Lollapalooza, a massive music festival in Grant Park, is one of the city’s biggest events. It draws thousands to downtown for four days every summer. The sheer number of people it attracts can turn navigating Chicago’s public transportation and roadways into a task that’s harder than it needs to be.
If you’re visiting Chicago, or new to Lollapalooza, this guide will give a rundown the best ways to navigate the festival. We’ll tell you the closest L stops and where the festival has bike parking. Plus, parents can find out what kid-friendly activities there are to do.
The headliners this year include Ariana Grande, Childish Gambino, Twenty-One Pilots, and The Strokes—make a personalized schedule of all the performances on the interactive lineup site.
Download and save the Lollapalooza map to your camera roll.
How to get to Lollapalooza
The main entrance at Grant Park is located at Michigan and Ida B. Wells Drive. There’s another entrance on the north end at Columbus and Monroe.
Closest L stops
The nearest CTA stations include:
- Washington/Wabash or Adams/Wabash for Green, Pink, Brown, Purple, Orange lines
- Monroe or Jackson for the Blue line
- Jackson or Harrison for the Red line
In the past, the CTA has printed special paper fare cards and given away Lolla-themed pass holders for customers heading out early to the festival.
The best option is to buy one a one- or multi-day pass (between $10 and $28) so you’re not stuck trying to get a ticket with hundreds of others. If you have a Ventra card, download the app to check your balance and reload money.
Especially for the festival, Metra is selling a special Lollapalooza unlimited train pass for Thursday, August 1 and Friday, August 2 for $10. After Thursday, the price goes up to $15. Over Saturday and Sunday, Metra’s $10 weekend pass is available.
More seats will be available on earlier morning trains around 9:30. There will be extra trains and additional train times, which can be checked online.
If you arrive at Ogilvie Transportation Center take the Green or Pink line to Washington/Wabash or the J14 Jeffery Jump bus route. From Union Station, take the No. 1, 7 or 126 bus route.
Uber and Lyft
To get there request a ride along North or South Michigan Avenue near Grant Park and follow directions in the app. When leaving, it might be best to walk a few blocks north or west before requesting a ride.
With road closures, more traffic than usual, and thousands of other people your best bet is likely public transportation.
You can bike to Lollapalooza and find abundant parking at the festival’s main entrance (Ida B. Wells Drive and Michigan Avenue).
Chainlinks, a Loyola University student-run bike shop, will be running the lot. They’ll offer repairs, maintenance, and a bike valet in case you forgot a lock. Plus, enter for a chance to win a custom-built bike.
Even better, Divvy riders can get to Lollapalooza for free using the code LOLLA19. That covers one free ride between August 1-4. Divvy will have workers on site all four days to help with any overflow at stations.
Rolling street closures began on Monday, July 22 so that organizers could set up. Currently, Jackson Drive between Columbus and Lake Shore Drive along with Balbo Drive between Columbus and Lake Shore Drive are closed in both directions through August 9.
Expect traffic and driving to be challenging around Grant Park during the four-day festival.
At all entrances there are special designated lanes for people with disabilities. During sets there will be raised viewing platforms or deaf/hard of hearing areas—only those with ADA wristbands will be permitted with their companion.
The accessibility center, just west of Buckingham Fountain on Columbus Drive, provides programming information in large print, power outlets for recharging power wheelchairs, and a festival map with special viewing areas. Sensory Access will have headphones and information on quiet spaces for those who have difficulty with sensory aspects at concerts.
An ADA pick up and drop off location is on Monroe at Columbus Drive.
How to deal with a weather event or evacuation
Summer has seen some extreme weather: thunderstorms, extreme heat, high winds creating dangerous Lake Michigan waves. Heavy downpours and lighting have evacuated Lolla before, and were the cause for Pitchfork’s evacuation this year.
Rain or shine the music will go on, but if the weather takes a serious turn, then organizers might call for an evacuation. There are five emergency exits at the north and east sides of the park (here’s a map of them). Plus emergency shelters at the underground parking garages at Grant Park North, Grant Park South, and Millennium Lakeside.
After an evacuation set times will be updated in the Lolla app, on social media, and the video tower at Buckingham Fountain.
If you’re bringing kids
Kidzapalooza is an event with a designated area with its own performances geared toward families during Lollapalooza. There are also activities and crafts to keep children engaged.
Kids under 10 years old can attend Lollapalooza for free (only two kids per ticket-holding adult).
Parents can head to the Tag-a-Kid kiosk at Kidzapalooza or the Guest Services tent near the main entrance and register their child with the festival. This is so if your kid gets lost, staff can quickly reunite them with a parent or guardian.
There’s also a Low Stimulus Area for families that need quiet time with space for breast feeding mothers and diaper changes.