Meatpacking used to be the backbone of the Chicago economy.
For Lollapalooza, it’s glitter.
Glittery jewelry? Check. Glitter shoes? Yep. Glitter hydration packs? You betcha. Lolla vendors are jumping on the trend, with Festy Besty even offering glitter in its pure form. For just $15, festival-goers can get any glittery design they want painted on their body.
It’s a way for co-founder Ryne Eisminger to offer an affordable interaction with the brand. Made with biodegradable glitter and aloe vera gel — a smart move for Saturday as temperatures soared into the 90s— the glitter bar drew lines of customers ten deep, including Guadalupe Corona.
“Some people couldn’t get a hold of glitter, so to come here and have it done for us is great,” Corona said.
But the glitter-averse need not worry — there’s plenty of other merchandise to be found at this year’s Lolla. The Lolla merch store not only offers the festival’s logo on just about every type of clothing — the basketball jersey and tie-dye shirt are two of this year’s favorites — but also a respite from the extreme heat with its air-conditioned Valhalla.
As far as band swag, fans of Travis Scott had better hurry. One salesperson said they’d sold out of his merchandise twice, with fans buying entire boxes of his gear despite the $40 price tag on T-shirts or $100 for a sweatshirt.
Despite the surge of streaming platforms, sales at FYE records have been good, manager Vaso Ventresca said. Newer artists playing the fest like Dua Lipa and Bebe Rexha seemed to be the most popular, she said, with customers frequently choosing vinyl over CD.
Mia Macies was there to pick up an album from the band Wallows.
“[With vinyl records] I can hang it up in my room and play it whenever I want,” she said. “It looks cool.”
The Wildflower + Co. booth was one of the trendiest of the festival, offering jewelry, enamel pins and customizable “dad hats” — a hit of the festival, owner Roberta Pasciuti said.
For those concerned about the death of brick-and-mortar stores, the merch circle at Lolla might signal a beacon of hope.
“I like looking for stuff that I see on Instagram,” fan Emme Dekorsi said. “I’m too lazy to order stuff, but once it’s here in person and I get to look at it and touch it, then I want to buy it.”