With Lollapalooza less than one week away (Hard to believe, right? Where did summer go?) it’s time to start prepping for the best festival that the Midwest has to offer. If you were lucky enough to grab tickets at face value before Lolla’s website crashed and sold out, then nicely done! If not, StubHub is still chock-full of tickets for all of you procrastinators out there. Sure, they may be a little pricey at this point ($159 for Friday, $179 for Saturday, $118 for Sunday, and a cool $307 for the 3-Day) but if you’re reading this article you’re obviously at least interested in going, so to you I say, ‘It’s not too late!’

I was out on showings in Lincoln Park the day that the tickets went on sale, but thanks to a friend of mine and the sixteen screens she had open during that first wave of ticket sales, I now have a colorful new 3-Day wristband that I’ll be slapping on come Friday morning. If you’re planning on going, too, the time has come for you to start researching what to pack, where to park, who to— oh wait, I’ve already done that for you.

Consider this your 2014 Lollapalooza Cheat Sheet. You’re welcome 🙂

Getting There 

  • By Plane
    • Chicago is home to two international airports – Midway and O’Hare. Either will do the trick for those of you coming in from great distances. Safe travels!
  •  By Public Transportation
    • CTA, Metra and Pace – all in one place. Plan your Lollapalooza trip using the RTA‘s trip planner goroo.com with real-time travel information. Traveling from the suburbs? Metra’s commuter rail system makes it easy. Click here for Metra details, and to see a map of nearby Metra stations.
  • By Bike
    • Bike parking will be available south of the main entrance on Michigan Avenue. You’ll find bike racks both north and south of Balbo Ave. Bring a lock!
  • By Car
    • Security patrolled, 24-hour parking is available directly beneath Grant Park in four underground garages, as well as Soldier Field’s North Garage.
    • Uber is a great alternative if you don’t want to deal with the hassles of parking. New users can enter Promo code LOLLA for a free first ride, up to $30 off.
  • Park Entrance
    • Grant Park in downtown Chicago is the annual host of Lollapalooza. There’s a Main Entrance to Lolla at Michigan & Congress, in addition to the North Entrance at Columbus & Monroe. The Box Office is just north of the Main Entrance at S. Michigan Ave & E. Van Buren St. Your wristband allows entry at both entrances, so check and see which line is shorter.
  • Park Hours
    • Gates for Lolla will open at 11AM CST and the music will end at 10PM CST.

What to Wear and Bring


As of today, Monday, July 28, the never-been-wrong-a-day-in-their-lives meteorologists are predicting a warm Chicago weekend. Mostly sunny, 80 degrees with a slight chance of an isolated thunderstorm. Assuming they’re right, I’m calling these the necessities:


  • Clothes You Can Ruin – I’m not saying that you will ruin your clothes, but the likelihood is extraordinary. Every year Grant Park looks like a post-apocalyptic mess by the end of day on Sunday – especially when it rains and everything turns into a mudslide. Don’t bring anything you would be devastated to lose.
  • Backpack – Distributing the weight across both shoulders instead of one is huge.
  • Water bottle – This goes in your backpack. It’s cool to drink water. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
  • Comfortable shoes – Whatever happens, you do NOT want to be the one person there in sky-high heels. It’s not a good look, and people will laugh at you on the inside for your poor planning.
  • Shorts – or a fun skirt or sundress. Flow-y-ness is best.
  • Head Accessory – Hats, bandanas, headbands, wraps, even flowers if you’re into that kind of thing. It’s the only time it’s considered borderline acceptable to wear a headband made of sunflowers when you’re a grown up. Knock yourself out.
  • Bathing Suit – Try to refrain from wearing only a bathing suit, but they are great to wear under your top in case it rains.
  • Totem – People always get separated and it is zero fun having to miss your favorite show because Suzie Q or John Smith got lost on their way back from the bathroom. Bring a flag or a balloon so your friends can find you from a distance.
  • Cash – ATM fees are a joke.
  • Sunglasses – Just maybe not your most expensive pair.
  • Spray Sunscreen – Spray is quicker than lotion, and nobody likes sunburn.
  • Bug Spray – I loathe mosquitos. Loathe.
  • Phone Charger – duh.
  • Travel-Sized Kleenex – In case they run out of TP. It’s more discreet to carry.
  • Chapstick – Again, duh.
  • Oil blotting paper – You will sweat. Your Instagram friends will thank you.
  • Camera – Speaking of Instagram, don’t waste your entire experience posting photos from your phone to social media. Take photos on your camera and post them later. You know, the old fashioned way.

One last thing, try to make a schedule before you get there. This year’s line-up is pretty great and it would be so disappointing to miss a good show just because you wound up at the wrong stage at the wrong time.

Check them out below if you need a refresher. Looking forward to the weekend. Perhaps I’ll even see you there!




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