Your Dillo Day Survival Guide

23 May

What You’ll Need:

  • Boys: A bro tank, one or two off-campus locations to rage, a healthy amount of hubris. Potentially a change of clothes. A flask full of shitty liquor.
  • Girls: A neon hat, a neon shirt or tank, a neon fanny pack, three or four off-campus locations to rage. Potentially a change of clothes. A flask full of shitty liquor.

    Appropriate attire.

    Appropriate attire.


  • Drink #alcohol, if you’re into that kind of thing. Dillo is the one day when less than half of students you run into will try to refer you to a support group if they spot you putting liquorbooze on your mouthlips before noon. Take advantage of that! But rest assured, if you don’t drink or have chosen not to get sloppy on Dillo, the day is still plenty of fun.
  • Eat. Nap. More on this later.
  • Go off-campus. You know that entire city with the massive “NO NORTHWESTERN STUDENTS WELCOME” signs hung everywhere? That’s “Evanston.” It’s a strange place, but one that will become absolutely vital to your Dill experience.
  • Make it to the Lakefill. It’s more difficult than you’d think, and depending on your music tastes it may not seem worth it, but it’s always awkz when you don’t actually ever go to the official Dillo.


  • Rage in your dorm. Sure, you can pregame with a few friends in the morning. It can also be a good pregame spot before the nighttime headliner. But Dillo Day is hell for your CA’s and there’s no need to get on their nerves with bumpin beats and biddies pouring out the doors. Head out to off-campus locations when rage o’clock hits.
  • “Sprint the marathon.” I know, I know… “Maybe Dillo is a marathon, but I sprint marathons bitch!” you’ll yell as you shotgun your fourth Stone. Cool. Sick brah. I bet you’re gonna have at least four sex because of that display. Alternatively, acknowledge the fact that in order to consume the maximum amount of alcohol over the 15-hour drinking session that is Dillo, you’ll need to space your drinks a bit. That’s OK. You can do the drinking all day, just maybe keep the buttchugging to one or two hours at a time? K great.
  • Take too many pictures. You reallyyyyy don’t wanna see everything that happened the next day. Grab a few prof or cover pic options early in the day, then put your camski away.
  • LOSE OR BREAK YOUR PHONE. Just, be careful yall. It’s traumatizing.


  • Plan out which acts you actually want to get to the Lakefill to see. Commit to two or three performances that you absolutely will not miss; this guarantees that you will like probably get to the Lakefill for at least one.
  • Decide which off-campus ragefests you’ll attend. This should involve mapping out the different locations so you can decide which route minimizes walking and maximizes drinking out of squirt guns.
  • Figure out when you’ll eat. Holy shit this is important. EAT FOOD. YOU HAVE TO. Don’t count on the free IFC pizza or pancakes or whatever. Make specific plans to eat nomz at specific places at specific times.

    For those unsure where to go, here's a map that helpfully pinpoints the Evanston Civic Center, home to all the day's best drinkingragers!

    For those unsure where to go, here’s a map that helpfully pinpoints the Evanston Civic Center, home to all the day’s best drinkingragers!

Dillo Morning:

  • This is the “Wait WTF Who Are These People What Is This Place Where Am I What’s Going On” part of the day. NU is magically transformed  into a place where students joyously wander into off-campus areas in groups, all in the hopes of imbibing with great fervor.
  • Make use of this time. You should be up and at em by 9 or 9:30 at the latest. You’ll need time to enjoy the transformation the campus has undergone, and to adequately pregame before your friends start trying to get to the Lakefill.
  • This is where all your planning comes into play. Because you’ve scouted out which addresses you’ll be showing up at, you can quickly spring into action following the traditional Wake-Up-Shot and Shower Beer.

Dillo Afternoon:

  • But actually, unless you are absofuckinglutely dead set on seeing every single daytime act, there’s no reason not to nap during Dillo Afternoon. You’ll wake up presumably still drunk, but rested and ready to rage.
  • If you choose not to nap, the afternoon can be a good time to gather close friends in a room or apartment and continue drinking. While the morning can be an overwhelming experience filled with questionable decisions, the afternoon offers a good time to recap the day’s events and casually down some fine, German-brewed “Busch Light” beverages.

    Maybe you'll make it to this but then also maybe probably not.

    Maybe you’ll make it to this but then also maybe probably not.

Dillo Evening:

  • Round Two (or Three) is upon you. You’ve planned accordingly, had food throughout the day, and taken a casual siesta. Now it’s time to get back on the bottle and finish what you started. You should be working your way towards finishing every drop in sight and potentially changing out of your daytime clothes– which SOMEHOW are caked in mud omg did u guys let me do a slip n slide?!?!– into more traditional concert attire.
  • If you’re feeling up to it, your groups should make its way to the Lakefill. Yes, you’re tired. If you didn’t pace correctly, you’re probably hungover. But the nighttime headliner is often the one act you don’t want to miss.
  • Once you’re at the concert, you may notice that it’s not actually fun. If this is the case, head back to the previous #drinking spot and continue. If the concert is fun, stay and enjoy! Maybe puke a little, if it looks like enjoyable.

Dillo Night:

  • If you’ve made it this far, congrats. Everything from here on out is just icing on the cake. Or, more literally, Skol on the back of your throat. Feel free to keep drinking and raging and generally winning the Dill. 
  • Before going to bed, be thankful for the fact that we even have Dillo. Remember that just a few decades ago, NU students suffered all year with no reward in sight. So. Just. Check your Dillo-privilege, ok?

One Response to “Your Dillo Day Survival Guide”


  1. Northwestern Professor Quits Citing Rowdy Students, Used Condoms In His … | SICK Sensor Vietnam - SICK Vietnam - SICK Việt Nam - SICK Sensor Việt Nam-AUMI-Đại diện SICK Sensor Việt Nam - June 17, 2013

    […] According to the letter read at the city council meeting, Waymack has lived in his home for 18 years. He said students were especially wild this year during Dillo Day, a springtime festival and concert. Students typically turn the annual event into a "drinking holiday" with plenty of "ragefests." […]

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