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10 Ways Lollapalooza Will Ruin Your Weekend, Whether You're Going Or Not

 Fans cheer during a set at Lollapalooza 2014.
Fans cheer during a set at Lollapalooza 2014.
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Bill Whitmire

DOWNTOWN — Lollapalooza returns to Grant Park this week, and with it, a lot of headaches for Chicagoans.

The massive four-day music festival starts Thursday with a lineup boasting the likes of Chance The Rapper, Lorde, The xx and Migos.

It'll also bring hundreds of thousands of fest-goers who are sure to crowd trains and complicate the lives of people who live and work Downtown, whether they bought Lolla tickets or not. 

Like death and taxes, minor inconveniences are a certainty with Lollapalooza. Here are 10 of the biggest annoyances to brace for:

1. No bikes or BYOB on the Metra, which will be packed. As if squishing into a train with rowdy suburban teenagers wasn't bad enough, the trains are going to be dry. Alcohol will be prohibited after 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday on Metra trains, and all day Saturday and Sunday. 

Bikes also won't be allowed on the trains this weekend due to the high number of riders. Metra will offer extra service and discounted two-day passes, however. 

2. Longer rides on the CTA. What do flower crowns, bro tanks and slow public transit have in common? You'll see a lot of all three this weekend. 

3. Bad cell reception all weekend. They say young people value experiences over stuff, experiences that eat up everyone else's LTE bandwidth during Lollapalooza weekend. All those texts, Instagram posts and Snapchats could render many cell phones as useful as paperweights starting Thursday near Grant Park. Some cell providers promise a boost in coverage though with giant mobile antennae. 

4. Surge pricing. Ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft are great. Except when you need them most. Expect higher-than-usual surge prices using the apps before and after big sets at Lolla. 

5. Street closures will muck up Downtown commutes. Ever try to drive down Michigan Avenue during Lollapalooza? Don't. The following streets will be closed near Grant Park throughout the festival: 

•Balbo Avenue from Michigan to Lake Shore Drive
•Columbus Drive from Monroe Street to Roosevelt Road
•Congress Parkway from Michigan to Columbus
•Jackson Boulevard from Michigan to Lake Shore
•Monroe from Columbus to Lake Shore

6. Parking will be a bear. Though many parking garages near Grant and Millennium parks are offering discounted rates, spots available through SpotHero and other services will be pricier than usual, users say. 

7. Lots of scalpers, people in general. One reason traffic will be so bad during Lollapalooza? The mass of people that is constantly crossing the street into Grant Park for four days straight. 

8. And if it storms ... Expect this many soaked people running back across Michigan Avenue clinging to any piece of shelter they can find:

9. Bands in the lineup won't be back in Chicago for months. Didn't get tickets to Lolla or an affiliated aftershow? Be prepared to wait for any artists you missed thanks to Lolla's radius clause, which prohibits acts from playing within 300 miles of Chicago for months following the festival. 

Red Bull TV will broadcast a Lolla livestream beginning at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.

10. Grant Park will feel it. Not only will "Chicago's front yard" be closed off to the public for a whole weekend in the summer, it'll take months to get it looking like its usual self. Grant Park repairs cost $453,000 last year after Lolla added a fourth day, the most expensive Lolla cleanup since 2011. Promoter C3 Presents picks up the tab, but it usually takes about two months to repair the park after the festival leaves town. 


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