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Mac DeMarco turns in some laid back tunes at the Hideout Block Party and Onion A.V. Fest on September 6, 2014.
Photograph: Zach Long

Six free concerts you can attend during Lollapalooza 2017

Zach Long
Written by
Zach Long

Lollapalooza is about to take over Chicago for four days, but you don't have to be in Grant Park to experience some of the acts playing the city's biggest summer music festival. Each year, a handful of free events pop up at venues throughout the city, offering a chance to see live music while being bombarded with free drinks, food and swag. Naturally, if you want to attend, you'll need to be 21+, willing to show up early and prepared to wait in line because just about everyone likes free stuff. If you don't feel like dropping the cash on a wristband, here are six free concerts you can attend during Lollapalooza 2017.

RECOMMENDED: Our complete guide to Lollapalooza

Manchester Orchestra
Music streaming service Pandora is hosting this Lollapalooza-adjacent party, featuring a headlining set from alt-rockers Manchester Orchestra. BelVita Breakfast Biscuits, Lime-A-Rita and White Castle will be providing snacks and refreshments for attendees, though you probably shouldn't be consuming any of that stuff ahead of a four-day festival.
Morgan Manufacturing, 401 N Morgan St. Aug 2; free with RSVP.

Mac DeMarco + Biz Markie (DJ set) + Twin Peaks (DJ set) + Absolutely Not + DJ Lani Love
If you haven't had the chance to see the Ace Hotel's fifth floor "Prairie" event space, this is the perfect excuse to experience amazing views of the Chicago skyline from the rooftop of the new West Loop hotel. Indie rock troubadour Mac DeMarco will cap off an evening of DJ sets, accompanied by a hosted bar and some free candy from the event's sponsor, Twix.
Ace Hotel, 311 N Morgan St. Aug 3 at 9pm; free with RSVP.

DJ Trackstar
We still can't believe that Emporium Logan Square will be hosting a Run the Jewels-themed pop-up bar during Lollapalooza, but it's happening and the organizers are providing an appropriate soundtrack. RTJ touring DJ Trackstar will be behind the decks on Friday and Saturday night, spinning tunes while you sip that "Close Your Eyes" cocktail.
Run the Jewels Stay Gold pop-up bar, 2367 N Milwaukee Ave. Aug 4, 5 at 10:30pm; free.

Win Butler (DJ set) + The Hood Internet + The Walters
Before Arcade Fire closes out this year's edition of Lollapalooza, frontman Win Butler assumes his DJ Windows 98 persona at this free party at Virgin's Cerise rooftop lounge. Local mash-up kings the Hood Internet and indie rockers the Walters are also on the bill. All Virgin events are first come, first served, so show up extra early.
Virgin Hotels Chicago, 203 N Wabash Ave. Aug 4 at 9pm; free with RSVP.

Stefan Ponce + special guests 
If you can't afford to attend Chance the Rapper's official afterparty on Saturday night, you can at least hang out with a guy who has produced some of his tracks. Chicago DJ Stefan Ponce will be spinning tunes, with some help from "special guests."
Virgin Hotels Chicago, 203 N Wabash Ave. Aug 5 at 9pm; free with RSVP.

Sylvan Esso + Grace Mitchell + Gus (DJ set) + Alt-J (DJ set) + Flint Eastwoord (DJ set)
Located within walking distance of Grant Park, Chicago Athletic Association is the perfect location for a post-Lolla bash. On Saturday night, electro-pop duo Sylvan Esso will headline the hotel's Stagg Court, with support from a long list of fellow Lollapalooza acts. Deep Eddy will be providing the booze and Stumptown Coffee will have the caffeine to refuel with after a long day of standing around.
Chicago Athletic Association, 12 S Michigan Ave. Aug 5 at 9pm; free with RSVP.

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