Chicago's biggest summer music festival is almost here, an event that brings thousands of attendees to Grant Park for a weekend of music and revelry. While four days of Lollapalooza offers up a daunting amount of bands and celebration, the festival itself is really only the tip of the iceberg when you factor in all of the official aftershows and parties that accompany the event. Whether you're looking for somewhere to continue the night after a long day at the festival or just want to hear some music without having to stand in the sun, we've gathered some of the best places to party during Lollapalooza.
RECOMMENDED: Our complete guide to Lollapalooza
On Thursday night, the Hard Rock hosts Culture Collide's Chicago Kick-Off Party, a free post-Lolla concert featuring performances by several bands who won't be showing up in Grant Park this year, including Dinosaur Jr., Ne-Hi, Arbor Labor Union and DJ Lani Love. This party will also have plenty to drink, with beverages provided by Revolution Brewing, Old Style, Topo Chico, High Brew Coffee and Deep Eddy Vodka. You'll need to RSVP (and probably show up pretty early) if you want to attend.
Commemorate the kickoff of Lolla at the annual Lollapalooza Sideshow, where Pat Mahoney, Gavin Russom and Tyler Pope (all members of LCD Soundsystem) will turn in DJ sets while burlesque performers show off their moves. The party starts at 10pm on Thursday and advance tickets are $10.
Few things are more relaxing than video games, so if you're looking to wind down after a day in the thick of the Lolla crowd, Headquarters' River North location isn't a bad place to hang. The bar is hosting two DJ sets over the weekend, with Lollapalooza performers Foals spinning on Friday night (RSVP here) and Two Door Cinema Club dropping beats on Saturday night (RSVP here). Headquarters' Lakeview location is also getting in on fun—Cage the Elephant's Matt Shultz DJs at the bar on Saturday night (RSVP here). All sets are free with RSVP, but you'll pay a $5 cover if you arrive after midnight.
If you want to see some famous names spinning records (and performing) during Lollapalooza, head to Virgin Hotels Chicago's rooftop Cerise lounge. On Wednesday night, Wavves DJs at 5pm and on Friday night, Baio turns in a live set on the 25th floor stage at 9pm. Panama Wedding and Tor Miller perform on Saturday at 9pm. Finally, on Sunday you'll be able to catch DJ sets by Questlove at 2pm and the ladies in Haim at 11pm.
Need some new threads or a fresh hairdo for Lolla weekend? The Freehand is hosting Lost Girls Vintage and Solo Salon from 11am–6pm on July 30 and 31, so you can find the festival look you've been searching for (and enjoy a few cocktails while you're at it).
This River North nightlife destination kicks off five nights of Lollapalooza parties on Wednesday evening, with guest DJs behind the decks each evening. Highlights include Walshy Fire of Major Lazer on Friday and Isa Machine of Florence and the Machine on Sunday. The celebration starts at 10pm each evening and cover is $20.
Fuel up before the closing day of Lollapalooza with this River North hangout's signature, all-you-can-eat Boozy Brunch (from 10am–3pm) then stick around for a DJ set from DJ Mom Jeans—the alias of annual Lollapalooza guest (and former That ‘70s Show star) Danny Masterson. Don't worry—you'll still be able to make it to Grant Park with plenty of time to grab a great spot for LCD Soundsystem's closing set.
Can't bring yourself to care about the Lollapalooza lineup this year? You're not alone. The Tonic Room's 6th annual Fuckapalooza brings some counter-programming to Lincoln Park, with folk and rock acts such as Nice Things, The Curls and Reel Green headlining three nights of shows. Tickets are $10 and the concerts start at 9pm on July 28–30.