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« Concord Music Hall Emerges as Newest Chicago Music Venue Ten Things Not to Miss at Lollapalooza 2013 »

Lollapalooza Tue Jul 30 2013

Your Lollapalooza 2013 Party Guide

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Lollapalooza is invading Grant Park this weekend, but we're not here to talk about what's happening inside the festival gates. Whether you managed to score passes or not, there's still plenty of chances to hear live music all over the city this weekend. Of course, there are the official Lollapalooza aftershows, but we're not here to talk about those either. They're mostly sold out anyway. Here's your guide to the unofficial Lollapalooza events, where you can catch a lot of the same bands you'd pay to see at the festival, drink for free, and party until you pass out.


What: I'll admit, I'm a little bummed Filter Magazine is only throwing one pre-party this year rather than the multi-night parties of previous years, but with a line-up like this I have no cause for complaints. The night will start with an advance screening of The World's End, followed by DJ sets from the film's stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, plus director Edgar Wright. The night will cap off with live performances by Smith Westerns and MNDR. Oh, and the booze is free.
Where: Logan Square Auditorium. 9 pm.
How To Get In: RSVP here. Arrive ridiculously early.

What: Attention khaki lovers: The Gap will be hosting an in-store Lollapalooza kick-off party with a performance by Hey Marseilles, shopping discounts and official Lolla t-shirts.
Where: The Gap at 555 N. Michigan Ave. 6 pm.
How To Get In: RSVP here.

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What: Billboard is sponsoring a free show with Kate Nash. No mention of free booze, but Kate Nash is enough of a draw, especially in such a small venue.
Where: Double Door. 8 pm.
How To Get In: RSVP here. Arrive early.

What: The Entertainment Weekly Music Lounge finally returns to Chicago after last year's mysterious absence. No mention of free booze, but I've never known the EW party to not have food and drinks involved. There will be performances by Pacific Air and St. Lucia. The line-up may not be as exciting as some of the other events happening Thursday night, but if you're looking for a hassle-free night out at a party you don't have to stand in line several hours to get into, this is your best bet.
Where: American Junkie. 6 pm.
How To Get In: RSVP to

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What: Our friends at Do312 present their 4th Annual Lollapalooza Side Show. The show's not free, but it'll be a good time and tickets will only set you back $15. The party will have DJ sets from Ethan Kath (of Crystal Castles), Supreme Cuts, and IO ECHO. This is the place to go if you want to find a random hook-up you'll spend the rest of the weekend trying to avoid.
Where: Berlin. 9 pm.
How To Get In: Pick up a ticket here.

What: The Underground is re-opening just in time for Lollapalooza weekend. They'll be partying with DJ Rock City, Ryan Cabrera, and other "special guests" to be announced. Watch this weird video from club owner Billy Dec for more information. The last time I was at The Underground one of the bouncers shoved me for no reason. I won't be there.
Where: The Underground. 10 pm.
How To Get In: For guest list email For table reservations email


What: So you partied hard Friday night and don't want to roll into Lolla looking like a hot mess. A Covergirl tour bus will be driving around the city giving free manicures, make-up, and product samples for the kind of person who thinks a face full of make-up is a smart idea for a day out in the hot Lollapalooza sun.
Where: Follow Covergirl on Twitter and Instagram for the truck's location.
How To Get In: Show up.

What: Pre-game Lollapalooza with a lunch sponsored by Absolut featuring a DJ set from Derrick Carter. After an hour of music they'll send you off with a free packed lunch.
Where: "Secret Location", to be revealed. 1 pm - 2 pm.
How To Get In: RSVP here. Bring a few extra bucks to donate to the Marillac House Food Pantry.

What: Bed Head (yes, the hair product company) is hosting a series of daytime parties throughout Lollapalooza weekend with live music and free drinks. Friday's event includes sets by Beast Patrol and The Orwells. Download the Bed Head Hotel app on your iPhone for more information and a mobile photobooth.
Where: Public Hotel. 2 pm - 6 pm.
How To Get In: RSVP here.

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What: Brooklyn Vegan has a weekend of free shows planned for Lollapalooza. Friday night will feature performances by The Thermals, Heliotropes, and Aye Nako. Complimentary beer from Sapporo.
Where: Ultra Lounge. 9 pm.
How To Get In: No RSVP necessary. Just show up.

What: There's some sort of rave or something going on at Lacuna Artist Studio Lofts, which I know because some random person on Instagram invited me and used the hash tag #rave. Seems pretty legit. I went to a Pitchfork after-party at this place and the entire bar staff quit in the middle of the night because they had run out of cups half an hour into the party and then the bar got looted by drunk party-goers. I'll fault that to the event staff and not the venue itself. This is the place to be if you want to go dancing with Molly. Oh, and you'll get a code for a free Lyft ride to the venue, which you'll need because this place is difficult to get to on the CTA.
Where: Lacuna Artist Studio Lofts. 10 pm.
How To Get In: RSVP here. Check this site for more information.

What: Debonair has a long list of DJs on the roster for the night, including Chris Holmes, Ana Calderon, Tim Nordwind (of OK Go), Hey Champ and Heaven Malone. Free drinks from 9 pm to 10 pm.
Where: Debonair Social Club. 9 pm.
How To Get In: RSVP here.


What: Bed Head's daytime parties continue with sets from Wild Belle, Bear Mountain, Deap Vally, and Skaters. Grab some free booze here so you don't spend all your cash on overpriced beers at the festival. Download the Bed Head Hotel app on your iPhone for more information and a mobile photobooth.
Where: Public Hotel. 2 pm - 6 pm.
How To Get In: RSVP here.

What: Brooklyn Vegan concludes their weekend of free shows with performances by Russian Circles, An Aesthetic Anaesthetic, and Carbon Tigers. Complimentary beer provided by Sapporo.
Where: Ultra Lounge. 9 pm.
How To Get In: No RSVP necessary. Just show up.

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What: Debonair has a stacked line-up Saturday night, including a DJ set from The Postal Service's Jenny Lewis and Jimmy Tamborello. However, if you're planning on grabbing free drinks, you'd have to leave Lolla in the middle of The Postal Service's headlining set. The party will have a hosted bar from 9 pm - 10 pm.
Where: Debonair Social Club. 9 pm.
How To Get In: RSVP here.

What: Beauty Bar is hosting a Lolla after-party with DJ sets from Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. and My Gold Mask. No hosted bar, but as always Beauty Bar will have their signature $10 martini and manicure deal.
Where: Beauty Bar. 9 pm.
How To Get In: Free with RSVP here, or buy a $5 ticket here for guaranteed entry.

What: The Underground continues their weekend of celebration with a DJ set from Sam Ronson, aka that DJ who used to date Lindsay Lohan.
Where: The Underground. 10 pm.
How To Get In: For guest list email For table reservations email


What: Bed Head's series of daytime parties concludes with sets from Figo and Jillionaire (of Major Lazer). Take a break from the hot sun and hang here with free drinks and air conditioning. Download the Bed Head Hotel app on your iPhone for more information and a mobile photobooth.
Where: Public Hotel. 2 pm - 6 pm.
How To Get In: RSVP here.

What: The Underground closes out the weekend with sets by DJ Cobra and DJ Momjeans (aka Danny Masterson). I can't recall a Lollapalooza weekend in recent memory that didn't have some sort of appearance by DJ Momjeans at the after-parties.
Where: The Underground. 10 pm.
How To Get In: For guest list email For table reservations email

Know a party I missed? Let us know in the comments. This guide will be updated periodically throughout the week to keep you in the know on any last-minute party announcements.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

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  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
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Largehearted Boy
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Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


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Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
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Park West
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Red Line Tap
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Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
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Reckless Records
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Thick Records
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