Lollapalooza ticket price up to $392 higher with Chicago tax
The typical concertgoer will pay an extra $35 for their general admission ticket to Lollapalooza, thanks to the city’s amusment tax. A platinum pass will cost visitors more than the price of a standard ticket in taxes alone.
Chicago music fans will pay between $35 and $392 more than the listed price for a four-day ticket to Lollapalooza 2023, thanks to the Windy City’s amusement tax.
The $392 levy is what concertgoers planning to purchase a four-day platinum pass for Aug. 3-6 will spend. That’s more than the base price of a four-day general admission ticket.
Lollapalooza started in Chicago in 1991 and has generated nearly $2 billion for the city’s economy since 2010, drawing top-tier artists and music fans from around the country to Grant Park. Last year the concert produced $335.4 million in new local spending.
The music festival organizer also paid $2.9 million in amusement taxes and a combined $37.8 million in city, county, state and federal taxes alongside its vendors.
A notable portion of this year’s Lollapalooza revenue will come from the 9% amusement tax Chicago applies to purveyors and consumers of entertainment, including live concerts, theatrical performances and even Netflix subscriptions.
Data from the Chicago Department of Finance shows the city raised over $196.4 million from the amusement tax in 2019, before venues were closed to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
But revenues have bounced back and gone higher. The city collected roughly $231.7 million from the amusement tax last year, according to a Freedom of Information Act request.
Chicago’s amusement tax is one of the highest in the country, and the second-highest among the few big cities that charge a similar tax in the Midwest. Indianapolis is highest.
Plus, Chicago’s amusement tax is not the only tax on tickets.
Concertgoers can expect to pay about $17.39 in taxes per night on every $100 spent on a hotel room and $23.39 extra per $100 per night for a vacation rental.
Former Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot signed off on a 10-year contract with Lollapalooza in July 2022, guaranteeing the music festival will return to Grant Park for 10 summers – and potentially five more.
City leaders predict the concert deal will be worth about $4 billion in economic impact during the next decade.