It’s summertime and that means its music festival time. One of the biggest annual outdoor music festivals is Lollapalooza, which is held at Grand Park in Chicago. For 2016, Lollapalooza runs July 28- July 31.
This year, the four-day Lolla lineup includes everyone from the Red Hot Chili Peppers to Radiohead—and more than 100 other bands, many of whom you’ve never heard of, but will likely love nonetheless. But while the music is never really over at Lollapalooza (seriously, there’s more like 200 bands and performers on various stages), there’s plenty more to do than just listen to the bands jam. Read on for five other things to do besides music at this supersized festival
5. Chow down at Chow Town
This is no ordinary festival food. Lollapalooza’s Chow Town is curated by celebrity chef Graham Elliott, and he really knows how to rock a menu. Sure, there’s familiar festival fare like funnel cake, but there’s also lobster corndogs and all-organic lemonade. For those who are looking for more typical munchies, pizza, ice cream, and Chicago-style hot dogs can also be purchased. But doesn’t a Mongolian beef bao sound so much better?
4. Art Market
It’s hard to resist the shopping experience at Lollapalooza. With handmade jewelry, trendy clothing, music-themed paintings, and even eyebrow threading available, there’s something for everyone. The biggest problem will be carrying all of your finds around the festival, but if you activate your wristband with Lolla cashless you can at least leave your wallet at home and simply pay with the swipe of the band.
3. Register to vote
Back in the ‘80s, MTV rocked the vote with a voter’s registration campaign plugged by the heavy rotation heroes of the day. Now, music fans can rock a voter’s registration card while visiting the Lollapalooza grounds. With an interesting presidential election on the horizon for 2016, every vote will count, and this Lolla Cares booth helps to demystify the election process and make it really easy for new voters to get registered.
2. Make a match that matters
Love Hope Strength (LHS) has been known as the world’s leading rock ‘n’ roll cancer foundation for the past eight years, so it’s a no-brainer that the organization hosts a marrow donor drive at Lollapalooza. Participants can sign up for the International Marrow Registry by doing a simple cheek swab. Who’d have thought that a rock concert could save a life?
1. Take a break
Let’s face it, sometimes even the biggest festival fans need to take a break from the weekend-long music extravaganza. If you’re a visitor to Chicago, there’s a lot of sites outside of the festival entry that you may want to see, and you can do so without risk of not getting back into the show. Lollapalooza ticket holders are allowed to re-enter the festival three times per day after initial entry. If you want to check out local attractions, there are several within walking distance of Grant Park, including the Art Institute of Chicago and the stunning Lurie Garden. But don’t stay away too long!
For more on everything to do at Lollapalooza (and there’s a lot!), as well as the complete musical schedule and FAQ’s, check out the festival’s official website.