It’s never too early to start planning for summer festival season—and that includes Lollapalooza, Chicago’s annual music fest. Featuring a wide spectrum of alternative rock, heavy metal, punk rock, hip-hop, and EDM bands and artists, Lollapalooza is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a bang. Reserve your tickets early, book your travel, and use this insider’s guide to discover all things Lolla.

A KILLER LINEUP
We might be biased, but we think there are few places better than Chicago in the summer—and for a quarter-century, Lollapalooza has been a part of that. This year, the festival’s organizers are celebrating by expanding the event to four days. This extension should give you plenty of time to catch headliners like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Radiohead, and Jane’s Addiction as well as indie acts such as Lana Del Rey, St. Lucia, and Haim.

Tip: General admission tickets sell out fast, so consider investing in a multi-day VIP pass instead, which will also get you perks like lounge seating, catered food, and even mini spa treatments.

MORE THAN MUSIC
The musical acts may be the main draw for Lollapalooza, but they’re not the only attraction. Visitors can also check out the festival’s other activities and events. Most are still hush-hush, but we do know that the annual art market will be up and running on Green Street, where you can browse environmentally friendly wares from top artisans.

Tip: Take advantage of the free water-filling stations and phone-charging ports around the park—and don’t worry about getting a sitter: Little ones under 10 get in free with their parents and can enjoy a bunch of fun activities at Kidapalooza.

FESTIVAL FARE
Stay energized all weekend by fueling yourself with a variety of menu selections. You won’t find just carnival items here, though. Lollapalooza offers visitors a wide selection of fresh, tasty fare, with an emphasis on local ingredients.

Tip: The 2016 lineup is still being finalized, but Lollapalooza’s “Chow Town” vendors typically include food and drink from many of Chicago’s best eateries. Look for local companies: Last year’s partners included noshes from gourmet deli Goddess & Grocer, fair-trade Dark Matter Coffee, and Billy Goat Tavern & Grill, home of the Original Chicago Burger.

To make a weekend of Lollapalooza, book a room at The James Chicago.

 

 

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