There’s a science to dressing for these radio station festivals. Appropriate shoes are the first consideration. Make the assumption that your feet will get stomped on at some point.
HITS’ PoMo Editor Ivana B. Adored Reports From The Q101 Jamboree In Chicago

Part One: No Upgrade For Ivana

Thursday, 5/18—Thunderstorms in Chicago. Every flight to O'Hare has been canceled today, as have the first three flights tomorrow morning. The Q101 Jamboree isn't until Saturday, so I have a little bit of wiggle room. Ultimatum's Sherri Trahan invites me to dinner Friday night with “the girls.” If I can't get on a flight by noon tomorrow, I'll stay in town. Maybe I'll even “crash” [99X Atlanta PD/DJ] Leslie Fram's panel at LAME2K on Saturday. She wanted me to be on it, but the powers-that-be refused to list my name as one of the confirmed panelists—in deference to all of their female executives, I guess.

Friday, 5/19, 9:00 a.m.—I'm on the plane. In coach. First time in four years I haven't been able to scam the upgrade. Weather in Chicago is cloudy and 46 degrees. Dave Richards promises sunny and 70 degrees for the festival, but I've packed for every possible weather condition. Sitting in coach (did I mention that already?), I'm dressed for polar bear viewing in Churchill, Canada, not for an outdoor summer festival. The plane is so overcrowded they're offering $1,000 travel vouchers for flexible passengers. I see Big John from EMI Publishing take his seat in first class. I'm eating the breakfast I brought with me—Diet Mountain Dew and Pop Tarts. I've got the new issues of People, US, Elle, Bazaar, Vanity Fair, British Vogue, Elle Dcor, New York and Mojo as a distraction. I should be using my time more constructively by learning the lyrics to “The Real Slim Shady.”

6:30 p.m.—On my way to the pre-Jamboree bash at Fuel. The plane landed at 3:00, but by the time I got my rental car and got to the hotel it was after 5:00. Favorite thing to do stuck in traffic—hit the scan button on the radio and play “name that tune.” Hearing lots of Smashing Pumpkins and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Favorite positioning statement, “If you hear Neil Diamond, you know you're listening to Chicago's best oldies station.” I want to call Sludge on the air at Q101 and request Urge Overkill's “Girl You'll Be A Woman Soon” while the oldies station plays “Sweet Caroline.” Neil Diamond was my first “famous crush,” but Nash Kato has maintained his crush-worthy status in my world for almost a decade.

The Q101 programming team is one of my all-time favorites. Mary Shuminas has been at the station for over 15 years and is the heart of the operation. Unlike many programmers, she's completely genuine and guileless. Greeting me with her familiar, “Hi Miss Karen,” I feel immediately welcome and comfortable. Since it seems I'm in Chicago every couple of weeks, I've gotten to know some of the label reps: Ted from V2 is the first one I see, followed by Amy Kaplan from RCA (I ask about her baby), the newly hired Donna at Hollywood, Andy from Time Bomb, Chris from JMA, Ron from 550, my pal Richard from Reprise, assorted members of the Mancow morning show, Jennifer from Elektra (with Greg Dorfman), Cindy from Columbia, Shelly from Epic (she carries the plastic dreidel I gave her at the Xmas show around with her for good luck), Tom from Interscope, Jeff McCluskey and Robert English from Cornerstone.

Dave Richards arrives and he and I get into a heated conversation with Freak about John Waite. I'm on my third Diet Coke and second basket of Fuel's famous “tater tots.” Nobody gets my Redd Kross joke. James Van Osdol would've gotten it, although that doesn't mean he would've laughed, but he's on the air and couldn't make the party.

11:00 p.m.I'm back at the hotel. There are two proms winding down, and every boy is appropriating a Backstreet Boy “look.” The staircase is packed with kids waiting to have their photo taken to commemorate the evening. They're all checking me out, but I decide against quoting lines from “The Graduate.” Marah are on “Conan.” I wonder if their biggest fan, Dave Richards, is watching. I call Lisa Cristiano's cell phone and talk to her, Leslie Fram, Sherri, Nan, Lynn and honorary “girl” Scott Burton. I make Nan promise to leave an empty chair for me on the dais during Leslie's panel. She offers to buy a blow-up doll, gag it and put it in the chair with my name on the placard. I love my friends.

Dressing For The Fest (a special how-to section)

5/20, 9:00 a.m.—It's cloudy and cold. I'm getting dressed for a quick trip to Barney's before heading out to the Jamboree. “Style With Elsa Klensch” is on television, and I'm insanely covetous of everything from John Bartlett's spring collection.

There's a science to dressing for these radio station festivals. Appropriate shoes are the first consideration. Make the assumption that your feet will get stomped on at some point. Today I'm wearing my Royal Elastic slip-ons, but I'd be equally okay in New Balance 803s or Adidas Campus gym shoes.

Layering is the key to an all-day event. I opt for a short sleeve Abercrombie & Fitch T-shirt and a Puma sweatshirt for warmth. Mavi jeans are the most comfortable in the world—lightweight and roomy. If it was warmer, I'd choose a baggy pair of A&F cropped rip-chord pants. The last thing you want to worry about at a rock show is chafing. Although dark colors attract the heat, wearing anything white to these things is foolhardy. In fact, wearing anything that you don't want ruined is a bad idea. No matter how “put-together” you feel in the morning, by the time you leave the show, you'll look like you've been dragged behind a truck. So will everybody else. I pack these necessities into a small nylon Prada shoulder bag:

  • A small Evian atomizer
  • Tinted moisturizer with SPF15
  • Sunblock for babies with SPF45
  • Contact lens solution
  • Business cards, driver's license, money
  • Vaseline Lip therapy
  • Clinique black honey lip gloss
  • An old laminate to bullshit my way into backstage parking
  • Cell phone
  • Sharpie
  • Tylenol
  • Earplugs
  • Hairbrush
  • The cell phone number of the road manager for at least one of the bands for all-access backup

(To be continued. Next, Ivana attempts to find the festival.)

Academy in peril (1/24a)
All set...or as set as anything can be during this wild week. (1/24a)
XM marks the spot. (1/24a)
Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond... (1/24a)
Eight was enough. (1/24a)
More awards-season madness.
Who's next?
The lineup grows.
Oy vey.

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