I've been to several music festivals in the United States including Ultra and Coachella. I have to say that Lolla has its very own traits that make it unique. First of all, I really liked the fact that is it in the city. Getting in and out of the festival is quite easy. In comparison to Coachella (which is in the middle of nowhere) this makes a huge difference at the end of the day. Also, if you are looking to do something after the festival your options are many.
Another big difference with Coachella comes with drinking being allowed throughout the grounds. Honestly, I loved this and did not see people getting more foolish as a result. People were probably more foolish at Coachella. Getting a beer was easy and I loved the fact that I could walk around with it in the hot weather. They had a craft beer garden where they offered a huge variety of the famous Goose Island brews. We really liked it.
Moving from one stage to another was easy, as they close an entire street that runs through the center of the entire festival. The grounds are nice, and you have a lot of options for food. Getting something to eat or drink is quick and easy. The restroom situation will be that of any music festival, though I have to say that men urinals helped wait lines move faster. They should put more of those up at these kinds of events, to even be respectful to women and keep the porta potties cleaner for them.
The artist lineup was amazing. It had a lot of variety from all genres. You cannot guarantee what mood the artists or bands will be in. We've been upset by performances at all festivals but do have to call out that the organization was flawless. Artists coming out on time. Sound being great. Never felt crowded to the point where it got claustrophobic. They allow the right amount of people in.
One thing that I loved is that they have a program in place where they hand out recycling bags for people to pick-up cans from the grounds. This ensures the grounds are not only kept clean, but also safe. You would see people looking out for those carrying the bags to drop their cans. Great way to keep it clean, safe and recycle. You get some free stuff for doing this. Not only will it make you feel a good citizen, but you will walk out with some memorabilia of your experience.
They have two ways to get into the festival with lanes for people carrying bags and lanes for those with no bags. This really expedites the entry process. Once in, you can even rent a locker for the 4 days in case you just want to go through the with bag lane once and then leave your stuff (ie. sunblock, drinking bottles, camelbacks) overnight. We really recommend bringing in double-wall cold insulation bottles to keep your drinks cold (whether water, Powerade or beer) as it gets quite hot.
Getting to the festival walking, taking Uber/Lyft (they have designed drop-off and pick-up lots) or through subway was easy. The city of Chicago does a great job keeping this under control. It would be easier to do a festival in the middle of nowhere, but Lollapalooza met our expectations in and out. Will attend again someday for sure.