Some time between March 27th when three day passes went on sale, and May 29th when Lollapalooza tickets sold out, you shelled out anywhere between $95 and $230 to gain access to the largest music festival of the summer.
That's a lot of cash.
Of course with headliners like Jack White, Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Black Keys, the music is definitely worth the price, but what isn't included in that ticket fee sets most people over budget. Even the most frugal concert-goer can fall prey to overpriced beer, expensive food and unnecessary souvenirs in the heat of the day and musical moment-- if not prepared. Here are a few tips on how to keep Lollapalooza cost-effective:
Eat and drink outside of the festival
You can't bring food/drink into Lollapalooza (except for factory sealed water bottles), but with the Loop location, there are plenty of cheap options downtown. Though one-day pass holders can't re-enter, three-day pass holders can leave the festival and get back in up to five times. Everyone else? The name of the game is pre-game, and carbo-load before you come.
Bring a disposable camera
Not only are you not allowed to bring professional equipment into concert grounds (without a press pass), do you really want to bring that $200 camera into a mess of 300,000+ strangers, sweating, moshing and running through mud? The possibility of your camera getting stolen, broken or lost probably isn't worth a blurry photo of Frank Ocean obscured by a frantically cheering hand. Instead, head to your local CVS and pick up a disposable camera. Cheap, hipster, and shareable (well, as long as you get doubles).
Make your own t-shirt
Concert tees are notoriously expensive. You know what isn't? Spray paint and a white tee from Michaels. Get your DIY on, and make a one-of-a-kind souvenir tee with your favorite artist's lyrics or original Lollapalooza design. Check out eHow for some tips on how to make an iron-on design. Don't get too attached though; Lolla can get messy. Which leads into the next tip...
Wear disposable clothing
Nothing ruins a new pair of shoes/dress/bag like sweat, mud and beer. All of which will be present at Lolla in large quantities. Go through your closet and pick out what you planned on getting rid of anyway, and re-purpose it as festival attire. Check out Lollapalooza style from years past as inspiration.
Wear sunscreen/a hat
This isn't so much a monetary cost, as a health cost. The only thing more painful than $7 dixie-cup beer is a searing sunburn gained while sipping said beer. Save yourself some pain by packing a hat and reapplying sunscreen liberally. You don't want to become this guy.
See bands not on your line-up
With over 140 bands on the line-up, inevitably there will be a couple you don't know. If you have downtime, head to a more obscure show. Not only does this give you a bit more for your money, one day later this year when your friends are talking about catching a concert by some up-and-coming artist who played a small show at Lollapalooza, you can smugly save your money: you already saw them at Lolla.
Are you excited for Lollapalooza this year? Do you have any more tips on how to save money? Let us know! Tweet us @Chicago_U or tell us on Facebook. Plus vote for your favorite headliner below!