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My Top Ten Festival Tips from Lollapalooza 2014

27 Aug


A few weeks ago I experienced my first big music festival, Lollapalooza. Being one of the biggest music events in the Mid-West, the festival features 3 days of concerts from both main stream and off-the-chart artists in Grant Park, Chicago. Below are my top ten festival tips I collected while attempting Lolla for the first time!

TIP #1:  It’s hot. Really think through your outfits and prepare to stay hydrated. Luckily there are free water filling stationsblog lola1 sponsored by CamelBak. A lot of festival goers had fancy little water backpacks with a spout over their shoulder (see photo on the right). I just packed an empty water bottle in my cross body bag to fill once I got there. Either way, make sure you are drinking water between all those beers! Light fabrics and comfy shoes are a must. At the end of the day nobody cares how cute your outfit is, just that you can last 10 hours of standing in it.

TIP #2: Create a plan of action. Print out the festival line-up and highlight where each artist is you want to see. The festival is about a mile long with 8 stages. You’ll want to arrive 45 min early to a concert if possible to get a decent spot within viewing distance of the stage. If artists are playing back to back, we skipped the last song or two to head to the next stage. It’s packed and takes longer than you might think.

TIP #3: Take the time to explore all the great things Lolla has to offer. They had everything from a Farmer’s Market, to a free artist-signing booth, to Beer and Wine Gardens for a chance to relax. We saw some great festival clothes lined up in tents, and made a point to enjoy a craft beer between shows where we played corn hole and got our hair braided by one of the sponsor tents. So fun!


TIP #5: Bring a portable phone charger. If you are like me, you want to capture all those special festival moments as they are happening. This means a lot of camera phone, videos, Instagram, and texting. I brought a portable charger small enough to fit in my bag and recharge at lunch between concerts. Also a good thing to keep in mind if you meet some cool people and want to meet up later before your phone dies!

TIP #6: Be sure to check out some of the after parties. It just takes some research and a little bit more money for tickets to enjoy a great after show. It’s a chance to get a little more intimate with your favorite artists verses the huge festival shows. The sooner you research options the better, the shows all sell out pretty fast.

TIP #7: Be sure to try some of the great food that’s offered at Chow Town, a collection of tents in the middle of the festival. We had anything from authentic Chicago pizza to a delicious root beer float to quench our sweet tooth and thirst. Everything looked great and there are many different options ranging from American to Vegan dishes. Everything was pretty quick, especially with the “tap to pay” option with our wristbands.

TIP #8: People suck. You are going to be pushed, shoved, spilled on, yelled at, laughed at, and insulted. There wasn’t one concert where we weren’t cut in front of for a worse view of the performers. This takes a little time to get used to, but once you get over it you’ll enjoy yourself 10x more. It’s going to happen, so all you can do is go with the flow.

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TIP #9: Über was a lifesaver and a big promotion at Lollapalooza this year. We were hesitant at first to try the personal taxi service, but it turned out extremely well. Cabs never took longer than 15 minutes, and only once were we forced to wait that long. Getting to and from the festival was a breeze and the promo gave each of us one free ride. I urge people to take advantage of the app. I was pretty impressed by how well it worked with so many people in the park each night.

TIP #10: Don’t be afraid to let loose and truly enjoy the concerts. There were moments where I was the only one dancing around and jamming to my favorite song, and they were some of my best memories of the weekend! When you let yourself go and vibe the music with the thousands of people around you, it is truly a magical moment.



Entertainment Management

25 Jan

My first thoughts were, “I’m going to be famous.” Pretty typical for your average 6 year old to say, but as I got oldershoot12 I realized the entertainment industry wasn’t so easy to break into. I am a huge fan of everything involving performing. You name it, I’ve done it. However, a childhood full of constantly competing and auditioning made me learn quickly the field was just too crazy to bet a career on. So when it came to college I wanted to pick a major that could get me working within the industry where I could still be surrounded by what I love. I talked to an advisor to see what my options were because Michigan State did not offer an Entertainment Management program and she said the closest thing would be to work in Communication and Public Relations.

So here I am, half way done with college and I haven’t once doubted my decision. The more I learn about PR the more I see how important it is, especially in the entertainment industry. In an entertainment PR firm, your client list could range from athletes, actors/actresses, fashion designers, musicians, dancers, comedians, etc. This makes it very exciting but also very challenging. The expectations and work ethic demand a high involvement with lots of pressure to perform. Can you imagine being hired to improve Charlie Sheen’s image? Yikes! Talk about major crisis management.

csYou could also play an important role in major venues, events, and franchises as a PR entertainment specialist. Large locations such as the Palace, Ford Field, DTE, and The Fox Theatre always need PR for their upcoming performances or games. You could be working on the half-time show for the Super Bowl, writing a press release for Lady Gaga’s upcoming tour, or even event planning for the next Mardi Gras. Imagine your average PR job on steroids. All the work is the same including communication between workers and clients, social networking, advertising, writing, and crisis management, but just on a much more intense and larger scale. Some great examples of successful Entertainment PR firms include EileenKoch & Company INC. based out of Los Angeles, California, and 5W Public Relations based out of New York, New York.mardi-gras-5

In order to get myself into such a competitive field of PR, I know it’s going to take a lot of experience, rejection, and determination. If there’s one thing I learned by being a member of the Public Relations Student Society of America, it is experience is everything. This is why I have been working hard to maintain internships and consistently push myself to learn more and be more to prove myself worthy of such work after I graduate from Michigan State.

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