Last weekend I was sent on a mission to ask the question “What are you drinking?” of the festival goers at Lollapalooza. After three days of investigating the behaviors of the broad spectrum of personalities that take part in boozapalooza each year, I believe it is most appropriate to change that question to “What are you not drinking at Lollapalooza?”
To the untrained booze mixing brain, the choices may have seemed limited. Particularly in the VIP lounges, where we spent the bulk of our time (yep, spoiled VIP snobs, and proud of it), we were essentially bound by beer, wine or vodka drinks. Mixers included all the Sweet Leaf Tea flavors, Red Bull (regular and the awesomeness that is chemical laden sugar-free) and soda or tonic. Well, mix we did. When it’s all just there and so readily available, your are often tempted to try something different every time. It was really interesting to watch what everyone else was swirling/sloshing around in their plastic cups.
There were the done up ladies that pretty much stuck to wine whilst sitting in the shade and fanning themselves.
Macho men that bragged about how many tall boys they could suck down in an hour.
Dancing Queens that just wanted to take down as much vodka as they could, as fast as they could, so they could get on out in front of a stage for some booty shaking.
And, the well-rounded folks (such as me and my team), who were just trying to take it all in. And by take it all in, I mean come up with every concoction possible with the ingredients provided.
It is when we left the VIP haven, though, that things really got interesting. Depending on who was on stage, or which stage you were hanging by, people’s beverages differed as much as their outfits. The Perry Stage (affectionately referred to by me as the barfing stage), was the most entertaining. Not because of who was on stage (all DJs) but because the crowd consisted of all the teenagers who had just swallowed four bags of magic mushrooms and consumed whatever liquor they could sneak in from their parents’ stash. Makes for one crazy dance party.
Don’t even get me started on Wolfmother. Let’s just say that mullets and beer really do go hand in hand.
At the end of the day, just like the music, the outfits and the company, Lollapalooza drinking preferences, are just that…preferences. Here, anything goes. We even created a new drink, that we are now calling Arkansas Sangria, during a pre-party lunch. Red Wine mixed with lime flavored La Croix soda water. Yum.
What I do know, is by the time the end of day three rolls around, many people followed this little man’s lead. Three days of Lollapalooza is a long haul and, if you are smart, at the end of the road hydration becomes the leading motivator!