While Lollapalooza is now not only one of America’s biggest festivals and one of C3 Presents signature events, it began much differently than most would expect.
Originally created by Perry Farrell in 1991 as a farewell tour for his band, Jane’s Addiction, the festival was began as a touring event that reached cities in the States and Canada. The first lineup featured the likes of Ice-T alongside Nine Inch Nails with its success allowing for Lolla to run annually until 1997.
In 1996 Farrell turned his energies onto another festival project, while Metallica’s spot at the top of the bill angered fans who saw the event as a non-mainstream festival.
The original Lolla event declined in popularity and a failure to find a headliner for the 1998 lineup saw its eventual demise.
Farrell revived Jane’s Addiction and the festival in 2003 with a 30-date tour. Yet only moderate success was achieved with high-ticket prices deterring many would-be attendees.
A 2004 event, which would expand to two days in each city, was planned and later canned after low ticket sales.
The real revival for Lolla though wasn’t in the 2003 event but in Farrell’s decision to partner with C3 Presents. The company was already known for putting together the Austin City Limits Festival and their decision to hold the 2005 event at Grant Park in Chicago, Illnois effectively made the festival what it is today.
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The 2005 festival booked 70 acts to perform over five stages with 65,000 punters in attendance. Its success saw Lolla return to Chicago in 2006 as a five-year deal was secured to keep the event in The Windy City. Another deal was signed in 2008 to secure Lolla as a Chicago event until 2018.
C3 Presents have to turned Lolla into a colossal sized festival with over 160,000 people attending the three day event.
It may have originally been known for non-mainstream acts, but the festival is now renowned for booking some of world’s biggest bands.
Its success has spawned both a Chilean Lolla, held in Santiago, and a Brazilian event, held in Sao Paulo. An event for Tel Aviv in Israel was planned for 2013, but it has since been rescheduled for 2014.
Lolla may have begun as a touring event, but it is now definitely Chicago. Its embrace of local food (through its Chow Town initiative, which you can read about below) has ensured that international travellers will experience acts from around the world in a setting which proudly displays Chicago as the world class city that it is.
Of the big headliners making their way around the festival circuit this year Lollapalooza has five of the biggest names. While Outkast continue their festival heavy reunion tour, Kings Of Leon, Eminem and Arctic Monkeys will play off the back of their 2013 LPs, while Skrillex will most likely draw from the surprise release of Recess.
Kiwi sensation Lorde, dance maestro Calvin Harris and three-piece Foster The People will bring their own respective brands of pop, while Cut Copy, Flume, The John Butler Trio, Courtney Barnett, The Temper Trap, Vance Joy, Anna Lunoe, Iggy Azalea, Jagwar Ma and Betty Who will all fly the Aussie flag.
Check out the full lineup here.
When And Where
Lollapalooza will run from the 1st to the 3rd of August. The festival is held in Chicago’s Grant Park.
Check out the festival map here.
How To Get There
Flights from Chicago, from any major city in Australia, are from $1900 onwards with LA as your in-transit destination.
Once in Chicago getting to Lollapalooza all depends on whereabouts you’re staying. Obviously Grant Park is as large as a festival of this size requires and there are two entrances so punters will have to plan ahead as to which entrance is most convenient for them. The main entrance is on Michigan and Congress, while the North access point is on Columbus and Monroe.
For those picking up their tickets the Box Office is just north of the Main Entrance at S. Michigan Ave and E. Van Buren St.
The local transit authority has bus and train routes to Grant Park, while there are also routes to and from the airport.
You can map out your route at the transit authority’s website here. There are a variety of different transit options available. A three-day transit pass is valued at $20 American dollars, check out the rest of the options here.
Catching a cab could also be an option depending on once again where you’re situated.
Where To Stay
Lollapalooza has their own handy site, which lists hotel rates in Chicago. If you think hotels are the way to go and then follow this link.
Although for many international festival visitors hostels are likely to be a far more realistic option. IHSP Chicago, Chicago Getaway Hostel, Urban Holiday Lofts, HI Chicago and Parthenon Hostel are some of the best hostels.
Travel packages with a ticket included are also offered by Lollapalooza. Check out the options here.
How To Get Tickets
Tickets for the 2014 event are sold out with the prices detailed below. However there are some limited platinum tickets available for those willing to fork out the cash. Keep reading to find out more.
Before early bird tickets go on sale event organisers provide a small amount of ‘souvenir’ three-day tickets for the bargain price of just $75US. But there’s a catch. The organisers don’t release the vital information as to when such tickets will go on sale. Those who drastically want to purchase tickets at the heavily discounted price will have to either be just really lucky or constantly refresh the ticket page like a madman until they’re available. Which prompts the question; just exactly how keen are you for a cheap ticket?
Early bird three-day tickets are $200 down from the full price of $235. While single day tickets are valued at $95 each.
VIP passes allow punters the ultimate festival experience with unlimited access to both the North and South ‘Lolla Lounge’. Golf car transportation is provided along with access to viewing platforms and premium sightlines. Drinks and food is catered while mini spa treatment, air conditioned rooms and shaded seating are also afforded for VIP pass holders. Sounds pretty amazing, right? It’ll set you back a cool $1050.
If that cash is but a drop in your savings than you may even want to consider the Platinum pass which there are no available prices for and can only purchased by contacting Lollapalooza. It includes Platinum versions of what is offered above, while onsite concierge hosts are available for you at the festival. Access to the artist lounge, an exclusive festival merchandise bag and the first option to purchase Platinum passes at next years festival are also the perks of forking out insane amounts of cash for this ticket.
You can get you VIP and Platinum prices here.
All tickets can be purchased from the Lollapalooza website, follow this link with your card in hand.
Insider Tips & Tricks/Things You Shouldn’t Miss
Have kids under the age ten? Than bring them along to Lolla as they get in free with an adult ticket holder. If the music isn’t keeping your youngster entertained than a visit to Kidzapalooza should do the trick. You might even be lucky in catching a main stage performer in the area, which is known to happen from time to time. Check out the full list of activities that happen at Kidzapalooza here.
2013 Big Day Out revelers should remember the Chow Town initiative that began this year. Lolla is where it all began; there is no better place to sample the best of Chicago’s restaurants and bars than through Chow Town and the Lolla Farmers Market.
Beer enthusiasts should head straight to Lolla’s Lederhosen Beer Garden. Not only is there shaded area, but a selection of quality brews which, just like Chow Town, will give you a taste for Chicago.
Grant Park is both beautiful and huge (that’s 115 acres to be exact). So there are plenty of spaces to take a break from the music and mosh areas if that is what you require. There are activities planned for different areas of the park. Take a look at what is planned here.
For more details head to Lollapalooza Official Website: http://www.lollapalooza.com
Britian’s The Cure will headline alongside their banjo-twanging compatriots Mumford and Sons. While the Trent Reznor fronted Nine Inch Nails will make their live return just as The Postal Service celebrate the 10th anniversary of their debut Give Up. The Killers will play in support of last year’s Battle Born as Queens Of The Stone Age, The National, Phoenix and Vampire Weekend will spruik their respective 2013 releases.
Take a closer look at the full lineup here.