Buying Lollapalooza Passes Through StubHub or Craigslist

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Article Summary

  • Lollapalooza passes can be purchased through StubHub, SeatGeek or Craigslist if you didn't snag some during the officlal sale
  • Typically you will find better deals on Craigslist, but there is more risk with going through Craigslist
  • StubHub and SeatGeek will guarantee your purchase, while Craigslist requires you to use your best judgement
  • Typically prices on the 3rd Party market will drop as Lollapalooza gets closer – look for prices to start dropping in July

We all know that Lollapalooza passes are a hot commodity. For Lollapalooza 2017 the four-day general admission passes sold out in a matter of hours. Single day passes go quickly too, with some days going in a few hours and all being sold out within one day. Many people who try to get four day passes end up missing out. If this happens to you all hope is not lost, but you will need to turn to third party ticket sellers to get Lollapalooza passes. This article goes over all your options for securing Lollapalooza passes from somewhere other than the festival itself, and gives some advice for each platform. Obviously going through a third party is not ideal, but it sometimes is required. Let’s first go over the main options people turn to for Lollapalooza passes.

Options for Lollapalooza Passes

There are three main options if you missed out on Lollapalooza passes: StubHub, SeatGeek, and Craigslist. Stubhub and SeatGeek are legitimate companies, so if you use either of them you don't have much to worry about. Craigslist is more of a gamble, but it is a very popular route to get Lollapalooza passes. Full disclosure: I prefer SeatGeek to StubHub. SeatGeek has a more modern platform and mobile app in my opinion, but honestly either of them is perfectly adequate.

Lollapalooza Passes Through StubHub or SeatGeek

Click here to check out SeatGeek's selection of Lollapalooza Passes

Admittedly this is my recommendation for securing Lollapalooza passes if you missed out on the official sale in March. Both of these are reputable companies that will guarantee your purchase, it really comes down to wherever you find a better deal. If you prefer peace of mind then you want to go this route as opposed to Craigslist. Your worst case scenario using SeatGeek or Stubhub is that you purchase a fake Lollapalooza wristband, in which case they will either replace your wristband with a legitimate one (most likely) or at worst refund you. That said, the odds of you getting a fake Lollapalooza wristband through SeatGeek or StubHub are near 0, and thousands of people use these services annually for music festival passes. I personally prefer going this route as it just provides peace of mind over Craigslist - you don't need to worry about authenticating the wristband, you don't need to go meet someone, etc.

The downside of these companies is they are likely more expensive than a deal you are going to find on Craigslist. I discuss strategies for getting good deals on Lollapalooza passes below, but in general prices for passes on SeatGeek or Stubhub will be higher than on Craigslist. For example, looking now (it’s May) the cheapest GA passes to Lollapalooza are $360 before fees. Lollapalooza retailed for $335 so this is already increased from face value before adding in the notorious fees. If you miss out on the mass sale through Lollapalooza be prepared to pay more than face value. If you can wait until closer to Lollapalooza the prices usually come down and you can even get them on a discount usually, so if that works for you it's something to consider. We track the prices of Lollapalooza passes on SeatGeek so you can see how the prices have changed over time; check it out here.

Lollapalooza Craigslist

Lollapalooza Through Craigslist

So you are a gambling man – I like it! Purchasing Lollapalooza passes off of Craigslist is like purchasing anything else off Craigslist – there is some risk involved, but you could snag a great deal. Ultimately you are going to have to use your best judgement to determine if the Lolla passes you are buying are legitimate. Here is some advice when purchasing Lollapalooza passes through Craigslist:

  • Get The Receipt - At a minimum I would ask the person for their receipt from Lollapalooza for purchasing the passes. This will help confirm a bit of legitimacy. Have the person bring this with them to wherever you decide to meet. Insist on this point and do not take any excuses for why it cannot be provided. 
  • Facebook - If you have Facebook I would ask the person to add you on Facebook so you know who they are and have it on record.
  • Public Place - Ask to meet in a public place like a mall or grocery store. I’d also bring a friend with you if possible.
  • No Cash - Pay through PayPal – this will help give you some insurance on your purchase. I would 100% refuse to pay with cash – no exceptions.
  • Wait For Wristbands to Ship - If you can I would wait until wristbands ship and look for a picture on the Internet (Social Media usually has them) of this year’s Lollapalooza wristband. This will help you spot a fake. FYI, Lollapalooza passes begin shipping in early July typically.
  • Compare to a Friend’s Wristband - If you have a friend who has purchased a wristband for Lollapalooza have them come with you so you can compare the one you are purchasing with their pass.

Lollapalooza passes through Craigslist are definitely more risky, but if you follow the advice above and use your head, plenty of people purchase passes this way every year. I have found you can usually find better deals for Lollapalooza passes on Craigslist, just be smart my friends.

When to purchase Lollapalooza Passes Through a 3rd Party

This is perhaps the trickiest question when it comes to getting Lollapalooza passes on the third market. As I have mentioned in the Craigslist section, there are advantages to waiting until wristbands ship (July) to purchase your pass as you can use pictures to confirm authenticity. However, this is pretty late in the game if you are someone who needs to book accommodations and potentially a flight for Chicago. Here are some tips about when to buy Lollapalooza passes, for both StubHub/SeatGeek and Craigslist:

  • When you purchase your passes is highly dependent on your situation: if you need to book a flight and hotel I would do it ASAP and just buy passes now. The travel prices will skyrocket if you wait too long, cancelling out any savings on ticket prices dropping as the event approaches. Lollapalooza is a huge event with 80,000+ ateendees per day so things will book up quickly. If you are local to Chicago you do not need to, nor should you, purchase passes right away (keep reading)

  • In general, the couple months after Lollapalooza goes on sale will see higher than face value prices. Typically people will purchase Lollapalooza passes to sell them at a profit. These people are the scum of the Earth, but sadly this is the world we live in. Generally, the prices will stay elevated until July or so. After that the prices typically begin to fall, and will dip below face value as people get desperate to sell. I have friends every year who wait until last minute and more often than not they snag Lollapalooza passes for under face value. Note that this is not guaranteed and is highly dependent on the Lollapalooza lineup. If it’s a monster lineup prices will stay high, but generally prices decline as we get closer to Lollapalooza.

  • If you don’t need a hotel or flight I would wait until at least July, if not late July before purchasing. If you need a flight and hotel I would just bite the bullet and purchase by mid-April. The potential cost savings on Lollapalooza passes doesn’t outweigh the skyrocketing hotel and airfare prices.


My biggest advice is to just purchase Lollapalooza passes through the festival itself: there will be no question of authenticity and you can take advantage of the payment plan. That said, if you cannot secure tickets through Lollapalooza you are not 100% screwed. Plenty of people purchase them through StubHub, SeatGeek and Craigslist every year. Follow the practical advice given here and I will see you at Lollapalooza next year!

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