Are Lollapalooza VIP Tickets Worth It?

For more than two decades, the Lollapalooza Music Festival has constantly been ranked as a top North American Music Festival.

The three day music fest brings together a diverse line-up that includes the top alternative rock and hip-hop acts, the latest indie and EDM, and living legends like Depeche Mode and Paul McCartney.

The festival has grown to over 200,000 attendees every day with international expansion into six different countries.

Just like Bonnaroo and Coachella, Lollapalooza is a bucket list festival, and attending a bucket list music festival means splurging and trying to make it a once in a lifetime experience.

VIP tickets that grant you access to the “Lolla Lounge” would definitely improve your Lollapalooza experience.

At more than five times the cost of a regular ticket, is a Lollapalooza VIP ticket worth it?

Lollapalooza VIP cocktails and alcohol

The answer to that question is subjective; it depends on what you enjoy most about a music festival as well as how much you could eat and drink.

Here’s a rundown of what three days in the Lollapalooza VIP Lolla Lounge is like;

LOLLAPALOOZA VIP LOUNGE DAY ONE

Food isn’t served until 11:00 AM, so I decided to get familiar with the various alcoholic beverages until that time;
The Jack Daniels Whiskey bar featured Jack and Cola, Tennessee Fire on the rocks and Lolla Lemonade; a mix of Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey and sweet tea with a splash of fresh lemon juice.

Jack Daniels Tennessee Whisky Lollapalooza VIP

Bombay Sapphire served sophisticated drinks like the Peppered Peach Collins that includes gin, fresh lemon juice, iced tea and black pepper.

Bombay Sapphire Peppered Peach Collins Cocktail

Bacardi offered a crisp mojito with fresh mint leaves and lime juice along with Cuba Libres. Maestro Dobel Tequila made ‘black diamond margaritas’ with a rim of black salt in a lounge area designed to resemble a black sand beach.

I stuck with Jack and colas and Bacardi and colas for all of day one, mostly because of the souvenir cups that they came in.

Jack Daniels at Lollapalooza


Having never tasted Chicago deep dish pizza, I headed straight for the Italian booth to have some miniature slices of Lou Malnati’s cheese pizza.

Italian Food at the VIP Lolla Lounge

The Italian booth also served toasted cheese ravioli served on a bed of marinara sauce and garnished with Parmesan cheese, miniature meatball subs with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese on a Turano bun, and breadsticks stuffed with mozzarella cheese and ranch dip.

There were also other food offerings but I decided to stick with Italian for day one.

After snacking for almost an hour straight, I left the VIP Lolla Lounge to check out some music.


The opening acts at Lollapalooza are always amazing and COASTS was no exception.
I’d become familiar with their music over the last few years and their live performance was on key and energetic.

Paul McCartney Lollapalooza VIP

I was also thrilled to see Cold War Kids, Alabama Shakes and Paul McCartney. Since all three acts performed one after the other on the same stage, finding a spot up front seemed like a good option.

I knew that I would be standing stage side for around seven hours so I returned to the VIP Lolla Lounge to drink as much Jack and colas as possible and eat a few more meatball subs.

LOLLAPALOOZA VIP LOUNGE DAY TWO

I began the second day of Lollapalooza with a tequila sunrise followed by a bottle of Daily Greens vegetable and fruit juice since that combo seemed like a balanced choice for a liquid breakfast at a music festival.

Tequila Sunrise at Lollapalooza

 

I relaxed in the Lolla Lounge waiting for food to be ready, luckily the folks at Maestro Dobel tequila were more than willing to keep the margaritas flowing before lunch.

Having started the day with tequila, I decided to keep it Mexican themed by only eating food from the booth labelled “Taco”. The food on offer included grilled steak fajitas with cilantro and mole, beef barbacoa tamales dipped in green chili, and elote on a stick seasoned with Parmesan cheese and dried peppers.

Lolla Lounge Mexican Food

I went stage side to catch Catfish and the Bottlemen who I’d seen for the first time at the Governors Ball Music Festival the year before.

Catfish and the Bottlemen at Lollapalooza

I stayed inside the VIP Lolla Lounge to see Django Django. The view from the lounge is vast and gives you a view of the band and the festival crowd with the Chicago skyline in the distance.

The acoustics actually travel well but being able to sit with a drink in hand was the best part of listening to music in the Lolla Lounge.

Lollapalooza VIP Lolla Lounge view

Choosing a headline act was a much tougher call than Friday since pop crooner Sam Smith and rock legends Metallica were playing on opposite ends of Grant Park.

I skipped both headliners and decided to relax in the lounge instead of trying to get a good spot near the front of the stage.

I had some more Maestro Dobel cocktails and miniature Chicago-style hot dogs while listening to Kid Cudi’s performance in the background.

miniature chicago-style hot dog

I ended the day by watching BANKS and G-Eazy on one of the festivals smaller stage.

BANKS Lollapalooza

LOLLAPALOOZA VIP LOUNGE DAY THREE

The third day of the festival is the day that I most appreciated having a Lollapalooza VIP ticket.
The combination of a scorching sun, a raging head ache, two sore feet and a two day hang over made a seat in the shaded Lolla lounge the best place to be.

I watched Twin Peaks and the Wombats from the lounge that day.
The Lolla Lemonade made with Tennessee Honey and sweet tea was just what I needed that day; sweet and tangy with a boost from the caffeine.

Twin Peaks Band Live

I also downed loads of Vita Coco coconut water. I actually had enough coconut water left over from Lollapalooza to last me an entire week!

The folks at Jack Daniels knew more about the impending storm than I did and gave me a free poncho although the sky seemed clear. When the evacuation of Grant Park did eventually happen, they cleared out the Lollapalooza VIP sections first.

I headed back to the hotel, got some rest and came back recharged for an energy packed performance from Gogol Bordello.

gogol bordello live

With my schedule now thrown off, and knowing that I just wanted to see TV on the Radio and Florence and the Machine again I decided to try some more Lollapalooza VIP food that I might have missed.

Churros slathered in Dulce de Leche and jumbo pretzels with a cheddar cheese sauce dip made a perfect snack combo of salty and sweet.

churros slathered in Dulce de Leche, jumbo pretzels with a cheddar cheese sauce dip

IS A LOLLAPALOOZA VIP TICKET WORTH IT?

Chicago was just a stop on a trip that started in New York City and ended in Seattle.

I have no idea when next I’ll be at Lollapalooza or even in Chicago again and I’m glad that my first Lollapalooza experience was amazing.

Everyone should splurge on a music festival at least once.

Sure, when I look back I think about another camera lens or plane ticket that I could have bought, but at the same time I still think that a Lollapalooza VIP ticket is definitely worth it.

Lollapalooza VIP review

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HOT “G” DOG – A Chicago Food Review

One of my highlights of visiting Chicago a few years ago was standing in a two hour line waiting for gourmet hot dogs and duck-fat fries from Hot Doug’s, the world famous sausage and encased meat emporium.

The long wait for these amazing sandwiches gives you a chance to trade tips with other Chicago visitors and get advice for locals.

When I decided that I wanted to attend Lollapalooza 2015, the only downside to my trip to Chicago was that Hot Doug’s had closed their doors permanently in 2014.

I kept my hopes up that someone would recognize the huge vacuum in the hot dog market that came about due to Doug’s departure. Lo and behold, someone did. Not just anyone, but two former chefs who got Doug’s blessings to continue his legacy of exotic hot dogs and duck-fat fries.

According to Doug Sohn “They’re total pros in the kitchen,” and “They made Hot Doug’s as much as a success as I did.”

I checked out the menu of their new joint; Hot “G” Dog and saw some of Hot Doug’s classics as well as some new ones.

GETTING TO HOT “G” DOG

Doug kept his establishment outside of downtown Chicago. Could you imagine the line if he was located in the Loop?

Hot “G” Dog is in uptown Chicagom just a few stops going North on the Red line.

Wrigley Field home of the Cubs

Baseball fans could check out Wrigley Field on the way to Hot “G” Dougs.

As much as I wanted to try everything on the menu, I limited myself to four carefully selected Hot Dogs.

I’ve had duck fat fries a few times before and I wanted to sample the hot dogs more than anything else.

It was difficult, but I managed to decide on four that stood out. These are the four that I tried from Hot “G” Dog:

1- CHICKEN BACON SAUSAGE

with Cheddar Sauce, Fried Tomato & Mozzarella cheese

The sharp tomato flavor provides a nice contrast to the creamy cheese. Everything in this hot dog reminded me of a good cheese burger or really good pizza. In fact, this hot dog seemed alot like a classic fast food mash-up; hot dog inspired by a bacon cheeseburger pizza.

Hot G Dog cheeseburger hot dog

hot g dog review

2 – YAR PORK SAUSAGE

with Italian beer sauce with with Marinated Mushrooms & Feta Cheese

Quite spicy sausage but it was a bit dry. The mushrooms and cheese five it a tangy zest that overpowers the beer sauce a bit. I’m glad this one was the biggest of the four that I ordered because it took a while to grow on me.

Yar pork sausage from hot g dog

3 – GARLIC VENISON SAUSAGE

with Dijon Mustard with Garlic, Cherry Peppers & Goat Cheese

Not really a fan of the cherry peppers so I had most of mine without them. I love goat cheese and felt like the peppers were stealing the show from the cheese. Everything works well for a tangy, garlic-flavor packed hot dog.

hot g dog exotic meat sausage

4 – DUCK SAUSAGE

Truffle Aioli, Foie Gras Mousse and Fleur de Sel

The duck sausage is perfect. Charred on the outside, but still moist and flavorful. Years ago when I ordered Doug’s version if this with the sausage fried, he actually suggested that I take it grilled instead. The mousse and aioli are extremely rich and creamy with delicate flavors. Perfectly decadent. This was amazing at Hot Doug’s and it’s phenomenal here.

duck sausage with foie gras

Hot "G" Dog

THE VERDICT

Some reviews of Hot “G” Doug went out of their way to find fault, such as the sausage of the Chicago Dog feeling a but loose and not having enough snap to the casing. I feel like their food is so good, that is the only way to find fault; to actively seek it. In any case, even Hot Doug’s could never beat Portillo’s when it came to a perfect Chicago Dog.
Two of the dogs that I tried were decadent and rich, and these were my favorite because it felt like they somehow managed to capture a gourmet meal in a humble street food. The other two were probably just not my kinda hot dog, they captured the “dragged through the garden” feel of the Chicago Dog and even had a tangy element to replace the pickle slice. In this regard, Hot “G” Dog creates not just gourmet hot dogs, but gourmet hot dogs that are distinctly Chicago.
So far, there’s one major factor that makes Hot “G” Dog much better than Hot Doug’s, and that is that there’s virtually no line!

Check out The original article at CestLaVibe.com

Hot Dogs: Chicago vs New York

It’s an iconic American food long associated with baseball and summertime. We decided to compare two iconic hot dogs in two major cities to determine who was the wiener. (Get it!)

HOT DOGS: CHICAGO VS NEW YORK

Both cities (like many others in the U.S.) have their unique regional take on these sausage sandwiches;

Chicago does a grilled frank on a sesame seed bun that’s then “dragged through the garden” and topped with yellow mustard, chopped white onions, bright green sweet pickle relish, a dill pickle spear, tomato slices or wedges, pickled sport peppers and a dash of celery salt.

Hot Dogs: Chicago Vs New York

The NY Dog is simple… a “dirty water” sausage topped with sauerkraut, onions and mustard.

grays papaya

This dogfight has been played out many times and the thing is, both hot dogs taste great.
The Chicago dog wins because of one major factor…

THE EXPERIENCE
Hot Dogs are an afterthought in New York City, in Chicago they’ve become more than just food.
Hot Doug’s has become internationally famous for the constant media coverage and being able to provide a gourmet experience on a budget. The lines might have been two hours long on weekends, but the conversations on the line were worth it! You could compare your visit with other tourists, or get some helpful insight from locals. The Alligator, Snake, Pheasant, and Wild Boar Sausages and Duck Fat Fries have become a Chicago attraction in its own right apart from the Chicago Dog!

The Wieners Circle has also grown famous for the mutual verbal abuse between the employees and the customers during the late-weekend hours as well as their media coverage as well.

The point here is that the experience of getting a hot dog in Chicago makes it better than getting a hot dog in NYC.

Hot G Dog is a new restaurent run by two former chefs who got Doug’s blessings to continue his legacy of exotic hot dogs and duck-fat fries. Check out our review here

hot g dogs