities and non-music distractions
As with any major music festival, Lollapalooza can feel a bit like a refugee camp for the privileged. With the uncertainty of bathroom locations and clean water sources, inescapable heat, fatigue and overcrowding, those three days can easily become a marathon of willpower. Despite these inconveniences, the fest boasts plenty of activities to help soothe the downtrodden masses. Like we did for Pitchfork, Time Out Chicago has outlined all the non-music potential perks and distractions of Lollapalooza, from cooling bandanas to "Whac-A-Hipster."
Located between Balbo Ave and Kidzapalooza is the Sony Electrolounge. This pop-up tent promises the latest Sony doodads for you to get your sweaty fingers all over. A couple of years ago, Sony let festival goers rent a slick videocamera for the day in exchange for an ID. But participants beware: The return time often correlates with headlining sets, creating a mad dash to retrieve your ID. Additionally, Sony will be offering opportunities for VIP upgrades, electronics giveaways, and other prizes.
Across from the Sony Stage is the Playstation Society, a hangout tent that encourages visitors to check out the newly released PS Vita and new PS3 games away from the heat. You can also win a Playstation prize pack, VIP and side stage passes. Like Sony has in the past, you'll be able to borrow a PS Vita for the day. But perhaps the critical draw here is that you can charge your battery-guzzling phone for free.
Just off Jackson Drive is the Play Room by Google Play, offering a cool, air-conditioned hang out lounge. Across from the Google Play stage, the location will allegedly allow you to catch exclusive artist interviews and performances. The space will also be handing out free, unspecified gear.
Sandwiched between Jackson Drive and the BMI Stage is Toyota Free YR Radio. The tent supports Chicago's independent station WLUW as visitors can partake in a myriad of weird crafts and games. For example, after you've customized your own DIY leather bracelet, won a prize from the Prius Claw Game, and grabbed your free silkscreened tote bag, you can hang out in a steampunk Corolla photobooth. Because after you've been sweating outside all day, what you really want is a picture taken in an economy jalopy that's decorated like a kooky industrialist dropped his toolbox in it.
Toyota certainly seems to the sponsor that keeps giving, or, forcing, as with their Toyota Prius Family Playground. Across Columbus Drive from Kidzapalooza, adults can partake in some strange childhood games revamped for the festival. There will be Prius Pop eating challenges and something called "Whac-A-Hipster." They'll also offer the iconic cooling bandanna—a.k.a. a water-drenched piece of fabric to wear as you see fit, not unlike the buffs in Survivor. As with the Playstation Society, you can charge your phone here for free.
At the corner of Balbo Avenue and Columbus Drive is the #Delllive Lounge. While you charge your phone, the air-conditioned tent promises to keep you occupied posing for pictures or getting a spray tattoo. Still too hot outside? Feel free to hang for a while because the fest will be live streamed inside. Set your dignity aside and tweet photos with the tag #DellLive to win VIP upgrades, tickets for after shows and other prizes.
South of the Prius Family Playground is the Adidas Originals Black Top where you can catch some unspecified performances, have your photo taken and win some free stuff. Sadly, it doesn't seem like shoes are included in the free swag.
Ironically close to Kidzapalooza is the Uncorked Wine Lounge Presented by Pass the Bottle. Advertising shade and outdoor patio seating, this hangout will stream the performances on large video screens. The crew is comprised of "sassy wine ambassadors" who will undoubtedly encourage you to play their "uber-fun" wine app "Pass the Bottle." What spunky fun for an affluent 40-something!
Just in case you overpacked, the folks at State Farm are offering a Bag Check next to Buckingham Fountain. It remains unclear if you have to pay for the service, as at Pitchfork, but since it's a corporate sponsor it seems like free is a definite possibility. Regardless, State Farm will be giving out VIP and aftershow passes.
Near Chow Town South is the Fender Fan Oasis, a "VIP style" experience where you can play with a Fender Stratocaster, Telecaster, Jaguar or Mustang guitar. This promises to be a haven for those who just haven't heard "Smoke on the Water" quite enough times yet.
On the far Northeast corner by the Bud Light Stage is the F.Y.E. Autograph Tent. Each day has a different schedule of artist autograph sessions for fans to get a little more up close and personal. The tent will also be selling artist merch.
That pesky heat getting to you? Drink too much of that cheap vodka you snuck in? It's cool—CamelBak will be offering Filling Stations serving free, freshly filtered water in addition to chances to win a Lolla Lounge or 3-Day Pass. Additionally, Rock & Recycle Presented by Recycled Paper Greetings are manning this year's recycling effort, allowing festival goers to earn free stuff for not putting your water bottle in the trash.