How To Hook Up At Lollapaloozaby Scott Alden on August 04, 2020
Heading to Lollapalooza this weekend? I’m sure that you’re only going because all of your favorite bands are playing and with your busy schedule of shows you won’t have time to even think about hooking up. But just in case you think you might be able to squeeze in a little flirtation, here are some pro tips on the wheres and hows.
One thing about music festivals — there’s a lot to talk about. There are tons of bands playing. There are new tech gadgets being promoted at the booths. There’s some old, shirtless guy walking around with an Stone Temple Pilots back tattoo and a a fuzzy Dr. Seuss hat. The opportunities for openers abound.
Music writer Zack Teibloom of Festival Crashers recommends keeping it simple: “My favorite conversation starter at the beginning of a festival is ‘What bands are you excited for?’ Near the end I go for, ‘What bands have been your favorite so far?’ Pretty easy icebreaker.”
Pick the Right Bands
If you’re looking to hook up, know that some bands are going to create a more amorous mood than others. It all depends on what you’re looking for.
If you want true love: Best Coast
Best Coast’s swimmy distortion and Motown-ish melodies create a dreamy romantic mood that manages never to get too saccharine. In other words, it’s the real thing.
“The fans watching will probably be lovesick and ready to mingle,” says Jeanette Kimszal of the blog Eat Sleep Breathe Music.
Anyone without a boyfriend or girlfriend won’t last the set without pining for one. Be there and be ready to fill that void.
If you’re on the rebound: The Vaccines
Sometimes, going by popular song titles is a good bet. “If you’re just over a relationship and want to have a little fun,” suggests Kimszal “go check out the Vaccines and maybe you’ll get some ‘Post Break Up Sex.’”
If you want to get laid: Girl Talk
Girl Talk is better at whipping the crowd into a sweaty, Dionysian frenzy than most any other performer working today. It’s “make-out-with-a-total-stranger-on-the-dancefloor” music.
Dance Near Them
“I’d recommend dancing near, not on top of, someone and smiling during a dance-friendly show,” says Teibloom, “Don’t be creepy, but put the vibe out.”
In other words, it’s not “da club,” you guys. Grinding is, traditionally, less welcome with the indie rock crowd.
After the festival closes down for the day, the clubs open up. The aftershows at local venues like Beauty Bar, Berlin, Metro, Lincoln Hall, Empty Bottle and Schubas provide a more intimate (and more “socially lubricated”) setting for getting-to-know-yous.
“We already have the candle light in place in both the main bar and music room — instantly making your evening a little more intimate and cozy,” says Conor Altier over at Schubas, who will present sold-out sets by the Smith Westerns on Thursday and The Vaccines on Friday.
If you meet someone at the festival, it might be worth finding out which aftershows they’ll be attending, and waiting til then to make your move.
Think Outside The Venue
That after-the-show buzz when people are still pumped up but not totally absorbed in the music is a golden opportunity — the kind that could find you and a stranger talking til dawn and falling in love overnight. So, what’s the best post-show pick up spot? “The 7/11 every night when Lolla ends,” says Kimszal.
“There are hundreds of people stopping there to stock up on the essentials for the next day,” she explains.
Hundreds of people, already drunk, no loud music to talk over. That actually makes a lot of sense.
Eavesdropping Is Encouraged
People tend to be more open to talking to strangers at festivals than on the average night out.
“Don’t be afraid to jump in on a conversation, and use the down time between shows to start one up,” encourages Teidbloom. He provides the following anecdote to illustrate his point: “10 months ago I was on the shuttle back from ACL (Austin City Limits) and I heard a couple girls talking behind me. They were asking each other what band they’d seen after Mike Snow that they really loved. I turned around and said “The Black Keys.” When the shuttle stopped, the girl tapped me on the shoulder and asked if I was Zack from the Festival Crashers. I was taken aback, but soon realized I was wearing a Festival Crashers sticker on my back. Still, she knew my name and had read my stuff. We talked for a few minutes and she offered me a ride home.
She moved in with me two weeks ago.”
Straight from the horse’s mouth, people. Finding true love at Lollapalooza could be as easy as knowing the name of a band. Lovelorn music geeks take notice.