Lollapalooza Preparation Guide

Lollapalooza is a huge weekend for Chicago. An influx of travelers from all around the world are coming to town to partake in one of the biggest music festivals in the country. This year is poised to be awesome with huge headliners like Paul McCartney, Metallica, Alt-j and the Alabama Shakes. It’s also going to be super hot and super crowded. Our guests safety, comfort and experience (in that order) are our top priority at Holiday Jones, that’s why we wanted to do a quick Lollapalooza preparation guide for all of guests visiting this weekend.

Getting To Lollapalooza from Holiday Jones

Best way to get to Lollapalooza via public transit:

The CTA Blue Line is half a block away from Holiday jones and will take you right where you need to go. Walk out Holiday Jones, take an immediate right and walk half a block down the street until you get to Division & Ashland intersection. Across the street on the North East side is the entrance to the blue line. The fare will cost $2.25 to get there and $2.75 to get back. Take the blue line towards Forest Park. Get off at the Jackson stop (6 stops) walk east 0.4 miles and you will run right into Grant Park. Once you get close just start following all the people in tank tops, sunglasses and hats.

What if I have a car?

We really recommend you park it by the hostel an leave it. Parking lollapalooza weekend will be a nightmare. Ensure your car is parked legally by Holiday Jones (ask our staff for help!) and leave it there. Parking by Lollapalooza will be very difficult to find and if you do find a spot, it will probably be very expensive. It will also be a lot faster to take the blue line as traffic will be dense.

Can I walk?

Sure, but it’s slated to be a hot one. Walking will take you about an hour or so. The best route would be taking Milwaukee ave. south east for one mile then taking a left (east) on Grand ave. all the way to Illinois st. (another mile) and start following the crowd to Grant Park.

What about a Bike?

You can always rent a Divvy bike, but with so many people heading to down town it might be hard to find a Divvy station that has a parking spot since many of them will be full. However, Divvy service trucks will be in full swing all weekend clearing out overcrowded stations. A Divvy bike rental is located right by Holiday Jones on Division st. Renting a bike for the day costs $7. Download the Divvy app to your phone to see where you can drop your bike off once you get close to Grant Park. Just use the walking route we mentioned above to bike there.

What You Can (and should!) Bring to Lollapalooza

If you’re bring a bag to the festival it will be subject to search upon entry. So be sure all items in your bag are approved by the festival. According to the Lollapalooza website, concert goers can bring the following types of items into the festival:

-Baby Strollers

-Bags, purses and backpacks

-Binoculars (don’t be creepy with it)

-Sheets, blankets, towels

-Cameras… It says only non professional cameras will be allowed. We have no idea what that means because it’s super vague, but alas that’s what they said. Also no selfie sticks (awww come on!) and mono pads/tripods.

-Empty water bottles and camel backs. You can fill these up at the festival at a water fountain for free.

-Umbrella that has to be hand held and smaller than 42 in when open

-Water, you may bring 2 factory sealed bottles of water (we’ve heard there are certain youtube videos that inform viewers on how to reseal a water bottles. Not sure why we said that just thinking out loud I guess)

What is not Allowed

-Aerosol containers including sunscreen and hairspray

-Fancy camera equipment

-Drones … the times they are a changin’


-glass or metal containers
-Illegal Drugsdonttakedrugs

-Outside food and beverage

-Walkie talkies (but cell phones are totally cool???)

-Bikes, skates, wagons…anything that allows you to move without walking (except for handicap things)


-Weapons (how is this not number 1)


-Large chains or spiked jewelry (this is not riot fest)

-Lawn chairs

What Holiday Jones thinks you should bring:

-Water bottles to refill: It’s going to be very hot this weekend and staying hydrated will help you see all the bands you were planning on seeing. It’s a long weekend so pace      yourself and drink a lot of water

-Poncho: While the weather says no rain, a poncho is easier to fold and fit in your bag and is much more practical than an umbrella at a outside music festival.

-Sunscreen: Again sun is going to be shining bright this weekend so make sure you protect your skin. Just make sure it’s not aerosol.

-ID: If you want some cold beers to go along with the tunes make sure you bring ID that says you are 21. You will not get served if you do not have proof you are in fact 21

Those are the essentials we think that you need to bring (besides the actual tickets and money to pay for things).

Getting the Most out of the Festival

Do you have a plan of who you’re going to see? No? You should. Download the schedule form and and start mapping out who you want to see. You’d be surprised at how long it takes to get from one end of the festival to the other. make an itinerary of all the bands you want to see, what time they are playing and what stage they are playing on. We suggest allowing for 15 minutes of travel between each stage.

Inside the Festival it can be a little pricey both for booze and food. Outside food is not allowed in the festival grounds. Unless you want to pay $10 for mediocre grilled meats, it would be smart to fill up before you go to the show and grabbing evening snacks after the show. Check out our See and Do page to find the best restaurants right by the hostel.

Be Smart & Be Safe

Lollapalooza is a huge event. Unfortunately huge events bring out the weirdos and the evil opportunists. We don’t mean to scare you, if you’re smart and mindful you have nothing to worry about. That being said here are some tips on how to stay safe during Lollapalooza weekend.

-Safety in numbers: Implement the buddy system if you have to, but stick with your group. It’s best to always have someone with you (girls and guys). Be sure to charge your phone before the festival in case you get separated and you can get back in touch with your group.

-Stranger Danger: You don’t have to always be polite. If someone is being a little too friendly feel free to just walk away or tell them to leave you alone. If that certain someone isn’t getting the message, there is security and police all over the festival grounds. Find one and let them know what’s going on. If that certain someone is asking if you have time for equal rights or animal rights or whatever rights is hot right now… They’re cool, just tell them you have a meeting to get to.

-Beware of the thieves: Make sure to keep your bag on you at all times or within close sight. A huge festival is prime time for pick pockets and thieves. For the gentlemen who keep their wallets in the back pocket, it might be best to keep it in the front while attending the festival. This method makes it harder for pickpockets to work their magic. For the ladies that have expensive jewelry, Lollapalooza might not be the place to show off the bling. These are like bulls eyes to thieves.

Alright enough of the Debbie Downer stuff. We want our guests to have an awesome time this Lollapalooza weekend. Feel free to ask any of our staff for help. We probably wouldn’t ask them for recommendations on what bands to see, some of them have weird taste in music. However, feel free to ask for directions, places to go before or after, or anything else you can think of. Have fun this weekend and for those that are about to rock we salute you!