Five Things You Need to Know About Lolla Cashless

Few things are worse than a long ATM line and a $4 surcharge, just to get your own money! So Lollapalooza is testing Lolla Cashless - a new plan that will allow you to pay for food, drinks, and merchandise with the wristband you’re already wearing. 

Lolla will be the first music festival in the US to use this technology for mobile payments and the festival planners C3 Presents hope the idea spreads to other major festivals as well.

The idea is great and from what we can tell this payment system will be much better than the launch of Ventra and recently Park Chicago (parking meter app).  If you’re not quite sure where to go from here, don’t worry, here are the five things you need to know about Lolla Cashless.

How does it work?

The wristband uses an RFID (radio frequency identification) chip to access your credit card information and to prevent fraud you set pin number when you register your wristband.

When it’s time to buy a beer, burger or concert t-shirt, you’ll scan your wristband against a special vendor machine and enter your pin. To ward off thieves, the payment will only go through if the correct pin is entered.

Bonus: It’s free to use.

But there’s no cell service during the festival. Will it be fast?

You bet. Unlike the shady cab driver that claims his machine isn’t working, Lolla Cashless will work offline. If 4G or WiFi isn’t available, the system will save the charges until they can be processed.

Cool. But is it safe?

YES – as far as we can tell. The wristband doesn’t actually store your credit card information and it carries all the same security features and protection as your credit card. The wristband is like a key, but it won’t open the lock without the correct pin.

Additionally, RFID chips are part of US passports, MasterCard’s touch-free payment system, and for a short time in 2009, Dairy Queen loyalty cards.

Do I still need to bring my wallet?

YES. The wristband will only work inside Lollapalooza and it’s only connected to a credit card. So you still need your ID to drink and you’ll probably need a few bucks for transportation to and from Grant Park, and a few bucks if you plan to go out afterwards.

I like it, but it’s not for me. Do I still need to register my wristband?

YES. Whether or not you use the mobile payment system, remember to register your wristband. This will allow you to get a new one if yours is damaged.  


Check out more Lollapalooza coverage . We’re covering everything from where to stay and what after parties to attend to fashion and Lolla food. And to keep the info coming, subscribe to TLT.


Grant Park
Columbus & Balbo, Chicago, IL
Proudly referred to as Chicago's "front yard," Grant Park is a public park, 319 acres located in Chicago’s central business district in the Loop Community area.

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