While we were drinking mate, exploring markets and enjoying the city of Buenos Aires, we realized that Lollapalooza is coming to both Santiago and Buenos Aires simultaneously during our visit. Since we were planning to travel to Chilean capital anyway, we got our tickets to the festival without much hesitation. This is how we spent our time in Santiago. Neither of us have ever been to Lollapalooza before, so we didn’t know what to expect. There was a few bands we wanted to see, but most of the names were unknown to us. Our wristbands were delivered to our hostel, so we were all ready to go and have a 3-day Lollapalooza fun!
First day we came in early and excited. Mission number 1: discover the festival area, load some cash to wristbands and get drinks. The area seemed large enough, but wait.. where do we get beer? Here’s snacks and soft drinks, burgers and pizza, but.. no beer? Not that we absolutely cannot go to a rock concert without a beer in our hands, but that was just unexpected. This was our first music festival where they didn’t sell alcohol.
Normally I would say: cool! I mean, if organizers decided to do an alcohol free event (note: there was also lots of minors and youngsters at the event), kudos to that! But, as we were later informed, you could get alcohol at the lounge, which was kind of a VIP area. Now, this is not cool. For me, it’s more of a statement, and it’s either no alcohol policy, or yes to alcohol. Selling it in the VIP area only makes it look like another hook to get people to buy access. Which is not cool. But anyway, of course we had fun without beer, and we saved some money (thanks, Lollapalooza!). That wasn’t a problem for us at all. Now to the rest of the festival.
Things we thought needed improvement
1. No leave policy
People at the exit informed us that if we leave the event, we won’t be able to enter again on the same day. Maybe someone has tried to do it and succeeded – I don’t know, but we didn’t take a chance. Lollapalooza Chile was a 3-day event that lasted from midday to late evening. It means that if you have a few performers you’d like to listen to at 1pm and then one you want to hear at 8pm, you can’t just leave for 6 hours in between and come back. Or, you know, go to work or meeting or wherever and then come back before 8. Considering how expensive festival tickets were, I find this rule ridiculous. Please, someone, tell me that we were informed incorrectly!
2. The air we were breathing
As the festival grounds were based in the park with the mix of dry dirt/sand, every time people would dance or jump to their favourite songs, the cloud of dust would come up. In proximity to it breathing was becoming optional.
3. Traffic organization
Lollapalooza organizers made sure that trains run longer than normal; however it didn’t always help. One of the days, when we left the festival ground, we were stuck in front of the doors leading to the underground. People were pushing each other and waiting to be let into the metro station, which was closed until the ones already in get in the train. It wasn’t a particularly good experience, and some extra trains could’ve been useful.
4. Changes in schedule
Both Santiago and Buenos Aires had Lollapalooza at the same time, which meant that bands travelled from one place to another right after their performances. They ended up having either equipment troubles with with customs or flight delayes, which meant that there was a lot of rescheduling. Due to that we missed one of the bands we actually wanted to see; some artists had to do soundcheck while performing, so there was quite a few sound issues.
Things we really enjoyed
1. All the exhibitions
There were so many both local and international companies that supported waste reducing, solar energy, eco-life style, recycling and many more noble initiatives. We learned a lot and we were happy to see that people care and people are passionate about taking care of our planet. Just a few examples here:
No matter what, the bands we wanted to see were great, and we discovered some new performers we loved. Names like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Volbeat, Pearl Jam, The Killers, Imagine Dragons, Camila Cabello, The National, Zara Larsson, Kaleo and many more were entertaining the crowds. However, the price for the ticket was quite high and many locals in Chile told us that no matter what, they simply just can’t afford it.
Besides main performances, there were other activities. You could go for a short club-style performance in a small cube, listen to various DJs, jump on a bicycle to produce some energy, fall into a ball pit and more. This seems to be like a great idea for entertaining people between their favourite artists. But you could also just sit on the grass, chat, drink your non-alcoholic drink and enjoy the beautiful weather.
So that’s our quick account of Lollapalooza. In the end of the day we were glad that we went, but we did find that it was expensive and in need of some improvements. Seemed like the general idea was good enough, but it lacked in the same places where they wanted to succeed. Hopefully, we’ll have a chance to visit Lollapalooza in U.S. in future. We didn’t see as much of Santiago as we would’ve hoped otherwise, but we did learn a lot about Chile, its people and especially its green initiatives. Chile, we’re proud of you!