How To Sneak Into Lollapalooza

Quinten Hayley, Sports Editor

How to sneak into Lollapalooza 2016

Disclaimer: The Courier does not advocate breaking the law. Sneaking into Lollapalooza has become a more serious offense over the last few years, and security has strengthened. If you attempt to enter the festival without permission, it is likely you will be arrested and processed in the City of Chicago. Use your head.

If you’re thinking about attempting to sneak into Lollapalooza this year, you wouldn’t be alone in the sentiment. A lot of people have tried since the first year of the festivals indoctrination. Some have succeeded. Some have failed. Some have even been arrested. Excerpts of these sort of exploits, from jumping the fence at Lollapalooza to sneaking into Oscar after parties can be found all over the internet. Wanting to be a part of the “big moment” despite your particular financial circumstances is innate, and you couldn’t be blamed for it.

That being said, the committee responsible for the event has employed many different tactics to ensure the prevention of unwarranted guests. Security surrounds the perimeter, making sure no one jumps the fences, and there’s heavy security presence at the gate. There’s also a general heavy police presence at the event as Lolla’s dense guest roster admittedly propagates a breeding ground for criminal activity, the kind of activity that’s admittedly a lot more serious than sneaking into a music event.

So what do you do? Well, there’s three ways people can get in and out of the event, legally or otherwise.


#1. The main gates – This is where people with tickets enter and exit the park. There’s one on the north, south, east, and west ends of the park, all filled with heavy security. This is also where they check bags for drugs and alcohol.

#2. The fences – Fences surround the whole general area of the park. In the past, some areas have been less patrolled than others. As the years have gone by, the fences have become more and more fortified with security.

#3. The vendor entrance – This is a secret entrance that no one else but the people who are selling stuff at the event and the people conducting it know about. This is where the food vendors and merchandise people go in and out, and it’s the area with the least amount of security as not as many people even know of its existence.

So, this is the time in which decisions are made. If you really can’t swing the $300+ it takes to be a part of one of the most prestigious music festivals on this continent, then you could perhaps consider the following:


#1. If you’re going to try and get in for free via the front gates, your most obvious concern, as in any case, is the security. This is the area filled most densely with security, so if you’re planning on straight up ducking and dashing you better be an incredibly fit individual. I’ve seen someone simply push the security guard and run for it. Using social media to generate a gathering to then conduct a distraction may be a good route. Another popular method of delinquency is to show up in the line with baby supplies and medication. When you arrive at the front of the line, go into a frantic fit that your significant other is harboring your newborn baby in the park and she needs its medication right away. As they empathize with your plight, pretend to look for your “ticket”, to obviously no avail, and plead that you need to gain entrance for the sake of a child. This method will take great acting and a cool, calm nature.

#2. There’s only one way to get passed the fences, and that’s to go over. You certainly can’t dig a hole through the concrete sidewalks. In years past, crowds would gather at tactical vantage points and use their combined strength to simply push a portion of the fence down. But, due to the aforementioned security bolster, this method is no longer viable and will only add additional charges to your assured court date.Security will be constantly patrolling the perimeter. If you attempt to vault into the festival solo, it will likely end with a trip to Cook County’s booking. As with the previously mentioned, employing social media to create a gathering of like-minded anarchists can make it so that at least some of you will get away with the act. Just make sure you aren’t the one who ends up as cannon fodder. Another theoretical way you could distract the security is to pose as someone trying to lob drugs over the wall to a cohort. This a popular tactic employed by Chicago drug dealers in order to get their product into the festivities. With the distracted guards attempting to procure the false drugs, this could give others time to reach the musical promised lands over the wall. Again, theoretically.

#3. If you’re someone who likes to play the odds, but only when the odds can actually sway into your favor, then the secret vendor entrance is for you. Find out who’s going to be providing vending services at the event, and get ahold of an employee’s uniform (don’t forget a name tag that matches your actual name). Next, find the vendor’s entrance, and only after collecting your composure, approach the posted security in a cool, calm demeanor, and say you’re there to work a shift. Show them your State ID if they have any questions. It’ll have the same name on it as your name tag, right? It is unlikely the security will have a manifest of names of who’s supposed to be working what booth where. There will be over 300,000 people in attendance this year, so they’ll have a lot more to be concerned about then you. Follow protocol, and when you have the opportunity, run into the crowd of people and never look back.


That all being said, in the same amount of time it would take to research and plan an escapade such as the ideas listed, you could get a minimum wage job and save up enough in time to attend the event legit and free of paranoia. In my opinion, it’s much more fun to celebrate when there’s a reason to celebrate, and there aren’t any negative connotations attached, like attending illegally.

But hey, different strokes.