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The Ultimate Lollapalooza Guide
Photo Credit: Wikipedia

The Ultimate Lollapalooza Guide

Summertime Chi: a magical season where the City of Chicago comes to life in the most beautiful way possible – by bringing together THOUSANDS of people from around the world to enjoy great music, art, food & the most immaculate vibes amongst a glistening skyline along beautiful Lake Michigan.They call it:Lollapalooza.

The legendary 4-day Lollapalooza festival takes place in picturesque Grant Park and has been rocking the city since 1991 – making it one of the longest standing music festivals in US history. It was founded by Perry Farrell, lead singer of Jane’s Addiction, as a farewell tour for the band. The festival toured the US for many years, finally settling in Chicago with 4 additional international versions spanning from Europe to South America—all boasting diverse lineups that tend to sell out the festival pretty quickly!

This year, however, if you haven’t purchased your tickets you don’t need to scour the internet or scan for scalpers just yet– tickets have not yet sold out. You can still purchase your GA, GA+, VIP & Platinum Ticketshere, as well as packages and ticket bundles in case you want to go only a few days or ball out with their Destination Hotel package or as a Lolla Insider, since Cabanas did sell out!

Some of the perks of being a Lolla Insider, you ask?

  • Access to all Platinum stage viewing plus exclusive side-stage viewing
  • Private, on-demand golf cart transportation around the festival grounds
  • Personal concierge
  • One ticket per person to an Official Lollapalooza Aftershow of your choice
  • Complete access to all Platinum, VIP, GA+ and GA areas

& so much more! You just have to email them rather than purchase tickets directly. Very interesting, mysterious and enticing, if you ask me. Personally, I'm most interested in the Platinum Stage Viewing, where you get “prime viewing at the top six stages” aka you might catch a pick from Metallica and die a legend. Or just have a really cool Lolla keepsake!

Speaking ofperformers, YES, Metallica will be making a return to the festival next to acts like Dua Lipa, Glass Animals, Don Toliver, J.Cole, J.Hope of BTS, Kygo, J.Cole, and of course, the underground/alternative sounds that are what Lollapalooza was known for when they first put the festival together. These include: The Wombats, Coin, Beach Bunny, Pom Pom Squad & more! The full lineup can be foundhere +a sweet little Spotify playlist to get better acquainted with all of the artists playing!

At this juncture,Lollapalooza is a little more than a month away and by now you *hopefully* have most of your affairs in order! The possibility exists, however, that you have no clue how you’re getting there, where you’re gonna stay, what you’re going to wear, etc. Or maybe you’re new to Lollapalooza and you need a little extra guidance.

Either way, we’ve taken the liberty of doing some research for you! So sit back, relax, and sift through our Lollapalooza Travel Guide!

Where to Stay

Obviously, the closer you stay to the festival, the more expensive it will be. If you don’t mind spending the extra money for convenience, then you can check out thePalmer House Hilton (located 5 minutes from the north entrance) or any of thesehotels suggested by Trip Advisor orthese hotels suggested by Lolla.  Quite a few of these are located inChicago’s Magnificent Mile, which runs parallel to the lake, through the Chicago River (not literally there’s a bridge I'm sure) and ushers you straight into the festival.

Others recommended to go further up north and stay in hotels, hostels or Airbnbs in the Lincoln Park or Boystown areas where nightlife is bustling come 10pm (when the festival ends). One Reddit user suggested: “If you want to find places to eat after the fest, you need to go north of the Loop.”Wicker Park was also a recommendation, albeit further west than the aforementioned locations but much more economical than staying somewhere like the Gold Coast or along the Majestic mile, if you’re on a budget.

It’s definitely important to take into account how easy it is to get from where you’re staying to the festival. Many choose to stay close to the Red line or the Blue line, recommending you get aVentra Card to use for the weekend! Unless you rented a car or decide to split a Lyft with your group, this definitely seems like the most affordable option and is a great way to get to know the city.

How to Get to Lollapalooza

The closest, most convenient and most popular airport you’d be flying into is the Chicago O’Hare (ORD) airport by far—however, it’s far from your only option. You might also want to look into flights to Chicago Midway International (MDW) or, if you want to avoid the massive crowds at the more popular airports and want to take a little road trip with your rental, you have the option of flying into thee Chicago Rockford Int’l Airport (RFD) - though I would personally stick to what’s closer/more convenient!

As far as transportation, you could look into renting a car or simply using public transportation to get you downtown.

The CTA (Chicago Transit Authority) typically runs the Red, Blue, Orange, and Brown lines a lot more frequently and for longer hours that weekend in order to accommodate festival guests, however, it would be a great idea to check out their website to get better acquainted with their map & hours so you’re not scrambling to figure it out after the festival ends!

The Vibe

Lollapalooza tends to draw in a diverse crowd, not just because Chicago is a major city, but because the lineup goes from alternative rock to hip hop to electronic music, and allows children as well (see: kidzapalooza). It is definitely not EDC or Electric Forest, so you’ll want to dress accordingly. This is where I get caught up sometimes, because I want what I wear to encapsulate the vibe of the festival as well as who I am as an individual. Luckily,iHeartRaves has you covered!

What to Wear to Lollapalooza

While the weather in Chicago can vary, what has been consistent is the heat and humidity that is to be expected during a mid-summer festival. HOWEVER, many have warned of the potential for rain, which in past years has caused–you guessed it: mud. Conversely, there was a year where it was “an absolute dust bowl,” meaning that no rain and heat made for dust being kicked up & inhaled: another less than ideal scenario. In any case, it’s wise not to bring your favorite pair of shoes and maybe a face mask just in case.

Also, although the festival only goes until 10, temperatures could possibly drop to the 50’s like they did in previous years, leaving people wishing they’d brought layers. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to pack alight long sleeved shirt just in case, but here are some cute outfit suggestions from our closet to yours! Keep in mind that you can change the vibe of any outfit by adding shorts or another skirt to make it less rave-y to fit the vibe, but we also encourage wearing whatever you want regardless of what other people expect!

Rainbow Dazzler Outfit

Love Wins Outfit

Swirling With Magic Outfit

Ready, Aim, Fire Outfit

True Colors Outfit

Defy The Dragon Outfit

Dancefloor Diva Outfit

Psychedelic Wonderland Outfit

Disturbia Outfit

Groovy Girlie Outfit

So Sagittarius Outfit

This year we’re seeing the revival of Y2K: Solid colors, pop colors, neon coloWould pair perfectly with high waisted jean shorts! You can’t go wrong with this look and can dress it up with some of our cute accessories, like any of these earrings fromour collab with Nomad Kandi! 

If you’re reading this and you’re NOT going to Lolla, you can still buy that cute outfit, invite your friends over & stream the festival on Hulu! If you are going, make sure to pour one out for the homies & gorge yourself on all the amazing food at Chow Town, Lollapalooza & GrubHub’s consortium of food from some of the best restaurants in the city. I’m drooling just readingall of these food vendors, definitely worth looking into and budgeting for!

No matter what you choose to wear, eat or do, just make sure to go with an open mind! Make incredible memories and don’t forget to tag us to show off your looks using @iheartraves or #iheartraves.  Happy Lolla!


Amalia is a Long Island native living in Salt Lake with a desire to live in CA. When she's not nerding out doing article research, you can find her at your local club or festival shuffling, out longboarding, taking videos & creating as many memories along the way. Follow her on IG: @liiitastar

TAGS: author - Amalia Reyes, Lollapalooza,



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