For more than two decades, the Lollapalooza Music Festival has constantly been ranked as one of the top North American Music Festivals.
The three day music fest brings together a diverse line-up that includes the top alternative rock and hip-hop acts, the latest indie and EDM artistes, and living legends like Depeche Mode and Paul McCartney.
What began as a one-time farewell tour for Jane’s Addiction has grown into a four day extravaganza with over 200,000 attendees per day, and international expansion into six different countries.
Just like Bonnaroo or Coachella, Lollapalooza is a bucket list music festival and something that should be experienced at least once in a lifetime. Attending a bucket list music festival means splurging and doing everything to make sure it’s a perfect experience, and a great way to do this is to purchase VIP Lollapalooza Tickets.
VIP Lollapalooza tickets grant you access to the “VIP Lolla Lounge”, a small area in Grant Park that includes special luxury perks, a clear view of the main stages and more.
At more than five times the cost of a regular ticket, is a Lollapalooza VIP ticket actually worth it?
The answer to that question is subjective; it depends on what you enjoy most about a music festival as well as how much you’re willing to indulge in all the VIP food and drinks, and how many Music Festival Headliners you want to see.
Here’s a breakdown of what three days in the Lollapalooza VIP Lolla Lounge is like to let you know if you should actually buy a VIP Lollapalooza Ticket.
LOLLAPALOOZA VIP LOUNGE DAY ONE
Lollapalooza opens their gates at 10:00 AM but the lines to enter the festival actually starts to form hours before that; Luckily a Lollapalooza VIP ticket means that you can avoid spending hours in the line by using the Dedicated VIP Festival Entrance.
Getting into Lollapalooza before the crowd is definitely a plus.
The Lollapalooza VIP experience involves a specially curated menu featuring food that’s just as diverse as the artistes on the line-up. Food isn’t served until 11:00 AM, so there is an hour to get familiar with the various alcoholic beverages;
The Jack Daniels Whiskey bar features their eponymous whisky mixed with Cola, Tennessee Fire served on the rocks, and the custom-made Lolla Lemonade; which was a mix of Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey, sweet tea with a splash of fresh lemon juice. Unlimited Tennessee Whisky is great, but for the price of a Lollapalooza VIP Ticket, Gentleman’s Jack on the rocks would have been a nice touch.
I continued to the next cocktail station, a classy looking Bombay Sapphire booth.
Bombay Sapphire served sophisticated drinks like the Peppered Peach Collins; a mix of gin, fresh lemon juice, iced tea and black pepper.There was also the classic Tom Collins cocktail for anyone who wanted a less aromatic drink.
Bacardi ran the most popular bar in the Lolla Lounge, serving Mojitos with freshly muddled mint leaved and the classic Cuba Libre.
Maestro Dobel Tequila made ‘black diamond margaritas’ with a rim of black salt in a lounge area designed to resemble a beach complete with black sand, beach chairs, and beach balls.
I stuck with Jack and Colas and Bacardi Cuba Libres for the entire first day of Lollapalooza,; mostly because they both came in cool souvenir cups and I was craving the simplicity of alcohol and cola.
The Food Options in the Lolla Lounge are quite varied. The only downside is that the famous Lollapalooza Lobster Dog is nowhere to be seen. Since this is Chigaco, the perfect place to start is with some miniature slices of Lou Malnati’s cheese pizza at the Italian Booth.
The Italian booth also served toasted cheese ravioli garnished with Parmesan cheese and served on a bed of marinara sauce, miniature meatball subs doused in marinara sauce, and breadsticks stuffed with mozzarella cheese served with ranch dip.
After snacking for almost an hour straight, I left the VIP Lolla Lounge to actually see some performances.
Amazing acts are always carefully selected to open the festival since they set the tone for the entire weekend. COASTS was no exception.
I’d become familiar with their music over the last few years and their live performance was full of energy.
Major Music Festivals with Star-studded line-ups are always filled with disappointing clashes that make seeing all your favorite artistes almost impossible.
Luckily, I only wanted to see three acts that were all following each other on the main stage; Cold War Kids, Alabama Shakes and Paul McCartney. Finding a spot near the front of the Bud Light Stage is a Herculean task that involves standing stage side for over seven hours.
Knowing that I would be away from the Lolla Lounge for the rest of the day, it was time to enjoy a few more cocktails, eat some slices of deep dish pizza, and prepare for some once in a lifetime live music!
LOLLAPALOOZA VIP LOUNGE DAY TWO
I began the second day of Lollapalooza with a tequila sunrise followed by a bottle of Daily Greens vegetable and fruit juice since that combo seemed like a balanced choice for a liquid breakfast at a music festival.
I relaxed in the Lolla Lounge waiting for food to be ready, luckily the folks at Maestro Dobel tequila were more than willing to keep the margaritas flowing before lunch.
Having started the day with tequila, I decided to keep it Mexican themed by only eating food from the booth labelled “Taco”. The food on offer included grilled steak fajitas with cilantro and mole, beef barbacoa tamales dipped in green chili, and elote on a stick seasoned with Parmesan cheese and dried peppers.
I went stage side to catch Catfish and the Bottlemen who I’d seen for the first time at the Governors Ball Music Festival the year before.
I stayed inside the VIP Lolla Lounge to see Django Django. The view from the lounge is vast and allows you to see the band along with the entire festival crowd and the Chicago skyline in the distance.
The acoustics actually travel well but being able to sit with a drink in hand was the best part of listening to music in the Lolla Lounge.
Choosing a headline act was a much tougher call than Friday since pop crooner Sam Smith and rock legends Metallica were playing on opposite ends of Grant Park.
I skipped both headliners and decided to relax in the lounge instead of trying to get a good spot near the front of either of the main stages.
I had some more Maestro Dobel cocktails and miniature Chicago-style hot dogs while listening to Kid Cudi’s performance in the background.
I ended the day by watching BANKS and G-Eazy on one of the festivals smaller stage. Thanks to the golf kart shuttles that transport Lollapalooza VIP Ticket holders between the two main stages; I did manage to catch a little bit of both Saturday Headliners but I never got close enough to the stage to take any clear pictures.
LOLLAPALOOZA VIP LOUNGE DAY THREE
The third day of the festival is the day that I most appreciated having a Lollapalooza VIP ticket.
The combination of a scorching sun, a raging head ache, two sore feet and a two day hang over made a seat in the shaded Lolla lounge the best place to be.
I watched Twin Peaks and the Wombats from the lounge that day.
The Lolla Lemonade made with Tennessee Honey and sweet tea was just what I needed that day; sweet and tangy with a boost from the caffeine.
I also downed loads of Vita Coco coconut water. I actually had enough coconut water left over from Lollapalooza to last me an entire week!
The folks at Jack Daniels knew more about the impending storm than I did and gave me a free poncho although the sky seemed clear. When the evacuation of Grant Park did eventually happen, they cleared out the Lollapalooza VIP sections first.
I headed back to the hotel, got some rest and came back recharged for an energy packed performance from Gogol Bordello.
With my schedule now thrown off, and knowing that I just wanted to see TV on the Radio and Florence and the Machine again I decided to try some more Lollapalooza VIP food that I might have missed.
Churros slathered in Dulce de Leche and jumbo pretzels with a cheddar cheese sauce dip made a perfect snack combo of salty and sweet.
IS A LOLLAPALOOZA VIP TICKET WORTH IT?
I have no idea when next I’ll be at Lollapalooza or even get a chance to visit Chicago again and I’m glad that my first Lollapalooza experience was amazing.
Along with Bonarroo and Coachella, Lollapalooza is considered one of the “big three” North American Music Festivals. Everyone should splurge on a music festival at least once, and it might as well be one of the big three.
Sure, when I look back I think about another camera lens or plane ticket that I could have bought, but at the same time I still think that a Lollapalooza VIP ticket is definitely worth it.