Everything You Need to Know to Prepare for Lollapalooza This Year

Must-see acts, festival foods, and everything to know for Lollapalooza this year.

In Chicago, there really are five seasons: winter, spring, summer, fall, and festival—and Lollapalooza is basically the Christmas of festival season. The city’s biggest and most iconic music festival is back in action next month, with a lineup that looks better than ever.

Taking place once again at Grant Park, on Chicago’s “front lawn” downtown, Lollapalooza 2023 runs August 3 - 6, with multiple ticket options, eats from some of the city’s most renowned restaurants, and music sets from some of the hottest names in music, like Billie Eilish, Kendrick Lamar, Lana del Rey, and a little band called the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Whether you’ve already purchased tickets or you’re still mulling over your festival ‘fit, we’ve got all the details on the epic four-day event, along with essential sets, your burning weed questions, and intel on the afterparty. Put together your party posse and hit the park with our ultimate guide to Lollapalooza 2023.


Where Is it Happening?

Once again, Lollapalooza will be held in Grant Park, sandwiched between Lake Michigan and the city’s towering downtown skyline. Nine stages will be sprawled south of Millennium Park, typically on and around Ida B. Wells Drive, Michigan Avenue, Monroe Street, and Columbus Drive.

What Are the Ticket Options?

Attendees have lots of ticket options this year, including different tiers for one-day passes, two-day passes, and four-day passes. One-day options include general admission for $135, which grants access to more than 170 performances, food and drinks for purchase, and secured lockers for rent. One-day GA+ goes for $250 and adds unlimited access to two lounges with seating and air-conditioned restrooms, preferred pricing on all drinks, special food items for purchase, expedited festival entry, and a dedicated concierge to assist with all your Lolla needs. Then there’s 1-day VIP, which goes for $550 and includes access to on-field viewing directly behind both the north and south main stages (a new perk this year), plus access to two shaded lounges with air-conditioned restrooms, golf cart transportation between stages, complimentary glitter treatments, and a dedicated premium entrance into the fest. If you’re really feeling extra, the one-day platinum pass for $2,000 grants access to two elite lounges, complimentary all-day dining and drinks, special viewing areas, your own platinum entrance, a special festival gift, and presale access to aftershows.

Two-day passes are only available as general admission for $270, and four-day passes also come in general admission, GA+, VIP, and platinum. Four-day ticket-holders can also upgrade to a cabana package.

Where Can I Buy Tickets?

Tickets are available on the Lollapalooza website.

How Do I Get There?

Parking anywhere near Grant Park can be a headache, but discounted rates for the festival are available at Millennium Garages—specifically at Millennium Lakeside, Millennium Park and Grant Park North Garages. Better yet, public transit is abundant and easy in the area, with plenty of stops from CTA buses and trains, and the nearby Van Buren Metra stop. All “L” lines stop in the Loop, including stations like Van Buren, Monroe, Adams/Wabash, and Jackson, and buses like 3, 4, 6, 20, 56, 60, 124, 146, 147, 151, and 157 all stop along the park.

What Are the Must-See Acts?

With nearly 200 acts from all over the world descending on nine stages, there’s a lot to see at Lollapalooza this year. From hip-hop and rock to pop, rap, and the dulcet croons of a miss Lana del Rey, here’s a taste of what’s on the docket this year:

Thursday: Performers include Carly Rae Jepsen, Sofi Tukker, Portugal. The Man, and Noah Kahan along with headliners Billie Eilish and Karol G.
Friday: Performers include Thirty Seconds to Mars, Subtronics, Foals, and Fred Again… along with headliners Kendrick Lamar and The 1975.
Saturday: Performers include Maggie Rogers, Pusha T, Yung Gravy, and Meduza, along with headliners Odesza and Tomorrow X Together.
Sunday: Performers include Louis the Child, Lil Yachty, Rina Sawayama, and The Backseat Lovers, along with headliners Lana del Rey and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

What Are the Set Times?

Gates open at noon each festival day and most headliners are expected to play around 8:45 pm each night. Check out the detailed line-up and set times for more info.

Ted Alexander Somerville/Shutterstock

Can I Bring Weed?

While Lollapalooza doesn’t explicitly prohibit recreational weed, it’s worth noting that the Chicago Park District does not allow smoking or vaping. Any bag you bring will be subject to search, so be careful about sneaking in edibles too. Here’s a list of other items that are prohibited:

• Weapons of any kind
• Professional cameras or recording equipment
• Outside food
• Large or hard sided coolers
• Pets
• Glass containers of any kind
• Outside alcohol
• Fireworks
• Selfie sticks
• Laser pointers
• Drones or hover cameras
• Chairs

What Are the Food Options?

Chow Town is back this year, offering an extensive roster of street eats across a range of cuisines and styles. While the 2023 slate has yet to be announced, it’s safe to expect some return vendors from recent years, which included Beat Kitchen, Billy Goat Tavern, Broken English Taco Pub, Epic Burger, Gus’s Famous Fried Chicken, Lito’s Empanadas, Pizano’s Pizza, Smoke Daddy, and Wow Bao.

What’s the Bathroom Situation?

Different tiered tickets allow access to special air-conditioned restrooms for folks with GA+, VIP, and platinum passes, but general admission ticket-goers will have to stick to good ol’ fashioned porta potties.

Where’s the Official Afterparty?

Lollapalooza aftershows are practically as famed as the festival itself, and this year brings a spree of shows all week long, starting with Carly Rae Jepsen at the Metro August 1. Other aftershows include Dope Lemon at Park West August 2, Peach Pit at The Vic August 3, The Garden at Thalia Hall August 4, Meduza at Cermak Hall August 5, and Sylvan Esso at the Metro August 6. All aftershows can be found here.

How is Lollapalooza Giving Back to the Community?

More than lip service, Lollapalooza established the Lollapalooza Arts Education Fund to help Chicago youth earn creative opportunities in music and festival industries. In 2021, a $2.2 million donation went to arts education in Chicago Public Schools with the goal to support more than 100,000 students through 2026. Lolla also partnered with After School Matters to create artistic after-school and summer programs for Chicago teens.

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Matt Kirouac is a Thrillist contributor.