Lollapalooza: A Guide to Hippies

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One interesting development this year is the heavy hippie presence. Tie-dye, face paint, and headbands are all over the place. The presence of STS9 on the bill and the fact that any music festival is going to attract a certain number of hippies, regardless of its lineup, explains some of it, but obviously not all.

I've realized that this year's Lolla hippies can be pretty fairly divided into three distinct groups. On one hand you have your classic hippie. Dreadlocks, Birkenstocks, Frisbees, et cetera. A formula that's been attracting middle-class college kids for generations now.

You've also got your metal hippies who came out for Tool. Less carefree than your original flavor hippie, more likely to live in small towns and do Robo trips. I like them because they weird out most other concert goers with their weird heavy vibes.

And now there are also neo-hippies, who are a whole 'nother thing. Their prevalence at the dance/DJ stage and their sartorial choices—more vivid, fewer earthy colors, skimpier, less flowy outlines—suggest not only that they used to be American Apparel nu-ravers but that their changeover was particularly influenced by MGMT. I'm guessing that they're flippng out at Animal Collective's DJ gig right now, but I finally gave up on the heat and bailed to soak up a little bit of air-conditioning before going back out.

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