Concert hopping on a budget: Cheap and easy alternatives to Lollapalooza

(Infographic/Max Kleiner)
(Infographic/Max Kleiner)

It is officially summer in Chicago. As the temperatures reach beyond the seventies and people flock to the beach to cool off, the music festivals make their way to the city.

While Lollapalooza and Pitchfork are some of the biggest festivals in Chicago, they are not exactly the most cost effective on a college budget. Though Lollapalooza has long been sold out, the face value ticket price for a single day runs $100, with three-day passes going for $250. Craigslist scalpers are currently asking anywhere between $200 and $300.

While some will argue the large ticket price is worth it for all the bands you can see, other Chicagoans feel differently.

“We’re not going to Lolla for the price reason,” Marilyn Ceretto said. “However, with a lot of good bands being streamed (via live feed), now it’s a lot more fun watching in the comfort of home than being in the craziness of Lolla.”

Pricing is an issue for Melissa Barrera as well. “I never even considered going because it’s too expensive and most years the people performing don’t interest me,” she said.

If these are the reasons keeping you from the festival don’t worry. You can still hear some amazing music, but not have to spend obscene amounts of money on tickets, transportation, and food, due to amazing events coming up and the best part is most of them are free.

If there is an artist playing Lollapalooza or Pitchfork that you’re dying to see, there’s a good chance they’re doing one of the many after shows scheduled for that weekend. Though many Lollapalooza after shows have already sold out, fans will have the chance to see artists like Jenny Lewis, Wild Beasts, Deafheaven and Dum Dum Girls.

Other alternatives include the various free concerts throughout the summer at Millennium Park.

For fans of electronic music, the Loops and Variations concert series every Thursday features sets from acts such as Alarm Will Sound.

The Downtown Sound series, with concerts on Mondays, features underground and local acts from the rock, pop, and indie world. Aimee Man and Ted Leo’s The Both, Maps & Atlases, Russian Circles and Hurray for the Riff Raff will be performing throughout the summer.

If classical music is more of your thing the Grant Park Music Festival is currently going on until mid-August and for jazz lovers the Chicago Jazz festival is around the corner.

With a line-up that includes Lydia Loveless, The Reverend Horton Heat, and JEFF the Brotherhood, the Wicker Park Festival is one the best street festivals in the city. Not only is there great music, there are also street vendors selling their unique wares and interactive art installations. Fans can easily take the CTA to get to the area, and a $5 donation is suggested in order to keep the festival going year after year.

The Hideout Block Party & Onion AV Fest closes out the summer with a line up featuring Death Cab for Cutie, The War on Drugs, and Dismemberment Plan. Tickets for the two-day festival are $65. With a wide range of inexpensive events just around the corner all you need to do is clear your calendar and have some fun.