A Simple Guide to Lollapalooza Chicago (+How I Got In For Free)

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I know why you are here! You need a guide to Lollapalooza Chicago and a few tips on how to get in for free. Right?

I will explain everything in this article, plus give a few tips on one of Chicago’s best summer festivals.

What is Lollapalooza

For those not familiar with Lollapalooza, welcome to all the free information we have in store for you. Lollapalooza is one of the world’s largest music festivals. It’s held in Chicago where top musical acts perform, and thousands of music lovers gather!  

Taking place at Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois, and attended by people from all over the world every summer, Lollapalooza began in 1991 as a farewell tour for The Smashing Pumpkins with Jane’s Addiction and Soundgarden as opening bands. Other notable acts have included Nine Inch Nails (2012), Radiohead (1997), Pearl Jam (2000), and Kanye West (2013).

Lollapalooza is celebrated globally in six other countries — Sweden, France, Germany, Chile, Argentina, and Brazil.

For those not familiar with Lollapalooza, where have you been? It’s an annual music festival in Chicago where top musical acts perform, and thousands of music lovers gather!  

Taking place at Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois, and attended by people from all over the world every summer, Lollapalooza began in 1991 as a farewell tour for The Smashing Pumpkins with Jane’s Addiction and Soundgarden as opening bands. Other notable acts have included Nine Inch Nails (2012), Radiohead (1997), Pearl Jam (2000), and Kanye West (2013).

Lollapalooza is celebrated globally in six other countries — Sweden, France, Germany, Chile, Argentina, and Brazil.

When Will Lollapalooza be in Chicago in 2023

The festival lasts four days and is scheduled to run from August 3rd to the 6th in 2023. The lineup of performers is being confirmed “as we speak” and announcements will be publicized in March.

Lollapalooza brings music, art, and food together for one massive celebration. Lollapalooza is Chicago’s biggest music festival, and it’s not just for huge crowds; there are plenty of things to do in Chicago.

What is the Lollapalooza Chicago Lineup

The musical artists are announced right before tickets go on sale, which is yet to be determined for 2023. And new artists are added even days before tickets are available. You can sign up for texts or emails to get updates from Lollapalooza organizers.  

Lollapalooza in Chicago usually has 8 stages. However, it’s worth noting that the number of stages may vary from year to year, and the organizers may make changes to the layout and number of stages based on various factors such as the lineup, attendance, and logistics.

How to Get to Lollapalooza

Access to the event is very easy since it is held on Chicago’s Front Lawn, Grant Park.  All major trains and buses will pass the park. 

The closest ‘L’ stop to Grant Park is the Adams and Wabash stop (Green, Orange, Brown, Pink, and Purple Lines) or the Jackson stop (Red and Blue lines)

If you are taking the Metra train, you’ll need to ride to the end (either Olgivie Station or Union Station).

If you are taking the South Shore Line, you’ll need to ride to the end (Millennium Park).

There are plenty of ways to get around Chicago safely!

How Much are Lollapalooza Tickets (+ How I Entered for Free)

The price of tickets runs from $185 to as much as $4,800 (and even higher). It all depends on the experience you want to have during the event.

Luxurious and VIP treatments demand a higher price. Amenities may include entry into the Platinum lounges with all-inclusive signature cocktails, beer, wine, and curated food.

If you’re one of the lucky few who hook up with a ticket to the Lolla, you’ll get to see your favorite artists play on three stages over four days. And even if you can’t score a ticket, you’ll still be able to watch performances live stream on the big screen outside Grant Park.

guide to lollapalooza

Want to enter for free? You can, but it requires work…at the festival, that is! It takes a lot of resources to execute this event and volunteers are always welcome. I was able to enter for free (2 days) by working 4 hours a day at the concession booth for a famous Chicago chef.

In exchange, we received a wristband with in-and-out privileges for the entire day that we worked! I was on my feet for 4 hours, which can be tiring.

As part of the event staff, we were assigned to work the front (serving food), middle (cooking), or back (unboxing and prep) line. During the break, we had a chance to rest and enjoy a free meal.

12 Insanely Cool Things to Wear at Lollapalooza

Heading to Lollapalooza in Chicago? You want to make sure you know what to pack and are dressed for the occasion! Comfy, chic, and weather appropriate, you’ll find everything from sundresses to cargo shorts to fashion-forward denim cutoffs in our Amazon storefront.

Make sure you layer your clothing so that you can adapt to the weather throughout the day, as well as keep any additional items on hand such as a hat, reusable water bottle, and sunscreen. Your outfit will have people stopping you on the street and asking where you got it!

Finish your outfit off with a great pair of sneakers, boots, or sandals and you’ll be ready for the ultimate music festival experience.

Ready to go shopping? One of the great things about music festivals is that you can really express yourself and your uniqueness! Make it classy, funky, or cool.

what to wear lollapalooza

Cheap Hotels Near Lollapalooza

These accommodations are very affordable and are great locations, but you should book early to lock in the rates (about $100 to $150 per night).

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Hotels know in advance when the city will host large events, so it’s difficult to get around the upcharge for accommodations. Summer is also the peak tourism season for Chicago. Your best chance of getting a great deal is to use a discount site that offers a variety of options (hotels, hostels, and homes), and to use programs that give rewards that you can earn back. 

Know Before You Go

🎶 ATMs are available throughout the park. If an ATM is not your banking organization, prepare for inflated service fees.

🎶 All bags will be searched. You can speed up entry into the line by not bringing a bag, or using a clear bag.

🎶 The following are not allowed in the park — outside food and beverages, alcohol, drones, weapons, fireworks, bicycles, tents, and selfie sticks.

Final Thoughts on Lollapalooza Chicago

In conclusion, Lollapalooza is a four-day festival that brings music, art, and food together for one massive celebration.

Lollapalooza is Chicago’s biggest music festival, and it’s not just for huge crowds; there are plenty of things to do at Lollapalooza even if you’re with a small group of friends.

Get your tickets early and come see the bands at Lollapalooza this summer in Chicago!


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8 Comments

  1. This is super helpful! My husband and I have always talked about going but never seem to make it happen, maybe we will this year now!

    1. Tanya Taylor says:

      It is a fun event — the time flew by while we worked and it was worth it!

  2. Great tips! I am sure a lot of people would volunteer if they knew they could a free wristband! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Tanya Taylor says:

      It’s better than trying to hop a security fence LOL!!

  3. Wow! Sounds super cool..8 stages must mean a ton of acts!

    1. Tanya Taylor says:

      It is difficult to see so many performances in a day, the schedule is jam packed!

  4. Gallivanting Laura says:

    Great tips, sounds like fun! Volunteering definitely has good perks

    1. Tanya Taylor says:

      It’s certainly does!