Festival season is exciting and it’s easy to get ahead of yourself when it comes to planning. You might miss something important if you aren’t thinking clearly.
Planning for festivals is the best way to have a great experience. You don’t want to be thinking about forgotten items or your schedule due to your poor preparation.
That’s where we come in. When it’s time to make your journey to the awesome Lollapalooza festival we’re going to be your guide.
Between travel, accommodations, supplies, and more, we’ve got your newcomer’s guide to Lollapalooza right here.
So, Where Are We Going?
Lollapalooza is held at the end of summer every year in the windy city: Chicago, Illinois. It takes place at Grant Park.
If you don’t have friends in the area (or if you don’t live there yourself) you’re going to need to find a place to stay. While there are many great Air BnB options in Chicago you may have better luck in one of the many surrounding hotels.
You have traditional options such as the Hilton and the Hyatt only a brief walk from the festival You can also choose a more fun accommodation option like the Hard Rock Chicago or a swanky option such as the James Hotel.
Historically, plenty of hotels have offered Lollapalooza packages. Some may keep your costs lower while others offer special perks to festival guests included in one package.
You don’t want to have to drive while the festival is happening, so be sure to pick a walkable option!
How Do We Get There?
While you’ll have to drive to Chicago, there are plenty of wonderful public transportation options once you’re in the city. The city is also bikable and has plenty of ridesharing options.
Chicago has America’s second-biggest public transportation system making it efficient and easy to use. Don’t bother driving around.
There are no designated shuttles to the festival.
What Are We Listening to?
Chances are if you’re planning on going to the festival you already know a handful of the performers at Lollapalooza. You can check out the 2020 lineup to get an idea of what kinds of genres are going to be there, but as an overall view: everyone will find something to love.
Between punk-pop, pop, rap, rap, rock, indie, and more, Lollapalooza leaves very few genres out of the mix.
Any big crowd can result in some safety hazards, but Lollapalooza does make every attempt to keep their audience and performers safe while they’re at the festival.
Hundreds of private security officers are hired to patrol the area either in clear view of audience members or undercover to ensure that they have eyes on everyone at the festival. All festival-goers will walk through metal detectors upon entry and bags may be searched for dangerous or illegal objects.
Undercover and uniformed Chicago police officers will also be present to look out for and address any potential safety concerns.
As in any other public situation, keep your head on a swivel and know where any first aid stations are in case of an injury, illness, or emergency.
How’s the Weather?
Chicago has a great climate in August if you love the sun and heat but aren’t looking forward to roasting at the festival. As with any outdoor music festival, you’re relying on the weather behaving, but you can get an idea of what you can expect before you go.
Chicago’s August weather stays between the mid-70s and the mid-80s making it warm but not sweltering. This is a great festival temperature.
Unfortunately, August is smack dab in the middle of Chicago’s rainy season. You can (and should, unless told otherwise by weather sites and stations) expect rain at some point during the festival.
Rain or shine, the festival goes on. Bring a rain poncho and get your festival on anyway!
What to Bring (and What Not to Bring)
That weather that we talked about is going to be one of the first things that you have to consider when you’re packing your bag.
Make sure that you have several changes of clothes that can be used rain or shine. It’s helpful to pack a rain poncho alongside your summer clothes (or a bathing suit if you’re up for it).
Aim for flowy and loose clothing and make sure you bring sunscreen.
You can’t bring large and bulky bags into the festival itself so you’ll need to pack small. You also can’t bring coolers, tents, carts, or any other large items that can be used to take items from one place to the next.
While you’re advised to drink plenty of water you should avoid bringing it in reusable containers. Clear plastic water bottles (2 per person) or empty reusable containers are fine. No other outside food or drinks are acceptable.
You shouldn’t bring any illegal substances or weapons of any kind.
If you want to put some of your memories into your camera you must have a non-professional camera and you can’t use any attachments (such as selfie sticks). Recording video is disallowed.
Tips for Your Best Experience
So these are the basic ins and outs of Lollapalooza, but what about the “need to knows” from insiders and festival veterans?
First, make sure that you know the schedule ahead of time. Take a map and schedule and mark out where you need to be at what time to ensure that you and your group all get to see their favorite acts.
On a map, mark out how you’re going to get from place to place. This will give you far less confusion in the long run.
If you know that you’ll be coming and going make sure to take note of the re-entry policies. Once you have your wristband you can re-enter 3 times each day.
If you’re worried about getting lost or separated from your friends, look up! There are numbered poles distributed throughout the park so you’ll be able to find your pals in no time, even when you’re stuck in the crowds.
Use Our Guide to Lollapalooza
You’re going to have a great time; are you excited? You should be.
While festivals can be stressful and exhausting, they’re also a great time. Use our guide to Lollapalooza to prepare for this awesome weekend of good music, good friends, and good memories.
Are you readying yourself for next year’s festival season? Don’t sweat it. We did the research so you don’t have to.
Check out the rest of our site for all of the “need to know” details on all of your favorite fests!