What Is Lollapalooza Like? Everything You Need to Know About the Music Festival

Lollapalooza is one of the most anticipated music festivals of the summer. Located in Chicago’s Grant Park, the event features A-list bands and artists, local food vendors, and more. Whether you’re a first-timer or seasoned festival-goer, there are a few things to consider ahead of the four-day weekend — including what to expect and what to bring to Lollapalooza.

From security to bag requirements, here’s what to expect at Lollapalooza.

What to expect at Lollapalooza

Lollapalooza is one of the most anticipated events of the summer. | Gabriel Grams/Getty Images for Samsung

What to expect at Lollapalooza

Wondering what Lollapalooza is like? From the weather to the crowds to the food vendors, keep reading for what to expect at the music festival


Since the festival is outdoors, the weather is one of the most important things to consider. Summer in Chicago means lots of sun, heat, humidity, and even rain. Be sure to check the weather ahead of time and come prepared for whatever Mother Nature has in mind.


Lollapalooza security is another critical factor to consider. Before heading to the festival, be sure to brush up on the festival’s prohibited items list. Doing so can help streamline the security process for you and others.


As with most music festivals, there will be crowds at Lollapalooza. To make the day more pleasant, keep this in mind and be considerate of others. Also, you might want to make your way to the stages early, so you get a good spot.

Cell service

Speaking of crowds, you might have a hard time finding cell service. That means calling, texting, and access to the internet will be slow or down. Before you get to the park, download the festival schedule ahead of time and discuss your game plan with friends. You might also want to determine specific meeting spots for during or after the festival, the time you want to leave, and bring a portable phone charger in case your phone dies from searching for service. Writing down your hotel information and a friend’s phone number can also come in handy in your group gets separated.


In addition to the band lineup, the food at Lollapalooza is quite impressive. Vendors include a variety of Chicago favorites such as Billy Goat Tavern, Kuma’s Corner, The Goddess and Grocer, and Tallboy Taco.

Loud music

Music is a give-in — after all, it’s a music festival. However, if you have sensitive ears or are bringing a small child, you might want to consider packing some earplugs or baby noise-canceling headphones.

Gates open for Day 1 of #Lolla at 11am. Who are you most excited to see today?

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What to bring to Lollapalooza

On top of knowing what to expect at Lollapalooza, knowing what to bring can also come in handy — especially since the festival has strict security rules and a laundry list of prohibited items. Keep reading to find out what to bring to Lollapalooza.


Forgetting a festival ticket happens more often than you’d think! To ensure you don’t leave home without the essential Lollapalooza item, set a reminder on your phone.

Sunscreen lotion

Since August is one of the hottest (and sunniest) months of the year, sunscreen is a definite must-have. That said, Lollapalooza has strict regulations on what type of sunscreen is allowed in the park. According to its website, sealed sunscreen lotion is the only permitted sunscreen. That means no aerosol containers and no already opened tubes.


Did we mention it’s going to be a hot one? When packing your festival necessities, be sure to add deodorant to the mix.


Most Lollapalooza vendors take credit and debit cards, but some don’t. Before heading to the festival, be sure to take cash out just in case. If you’re worried about carrying cash or card, Lollapalooza and Citibank have you covered with Lolla Cashless. The wristband syncs to your debit or credit card and allows you to make purchases at all festival vendors with the tap of your wrist! To get Lolla Cashless, click here.


It might sound obvious, but if you’re using Lolla Cashless — aka, not bringing a wallet — remembering your ID is harder than you’d think. If you plan on drinking at the festival, be sure to toss your ID in your bag.

Empty water bottle

Security won’t allow full water bottles into the park, but you can bring an empty plastic or aluminum — such as a Hydro Flask or S’well Bottle — to fill up once inside. August is one of Chicago’s hottest months of the year, so staying hydrated is a must.

In addition to water bottles, Lollapalooza allows hydration packs, like Camelbak. According to the festival website, the packs “must be emptied of all liquid and have no more than two pockets in addition to the one holding the water reservoir.”


While some bags are prohibited, you can bring a purse, tote, or drawstring bag. The catch? It must be no bigger than 14” x 11” x 5” and have only one pocket or singular opening. Be sure to double check the Lollapalooza allowed items list ahead of time to ensure your bag matches requirements.

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