Lollapalooza is a musical extravaganza that takes place in Chicago’s Grant Park every year. Attendees can enjoy four days of world-class music from genres like heavy metal, alternative rock, hip hop, punk rock, and EDM. In addition to the music, the festival showcases some incredible visual artists, food vendors, and non-profit groups.
The festival is the brainchild of Jane’s Addiction singer Perry Farrell and first took place in 1991. The show was conceptualized as a farewell tour for the band but became an annual event thanks to its tremendous success. The inaugural show featured music by artists like Nine Inch Nails, Siouxsie and the Banshees and Ice-T. Since then Lana Del Rey, Glass Animals, Kasabian, Panic! at the Disco, The New Amsterdams, and Audioslave have all performed at Lollapalooza.
In 2010, Lollapalooza debuted outside the United States with shows in Chile's capital Santiago. It then spread to other parts of South America like São Paulo and Buenos Aires. The first European Lollapalooza took place in Berlin in November 2014. It has grown to become one of the most popular and well-known music festivals in the world. Every year over 160,000 people gather in the City of Chicago to enjoy some great performances and soak in the festival’s fantastic vibe.
There are single-day passes on sale as well as tickets for all four days of the event. You can choose from different tiers like general admission, VIP, platinum, and Lolla Insider. They range in price from $130 (one-day general admission) to over $4000 (four-day platinum tickets, cabanas, and Lolla Insider). Tickets to Lollapalooza Chicago sell out very fast, especially the one-day passes. So if you’re keen on attending the festival get your hands on them as soon as you can.
Navigating a big city like Chicago in your RV can be a stressful experience if you aren’t prepared. There are a number of low bridges and tunnels. Stick to the outskirts of the city and be sure to check the flow of traffic on your smartphone or radio. Driving to the venue is not recommended since you may face parking issues and vehicle congestion. You’re better off taking public transportation from your campsite if you can.
Parking is not allowed on the grounds, but parking areas are organized nearby. These spots sell out fast, so it’s a good idea to book your space on the website ahead of time. If you wait too long, you may end up having to park further away from the venue than you desire.
Festival organizers are committed to making the event more sustainable. Attendees are encouraged to bike, walk, carpool, or take public transportation. Services like Metra, Divvy, and some private hire options usually offer special deals on festivals days to travel to and from the venue. The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) also adds services on all four days.
Camping is not allowed on the festival grounds. Book a spot at a nearby RV park or campground early to avoid missing out on the best spots.
You will find plenty of great camping options a short drive away from the city center. These come with useful facilities like water hook-ups, picnic tables, friendly staff, and fun recreational activities. Within the city you will likely find fewer RV campground options, so you may want to check the surrounding areas, especially on the Lake Michigan side for a more outdoorsy camping experience. Another option is to dry camp in one of the many large parking lots near the venue, but these don’t come with many facilities, and you will need to ensure that this is an option with the facility that you choose.
You can easily get around the venue on foot. Keep in mind that some of the roads near the areas will be closed on festival days, so make arrangements accordingly. There is a special ADA festival entrance for guests with disabilities so they can enter and get around using designated lanes.
Lollapalooza is one of the more fashionable music festivals, so it’s a great opportunity to dress up and step outside your comfort zone. You can expect to see plenty of boho-inspired looks as well as crop tops and shorts. Remember to wear comfortable shoes and carry a raincoat in case it rains.
Be prepared by carrying a backpack with some essentials. A water bottle (sealed or empty), sunscreen, hand sanitizer, a phone charger, and cash are must-haves. Other useful items that can come in handy are bug spray, gum, and a lightweight blanket to sit on during the performances. Carry a rain poncho or coat if you wish to stay dry if rain showers join the event.
Make sure you stay hydrated by filling your bottle at one of the free water stations at regular intervals. Avoid spending too much time in the heat and take frequent breaks to sit down in the shade. If you plan on attending all four days of the festival, you’ll need to keep your energy up so drink alcohol in moderation and make smart choices.
Cooking on the festival grounds is not allowed, but there are plenty of food options available for the time that you are at the festival site. Some RV parks within the city do not permit campfire-style cooking. If you’d prefer to cook your meals with an open flame, you’re better off staying in one of the campgrounds outside the city limits which tend to have more relaxed regulations.
Chicago has a renowned food scene and you’ll find an endless stream of food options. The city has a brand new crop of restaurants, and these have something to offer every set of taste buds. Whether you’re in the mood for exquisite and fine dining selections or delicious street food, you’re sure to find it here.
Lollapalooza showcases some great vendors and food trucks serving up delicious food. You’ll find much more than the typical “carnival” type fare at the festival. You can sample food from some of Chicago’s best restaurants including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free choices. There is also a great selection of wine, beer, and other beverages on offer through the festival's vendors.
Only small bags are allowed into the venue, and they will be searched before entry. You may also be subjected to an airport-style search. The festival organizers have stepped up safety measures in recent years by working with local, state, and federal authorities. Harassment based on gender, race, sexual orientation, or appearance will not be tolerated at Lollapalooza.
Typically, you can expect summer weather that’s quite mild. However, there have been some unexpected weather events like strong winds and thunderstorms in the past. It’s best to expect the unexpected and go prepared in case it rains. In the rare occasion that the weather takes a turn for the worse, there are measures in place to evacuate guests in a timely and safe manner.
Medial tents will be situated strategically around the festival grounds. If you need help, you can reach out to festival staff or medical personnel. There is an access center to assist patrons with disabilities. People with sensory difficulties or mobility impairments can request special wristbands for ease of entry to accessible areas of the festival.