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How to Experience Lollapalooza in Style

Take advantage of all the perks from swanky Lolla Lounges to access to exclusive viewing areas

It doesn’t matter if a festival has been around for 26 years (Lollapalooza) or two (Panorama): all festivals have their pros and cons. There will be a moment when you’re craving a delicious craft brew but are disheartened by the seemingly endless queue. Alternatively, there may also be a moment when your newly discovered-turned-favorite band of all time is playing an afternoon set and you’re able to sneak to the front of a barely-there crowd, enjoying what feels like an intimate performance for you and only you. Or, you’ll get to experience a pro/con combination when someone in your group lets their phone die–despite you encouraging everyone to utilize battery saving mode–leading to their disappearance for a few hours, followed by a heroic reemergence at an epic set by Radiohead.

There are both pros and cons to attending a festival, but the latter can easily be avoided. Simply put, instead of having to endure a long line for an underwhelming burger, or protecting your phone’s battery as if it were a prized jewel: upgrade

Radiohead at Lollapalooza 2016
Credit: Charles Reagan Hackleman// Lollapalooza 2016

Chicago’s Lollapalooza is one of the few festivals that seems to understand the importance of offering an upgraded experience–two experiences, to be exact. Guests can either opt in to the VIP or Platinum packages, which include perks like multi-level viewing platforms in VIP and reserved front row areas for Platinum guests. This year, Platinum ticket holders will have the opportunity to watch sets from side-stage viewing platforms on the main stages, giving you the chance to actually see the artists perform, as opposed to watching the screen from the back of the crowd. 

VIP & Platinum Manager Courtney Murphy gave DuJour the inside scoop saying, “Our VIP Lolla Lounges offer a laid-back vibe. It’s more chilled out and very amenity-driven.” She continues to describe the Platinum experience which is Lollapalooza’s next-level program, saying, “It is exclusive, elevated  and truly a rockstar experience. Guests can get up-close and personal to their favorite artists on all of the main stages. Plus, we are offering meet and greets with the artists for the first time.” Obviously the music is a priority at Lollapalooza, so having exclusive viewing access is key and with the new addition of artist meet and greets in Platinum, you can get even closer than you thought possible. 

Lollapalooza in Grant Park 2016
Credit: Roger Ho/Lollapalooza 2016

Entering the festival that hosts upwards of 300,000 attendees every year can be time consuming and cut into your time exploring Grant Park or even performances. VIP and Platinum ticket holders will enjoy the luxury of more convenient and dedicated entry lanes to avoid the crowds, and both upgrades offer access to golf cart transportation to navigate Grant Park (which is one mile end-to-end). Murphy makes it a point to mention that there will be more golf carts dedicated solely to the Platinum guests, which has limited capacity, ensuring those elite guests receive the most personal attention. 

And as for sustenance, VIPs will have a shaded bar in the Lolla Lounge North serving artisanal cocktails and beers. Platinum ticket holders can indulge in daily happy hours, champagne and a Tito’s Bloody Mary Bar every morning. Since Chicago is hugely celebrated for its local fare, Lollapalooza has partnered with some local restaurants guaranteed to please. Platinum restaurants include Avec, Nico Osteria, The Publican and Dove’s Luncheonette, while VIP offerings slim down to Big Star, PQM and of course, the Lolla Lounge Café serving up tasty bites from 12:30-7:30pm daily. Another perk is that all refreshments are complimentary when you pass through those velvet ropes into VIP or Platinum. 

If you dare to splurge on the $2,200 + fees 4-day VIP ticket or the impressive $4,200 4-day Platinum ticket, you will be rewarded with several ancillary perks as well. Both options include air-conditioned, flushable restrooms, a massage tent, complimentary mobile charging stations and more. Platinum goes the extra mile with complimentary wi-fi and air-conditioned hospitality lounges which will offer sweet solace over the course of the four days.

Lollapalooza will be held at Grant Park, Chicago from August 3 – August 6, 2017.

Main image credit: Maclay Heriot/Lollapalooza 2016