Are Large Music Events For You?
During some of my free time this weekend, Alta and I watched live coverage from Chicago of Lollapalooza - a huge music fest, featuring over 180 acts appearing on seven stages over four days.
The video streaming is courtesy of RedBull TV. You don't get to see all of the acts. But you do get to see wonderful performances of some really good bands. Sure, the video can be choppy at times, but the audio comes right from the board - crystal clear through my home system.
Being originally from the Chicago area, I am familiar with several music fests that perform throughout the year. I have even attended several in my lifetime.
I have been to my share of Tastes of Chicago (and ChicagoFest before that). I'll probably never attend another one.
I have been to two Country LakeShake festivals. They are a lot of fun. I typically watch the Next From Nashville performances, but I usually don't stick around for the headliners on the main stage. Too crowded for me.
I attend the Chicago Jazz Festival every year. Here again, I choose to watch the Young Lions stage, to see the talent from the Chicago area High Schools. Occasionally, I will watch the headliners on the main performance stage. But here, there is not such a huge, unruly crowd that I feel "uncomfortable".
While watching the performances at Lollapalooza, I see that the crowds are big...really big. And pressed up against one another. And sweaty. Lack of personal space. So it begs the question: Is it really worth going to see Lollapalooza live. Lets look at the comparisons:
- Tickets - $120 for a single day, or $335 for a 4-day General Admission ticket
- Beverages - I cannot tell you what they are at Lollapalooza. But judging from other events on the Chicago lakefront, you are looking at around $14 for a 25oz. beer. And it goes up from there
- Bathrooms - there are some "luxury" restroom facilities...if you can find them, and if there isn't a line around the corner. Your next option is the porta potties - if there isn't a line for them, as well.
- Weather - it could be partly cloudy and 75 degrees, with a gentle breeze coming off of Lake Michigan. But, then again, it could be 93 and humid. Or it could be raining.
- Crowd - say you decide to make your way to the front of the stage. Sure - the view is awesome. But if you need to use the restroom or get a beer, you're going to have a hard time fighting your way through the crowd to get out. Then you'll have a harder time fighting your way back to the primo spot you had originally.
- Parking - don't get me started. Although, I do know of a couple of places you can park for free. Some of those spaces are close to downtown. The others you will have to take a bus from. You may as well take a bus to begin with. Easier and cheaper.
WATCHING FROM HOME:
- Tickets - watching the feed from RedBull TV, I pay for nothing (except the internet service)
- Beverages - right now I am enjoying a bottle of Miller High Life. Purchased in an 18-pack for only $11
- Bathrooms - if I turn my head to the right 90-degrees, I can see my bathroom. Not now...but later.
- Weather - my thermostat reads 72 degrees. By the way - it is raining outside. Not in my living room.
- Crowd - just me and Alta on the sofa. We could have had more people in the living room for a Lollapalooza "watching party". Maybe next year. Even so, I don't think any of us will be jockeying for position in front of the TV. And, I assume, all of my guests will have showered recently.
- Parking - c'mon...it's Quincy. Tell me you cannot get a decent parking space close to where you want to go. Besides, I am looking out my window at my vehicle right now.
Even if you decide to attend a large music event here in Quincy, like Blues in the District, you really won't run into any of the issues I brought up (except for the line at the porta potties - but it moves quickly!).
Most of the people that choose to attend an event like Lollapalooza know what there are getting into before they get there. I had a co-worker go last year, and she didn't mind the issues I listed above. She got to see the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and that is all that mattered to her.
I don't believe there is an artist or group that I would want to see so badly, that I would deal with those issues. At my age, I prefer to enjoy at a more relaxed pace. See me at the next Blues in the District, and see how relaxed I am. I might even offer you a beverage.