So you’re going to Chicago’s 25th annual Lollapalooza.

The tickets have been bought, the accommodations have been set, and you’ve outlined your thoughtful and strategic plan to get a reasonably good spot for The Red Hot Chili Peppers -- nothing further than 20 feet back from the stage will suffice.

You’re excited, pumped, ready to festival like no one has ever festivaled before.

Woah, slow down.

You may be excited, but there’s still work to be done. You can’t just waltz on into a music festival without any preparation. Who do you think you are? Kendall Jenner??

You may be thinking “What could I need to prepare for a music festival? Don’t I just show up with my friends and settle in for a nice weekend?”

Ah, my sweet, innocent, pure, young, music festival virgin. There’s so much you must learn to prepare you for that big hipster world out there. You may not know enough now, but together we will water that fresh flower crown of yours until you have grown into the music festival genie that you aspire to be.

So read on, naive festival goers, here are some Chicago activities to help you prep for your big weekend.


Look the Part

Jewelry Making

Going for comfort? Maybe just some shorts and a soft t-shirt?

Think again, grasshopper.  If you’re going to blend in, there’s one thing you need -- guys and girls alike.  

And that’s a festival ton of bracelets.  

No, not one or two, or three or four. We’re talking wrists full, arms full. Hell, why not throw one on your ankle while you’re at it. Into chokers? Well that’s just another word for super sized bracelet of the neck.

But instead of spending precious festival money, put that wallet away and take a bracelet making course to deck yourself out in handmade jewels. Trust us, you’ll need that cash later for the first of your many 10 dollar beers.

Find out more Ayla's Originals

Learn to Groove

Dance Class
Hip Hop

The key to being a music festival wizard? Having the right moves. In a crowd of hundreds of thousands of people, there are few ways to stand out from the pack.

But if you come in busting moves of the same caliber as Usher in the middle of a grassy lawn, people aren’t gonna just look away. So dabble in a hip hop class before you make your grand entrance to the music festival of the season. It’ll make you friends, get you on the big screen, and people will give you space to move. Space is key. In a sea of humans, spinning on your head is essentially all you can do to grant yourself some breathing room.  

Find out more Joel Hall Dancers Center

Get in The Zone

Meditation Class
Chicago Learn

Music Festivals are all fun and games until you have to pee and see the port-a-potty line is moving at a rate that should take about 45 minutes. Or until you’re stuck in a packed crowd next to a large, sweaty man smelling of stank death. Or until you lose your friends in a migration to the next stage. Or until…

You get it.

Music festivals are amazing, but they require a certain amount of patience for the instances that would be deemed “worst case scenario” in everyday life. The solution? When a warm splash hits you from behind and you’re not sure if it’s beer, or something else, enter your mind palace and meditate until the nightmare moment is over.

To prepare for this? You’re definitely going to need a meditation class.

Find out more The Warrior's Edge

Protect Yo Self

Krav Maga
Self Defense
Chicago Learn

Krav Maga? At a musical festival?

Our answer to this is you just never know. While on paper this festival will be a weekend of hand holding, friendship, butterflies, and flowers -- every event has dark moments.

You will undoubtedly witness a fight break out over line-cutting at the hydration station, a brawl begin over what was an unintentional mid-dance-elbow-to-the-face, or an attack ensue because a guy decides to heckle everyone else’s favorite band. This is no place for heckling.

All we’re saying is, you can never be too prepared.  

Find out more Titan Gym

Pics or it Didn't Happen

Chicago Learn

What’s almost as important as actually attending a music festival?

Taking pictures to prove you were there.

These festivals are filled with big signs, large colorful structures, and big open fields, giving you and your friends a plethora of ideal spaces for a full scale photo shoot of your posed festival spirit. Forget how bad your feet hurt, how gross the people next to you smell, and how many unidentified liquids have been spilled on you throughout the day. You’re going to get in front of that Lollapalooza sign and smile, damn it, because you still need a music festival Instagram pic to post.

So, sign up for a photography class beforehand. Learn about lighting, photo skills, and everything behind getting the perfect pic. When the time comes, you’ll be ready.

Find out more Richard Stromberg's Chicago Photography Classes