Are Lollapalooza Passes/Tickets Worth It? We say YES!

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  • We answer the question - Are Lollapalooza Tickets worth it?
  • Value of Lollapalooza based on 2017 lineup
  • Detailed explanation and breakdown of ticket value analysis

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Why calculate Return on Investment (ROI)

Have you ever wondered if Lollapalooza tickets are worth it? We've got you covered with this article where we dive into the actual value/worth of Lollapalooza tickets based on the artists on the 2017 lineup.

Cost tends to be the most common excuse I hear for why people who are interested in attending Lollapalooza (or any other music festival) decide to pass year after year. Now I understand, individual priorities for spending discretionary income varies significantly from person to person. There are some people who are simply not that interested in music or attending festivals. This article really isn’t for those people, because it’s very possible that regardless of the money available to them, they will never attend an event like Lollapalooza.

This article is for the readers, who want to attend Lollapalooza, but have been held back by the $350 cost (after fees) of the ticket. Among my friends, I know there are some who have spent hours, days, years weighing their desire to attend Lollapalooza against their doubts that it will be worth the cost. 

Here at Event Track, we want you to love attending Lollapalooza as much as we do. We like to think that by making it easy for you to find all the information you need to make a decision about and plan for Lollapalooza, we are helping you get there. With that in mind, we set out to find a way to address the value concern as objectively as possible.

At this point, I want to add a disclaimer that some of the best benefits of Lollapalooza are not included in this analysis. Not because we wouldn’t love to include them, but because they are extremely difficult to monetize. How do I assign a value to the experience and memories from Lollapalooza that draw me back year after year?

However, the most important benefit of them all, can be monetized by answering a simple question: how much would it cost me to see all of these artists if Lollapalooza didn’t bring them all together so that I could see them in one place, over one weekend for one cost? 

An important note is that this analysis is based on our actual preferences. We feel it’s a waste of time to constantly be walking between stages and neither of us are big fans of watching a bunch of partial sets, so you’ll notice our schedule only includes full sets. Of course, we may hear bits and pieces of other sets when we have downtime between shows, but since we’re not getting the full value of those shows, I’ve left them out of our analysis.

When creating our schedule, we selected the bands we actually want to see, regardless of their typical individual ticket cost and/or popularity. This means our schedule is influenced by the bands we have already seen at festivals this year or plan to see at future festivals. For example, we love The XX, but we already saw them twice at Coachella and we know we’ll have another chance to see them at Austin City Limits. Because of this, we elected to see Chance the Rapper at Lollapalooza, this way if there are future festival scheduling conflicts, we will have at least gotten to see him perform once on his festival circuit.

Individual schedule and ROI will vary, but we hope that by reviewing ours you’ll have a better idea of the value you would receive in return for your ticket.

The Analysis

For simplicity, I decided to focus only on the price of admission for both Lollapalooza and individual shows. This allowed me to remove the variable costs of travel that will vary significantly from person to person and event to event. The admission price in this analysis is based on standard ticket sales (as opposed to resale) and include any fees required, as those are almost always unavoidable when purchasing through major ticketing services. 

For individual shows, the cost I attributed to the Lollapalooza band was based on whether or not they were the headliner. If the artist was not the headliner, I only credited the band for 25% of the ticket cost, as typically the higher price point would be due to the headlining artist and not the artist I would see at Lollapalooza. If the artist was the headliner, I attributed the full cost of the ticket, regardless of what other band was playing with them, as they would likely be the primary reason for attending.

To avoid any potential for over exaggeration, I always selected the lowest ticketed price available for each show, regardless of what ticket type it was, be it seated or standing GA. I did this because I cannot guarantee how good of a spot I will have for any given show before attending and I would rather lean towards under promising and over delivering. I preset guidelines that each show included in this analysis needs to be in the United States (for currency purposes) and have a single, clearly communicated headliner to avoid complicated value assignments.

Unfortunately, with these rules, finding individual ticket prices was not always possible. There are six bands listed in the ROI table that either only have festival tour dates scheduled or if they do have individual shows, they are outside of the United States. In these situations, I estimated the bands ticket price by referencing the ticket cost of the bands playing at a similar time slot on the other days. The bands where I had to estimate the price can be identified by the ESTIMATE listed under location for their ticket price.

Lollapalooza ROI

Artist Day Lolla Slot Time Location Cost 
Kweku Collins Thur 12:00-12:30 Lolla Aftershow $6.75
The O'My's Thur 1:50-2:30 ESTIMATE $15
Liam Gallagher Thur 4:30-5:30 Chicago, IL $39.25
George Ezra Thur 5:30-6:30 New York, NY $25.00
Atlas Genius Thur 6:50-7:30 Lolla Aftershow $16.00
Spoon Thur 7:45-8:45 Lolla Aftershow $36.00
Muse Thur 8:45-10:00 Burgettstown, PA $30.00
The Lemon Twigs Fri 1:45-2:45 Lolla Aftershow $15.00
Cloud Nothings Fri 3:00-4:00 Lolla Aftershow $20.00
Kaleo Fri 4:00-5:00 Lolla Aftershow $26.00
Tegan and Sara Fri 5:00-6:00 Lolla Aftershow $35.00
Run the Jewels Fri 6:45-7:45 San Francisco, CA $45.00
The Killers Fri 8:45-10:00 ESTIMATE $27.50
Flint Eastwood Sat 12:30-1:15 Lolla Aftershow $7.50
Blossoms  Sat 1:15-2:15 Lolla Aftershow $7.50
Warpaint Sat 2:15-3:15 Lolla Aftershow $20.00
Glass Animals Sat 4:15-5:15 Chicago, IL $41.00
Vance Joy Sat 5:00-6:00 Lolla Aftershow $35.00
Alt-J Sat 6:15-7:30 Cleveland, OH $37.50
Banks Sat 7:30-8:30 Lolla Aftershow $26.00
Chance the Rapper Sat 8:30-10:00 Darien Center, NY $28.50
Grace Mitchell Sun 12:15-1:00 Columbus, OH $9.75
Barns Courtney Sun 1:00-2:00 Lolla Aftershow $16.00
Maggie Rogers Sun 2:30-3:30 Los Angeles, CA $24.50
NF Sun 4:00-4:45 ESTIMATE $30.00
Milky Chance Sun 5:00-6:00 Lolla Aftershow $35.00
The Shins Sun 6:30-7:30 Detroit, MI $36.50
Arcade Fire Sun 8:30-10:00 Philadelphia, PA $29.50
Total $720.75

The ticket price column is the full cost of the ticket, with an additional adjusted price column to account for any bands that are not headlining the show referenced in the analysis. Using the adjusted price, the return on my $350 ticket investment is $720.75 before taxes/fees. If you conservatively estimate an additional 15% for fees/taxes the value of a Lollapalooza ticket increases to $828.86. While this is already a great return, I want to emphasize that I used 15% because I prefer to under promise and over deliver, however fees and taxes are typically in the 20-30% range of the ticket price, which means the value is significantly higher than the already great return you're getting based on this estimate.   

Based on the conservative estimate, Lollapalooza delivers 235% return on the cost of the ticket! Is the Lollapalooza ticket worth it? At that rate of return value, hell yes it is! Even after you’ve been to the festivals and already know what a great value they are, finding out just how high the value is, is pretty shocking. As stated earlier, this calculation will obviously vary from person to person, but with a return that high, it’s hard to see how anyone could create a schedule where they’re not coming out ahead at the end of the weekend.


Siliver lining for having to buy resale

Believe me, I’m not a fan of paying for marked up tickets either, but at least now you know you’ll still be getting a great return even if you do have to pay more for the experience. For example, I looked up the cost of tickets this evening and found them for $427 on SeatGeek. Even at this price, the return is still 190%. I also checked StubHub and their cheapest single ticket was $430, so only a few dollars more.


Seat Geek Logo

Personally, I use SeatGeek, because I’ve found their fees are lower when compared to StubHub and I really like the fact that they include third party vendors with their own listings. In fact, I actually found tickets for as low as $419 each through one of their third party suppliers, but the seller didn’t allow the option to purchase tickets individually. The tickets had to be purchased as a pair.  

Which I’m sorry, I have to do a mini rant here, because really? Was it somehow lost on this seller that this is a music festival and there’s no benefit to selling tickets together? In fact, if anything it could hinder your sales if two individuals wanted to buy tickets separately to avoid having to exchange money or if a person doesn’t know anyone else who is buying a ticket. I would understand if there were assigned seating at some point or if each listing required significant effort on the part of the seller, but if you’ve ever used one of these sites you know it doesn’t. If you haven’t, these are the steps you take to sell tickets: list them, wait, read an email saying your ticket was sold, wait for the money to appear in your PayPal account. That’s it! I just don’t understand people, allow them to be sold individually and make it easier for everyone involved. Ok, rant over, back to why you’re here.

At this point, I’ve given you all the information you need and a rant you didn’t, now go out and get your tickets!


For those of you have your Lollapalooza tickets already, congratulations on your extremely smart investment decision. I hope you have a fabulous time and don’t forget, if you have any more questions during planning, we have a ton of guides and tips listed under our Lollapalooza Event Page.

To those who don't have tickets yet, just one final reminder that even at resale the value get from the music alone is worth over twice the cost of the ticket, add in all the memories you’ll make and the fun you’ll have and it’s really a no brainer. You only live once after all!

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