The wait is nearly over. After months of lineup speculation, racing for tickets, and monk-like patience, Lollapalooza is just 72 hours away (sooner if you’re hitting the kickoff parties).
Though you’ve likely been planning this weekend since March, nobody thinks of everything. Here’s a list of dos, don’ts, and tips to keep a logistical slip-up from messing up your weekend.
Where: Lollapalooza is at Grant Park, 337 E. Randolph. The main festival gates are at Michigan and Congress with an additional entrance at Columbus & Monroe. Lolla’s box office and will call is at the northeastern corner of Michigan and Van Buren, and will be open from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday through Saturday. You can check out a festival map here.
When: Gates open at 11 a.m. daily. Expect the festival to end by 10 p.m. each night.
Getting In and Out
Trains: You can’t throw a beer and not hit an L platform within walking distance of the Lollapalooza. If you’re taking the Brown, Pink, Green, Orange, or Purple Line to the festival, get off at Adams & Wabash. For Red and Blue, hop off at Monroe & State and Monroe & Dearborn respectively and walk east.
Buses: The CTA hasn’t announced weekend service changes yet (they should be posted here by Thursday), but last year the #2, #6, #10, #J14, and #26 buses were rerouted around Grant Park. Be sure to check back Thursday if you plan on taking a bus to the festival.
Cycling: Lolla’s official cycling sponsor Specialized will offer free bike parking at Michigan & Congress. If you don’t have your own ride, Bike and Roll Chicago will be renting bicycles to Lolla attendees at 65% off all weekend. If Divvy biking is your bag, there’s a dock kitty-corner to the main gates, and about five more within a square block.
Uber: If you’ve been holding off on sipping the Uber Kool-Aid, now might be the time to start; the ridesharing service is offering free lifts to Lolla (up to $30) for first-time users. Just download the app and enter promo code LOLLA.
Driving: Traffic won’t be pretty within a mile of the Loop, but if you do make it to Grant Park, try your luck in one of the park’s four underground garages. Alternately, you can reserve a pre-priced parking spot on SpotHero’s official Lollapalooza page.
What You Can Bring
- A backpack, satchel, purse, or fanny pack (all subject to search). You can also pre-rent a 11"x13.5"x18” locker here ($15/day or $40/weekend plus access to cell phone charging stations).
- Blankets, sheets, towels
- Handheld umbrellas (no beach umbrellas)
- Soft-sided coolers
- An empty CamelBak or other empty plastic canteen.
- Two sealed bottles of water
- Non-professional cameras and recorders
- Non-professional walkie-talkies. Before disregarding this, consider: A.) Cell service will be terrible, and B.) How much fun it’ll be to walkie-talkie your friends from across Grant Park.
What You Can’t Bring
- Large-frame hiking backpacks
- Glass containers or metal aerosol cans (double-check your sunscreen bottle)
- Carts, tents, or chairs of any kind
- Hard-sided coolers
- Skateboards, scooters, personal motorized vehicles
- Professional photo, video, and audio equipment
- GoPro attachments (sticks, monopods)
- Professional walkie-talkies—stay off CPD’s channel
- Weapons, fireworks, explosives
- Outside food and beverages (other than your sealed bottles of water)
- Drugs, drug paraphernalia, other illicit substances
- Unauthorized handouts, samples, freebies, flyers, solicitations, etc.—the vendor deadline has long passed
Dos and Don’ts
- Do hydrate like it’s your job.
- Don’t plan on seeing back-to-back sets at the Bud Light and Samsung Galaxy stages—they’re just too far apart.
- On a related note, do wear shoes with arch support—you’ll be walking a lot.
- Don’t neglect the local stage. The people who missed Chance the Rapper last year still haven’t forgiven themselves.
- Do consume calories from something other than beer. Lolla promises all manner of handheld foodstuffs this year, including beef baos and lobster corndogs.
- Don’t leave the festival with plans to return later in the day—there’s no re-entry.
- Do bring your own TP.
- Don’t lose your wristband or cut it off to shower—it’s your three-day pass.
- Do consider syncing your wristband with your checking account to make smooth, cash-free purchases—a new feature this year. But if you do, definitely don’t lose it.
- Don’t post flyers in Grant Park. People came for OutKast, not your kegger.
- Do follow us on Twitter for updates and witticisms: @carrieschedler, @ChicagoMag, @Elly33, @emmetds @mattypollock, @TomiObaro.
- That said, don’t count on cell service. With 100,000 people Instagramming Grant Park, cell service will peter out early. Set a meeting spot with your pals. Or, you know, try the walkie-talkie thing.
- Do see at least one set at Perry’s Stage. it might be a big sweaty mess of an institution, but it’s an institution nonetheless. Check out our recommendations here.
Miscellaneous Pro Tips:
- If you want to get close to the stage for a set, show up early—like, before the previous show ends. 100,000 other people want to be front-row for Lorde just as much as you.
- Once you finish your two sealed bottles of water, keep the empties and fill them up later.
- Follow your favorite Lolla bands on Twitter. Even better, make a Twitter list of them. Then add us! TwitListManager is a great resource.
- Bring a FitBit or download Argus on your phone—you’ll be amazed at the number of steps you walk all weekend.