GRANT PARK — Didn't get tickets to Lollapalooza?
You still might have to suffer from Lolla-related annoyances during the four-day fest, which starts today.
With hundreds of thousands of festivalgoers expected to flock to Grant Park for four days this weekend, others who live and work Downtown can anticipate some nuisances during the festival.
Dave Matthews reports from the opening of Lolla.
Here are some other bummers Chicagoans without Lolla tickets can expect:
1. No drinking on Metra. The hordes of teenagers expected to take the train from the suburbs has prompted Metra to prohibit alcohol onboard after 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and all day Saturday and Sunday. Metra riders will be allowed to bring their bicycles, but Metra "makes no assurances" that space will be available.
2. Bad cellphone reception. Yes, social media and texting are great, but when everyone's 'gramming in a park, people can expect weak cell bars and batteries. But good news for AT&T customers: the wireless provider has installed a so-called Cell-On-Wheels antenna that will boost reception and bandwidth at Lolla.
3. A more congested CTA. Expect longer commutes with big crowds blocking the streets and hopping on buses and trains. And if you drive ...
4. Street closures. Many main arteries around Grant Park will be closed this week for the fest, according to the Office of Emergency Management & Communications:
• Balbo from Lake Shore to Columbus drives will remain closed through 4 p.m. Aug. 4.
• Balbo from Michigan Avenue to Columbus will be closed until 4 p.m. Monday.
• Jackson Boulevard from Lake Shore Drive to Columbus is closed until 4 p.m. Wednesday.
• Columbus from Monroe Street to Roosevelt Road is closed until 4 p.m. Monday.
• Congress from Columbus to Michigan will be closed Wednesday until 4 p.m. Monday.
• The Lake Shore Drive southbound lane closest to Grant Park will be closed during festival hours.
5. Surge pricing. Uber, Lyft and other ride-hailing services are often cheaper than traditional cabs — except during the times people most need a lift. Expect every night this weekend — especially around Downtown — to yield peak "surge pricing" sessions.
6. It'll be awhile before the Lolla bands return. Lollapalooza's "radius clause" prohibits acts from performing within a 300-mile radius of Chicago for three months after the shows this weekend.
7. Grant Park will get messed up. Portions of "Chicago's front yard" could take two months to heal after the fest. But it's not all bad. Grant Park Conservancy President Bob O'Neill has said the 2014 Lollapalooza delivered $3.8 million back to Chicago's parks, and generated about $140 million in total economic impact.
8. Less leeway for loitering. Strolling the streets around Grant Park will still be allowed, but expect security and police to be on the lookout for people trying to sneak into Lolla. Also, if you're walking south on LSD, your view of the park will be reduced mainly to fencing and porta-potties from Monroe to Jackson
9. Scalpers. Ticket scalpers chasing the American dream will be peddling all weekend.
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