Festival Showdown: Lollapalooza Vs. US Virgin Fest

Most of you take it upon yourselves to create inter-fest rivalries, pitting lineups and locales against each other, choosing your champion and mounting staunch defense and arguments to justify your fave. Thing is, with, say Coachella Vs. Bonnaroo, there’s no real need to pick; just go to both! Financial and logistical constraints aside, at least it’s within the realm of possibility.

Not so for Lolla and Virgin, though. Billboard reports that, in order to accommodate U.S. Virgin Fest-headliner The Police’s tour, Sir Richard Branson’s Baltimore-based event and Chi town’s Lolla getdown will fall on the same weekend of August 4th.

So which one to hit? Virgin’s got The Police, Beastie Boys, and The Smashing Pumpkins to headline. Lolla’s got Pearl Jam. Both festivals are tight-lipped on the rest of the lineup for the time being, so here are the invariable factors:

Crabs Vs. Steak
If you’re planning a trip from out of town, you gotta consider your urban environs; more precisely, your urban environs’ delicacies. For Chicago-bound vegetarians, “steak” may be substituted with “deep dish.” The health conscious are shit out of luck.

Pimlico Vs. Grant Park
Venue, venue, venue! August is hot, and both cities sit on bodies of water — so high humidity is a given. Chicago’s Grant Park is gorgeous, but foot traffic can send up the dust. Never been to Baltimore’s Pimlico, but seems to us even a shit-free horse racing track is still a horse racing track. Virgin veterans, feel free to correct us there. On the flip, Pimlico seems smaller, which means less hauling ass in the scorching sun between stages. Meanwhile, the cross-Grant trek feels endless in the summer (it’s at least a twenty minute walk between main stages). As if you boozers will need anything to dehydrate you further.

Quality Vs. Quantity
A salient issue here, and tangentially connected to venue considerations. As a Virgin Fest producer told Billboard, “We only have 12 slots a day on two big stages, and our concept is to fill our slots with the absolute best talent available.” Lolla, of course, will push something like 200 bands over something like eight stages at ya. Awesome in theory … well, maybe just awesome in general … but when the two bands you want most to see are back to back on stages miles apart, the fest goes from “best” to “unwieldy” right quick.

Other criteria you may want to discuss but for which our Virgin virginity leaves us too inexperienced to assess: sound, lodging, transport, and, most importantly, crowd attractiveness.