Artist, Producer, Journalist Television & Radio Personality

Lollapalooza Lunacy

August 05, 2013

Every August I go to Chicago for my favorite music festival, Lollapalooza. Conceived and created in 1991 by alternative rock royalty, Jane’s Addiction frontman, Perry Farrrell, the festival is as fierce as ever 22 years later, with 130+ artists playing over 115 acres throughout the 3 days.  The headliners themselves are iconic enough to make the trek to Chicago – Nine Inch Nails? The Cure? Epic artists indeed.  However it’s more than just the music that makes this the beloved behemoth we all lovingly label, “Lolla”.

I grabbed this shot from the stage as Major Lazer was about to perform on Perry's stage.

I grabbed this shot from the stage as Major Lazer was about to perform on Perry’s stage.

Being the festival femme fatale that I am, having covered every music festival from Bonnaroo to Warped Tour, Lollapalooza is hands down my favorite. It is an un-festival if you will: no tent-living, no withstanding ungodly temperatures in dust bowls, and no (well, limited) indigestion-inducing festival food. (I mean, even Chef Graham Elliot‘s famous lobster corndogs, although delicious, don’t exactly make you feel light on your feet.) This festival is clean and civilized, held in beautiful Grant Park where I find myself involuntarily humming the “Married With Children” sitcom theme song each time I pass the park’s Buckingham Fountain.  I also find myself quite grateful that no one is bathing in this fountain which is a standard survival strategy for music fans at other festivals.

Besides sanitation, the other great thing about Lolla, are the great restaurants that surround the park. This is where my mantra of music and meat is manifested and where I really (stage) dive in head first.

Here is my Lollapalooza Lunacy “Eat Sheet”:

Hugo’s Frog Bar & Fish House

This is the sister restaurant to the iconic Gibson’s Steakhouse. The menus are very similar so just go to whichever one can seat you outside for the full experience.


 Rosebud on Rush Street

A Chicago tradition for over 35 years, this became an immediate tradition for me as I went twice within 24 hours. Mama had me by the balls….her signature meatballs that is. Best I’ve ever had. Mama Mia!

 The q

Cue the modern urban BBQ. Run here now, because you’ll be waddling outta here later…at best. The Kobe beef ribs and both types of cornbread (honey butter and the poblano cheddar) are to die for. The skillet of bruleed macaroni and cheese absolutely epitomizes how this dish should be done: a cleverly crafted combination of multi-layered texture, flavor, and comfort.  Granted, when you’re done with all of this, you will be feeling less comfortable and more wheelbarrow-worthy, but it’s worth it. I’m speaking from experience.

So as you can see, I have nothing but love for Lolla. It is my annual mecca for both music and meat, and I invite you to meet me here next year…rhyming not intentional, but thank you for going with it 😉