Should you cash in on Lollapalooza?

Ariana Grande, Lollapalooza, Chicago Marathon: Host at your own risk during these Chicago events this summer.

Chicago is preparing to welcome dozens of hip-hop, techno and rock performers to this year’s Lollapalooza, which kicks off Aug. 1 in Grant Park. Last year, Airbnb said Chicago hosts could earn an extra $3.3 million hosting 19,000 guests during the annual four-day music festival. While Lollapalooza may be a boon to their businesses, some hosts worry about the festival’s raucous reputation.  

Mike Turner, a Chicago-based Airbnb host who has welcomed guests for Ruido Fest and Spring Awakening, says he would only recommend people with experience hosting musicians and their fans to accommodate these tenants. People who come for Lollapalooza tend to party more, he says.

“The mess people do is more of a risk for hosts who rent full apartments,” Turner said. “People who rent individual rooms are more respectful of the space because they seem to sense that somebody is watching them.”

Airbnb guests who visit Chicago spend about $171 per day at restaurants and retail stores, while half of their spending remains in the neighborhood where they stay.

The boon to tourism is unignorable. On average, Airbnb guests who visit Chicago spend about $171 per day at restaurants and retail stores, while half of their spending remains in the neighborhood where they stay, according to Airbnb. Hosts in the South Side neighborhoods, especially those within a short commute to Grant Park, expect to earn $465 per booking over the four-day festival.   

Hosts can charge higher prices — usually 50% to 100% more than their typical hosting fees –  for that weekend. Depending on apartment type and amenities, hosts could consider charging 25% less than nearby hotels.

“It is not really unethical to charge higher amounts for market demand and the potential risk of guests partying,” Turner said. “I suggest hosts to charge more, remove breakables from their apartments and put much higher cleaning fees.”

Whether or not you open your home during Lollapalooza, here are plenty of events in Chicago this summer to factor into your Airbnb business.

Summer 2019 events in Chicago

  • University of Chicago Convocation
    • Date: June 15, 2019
    • Location: The University of Chicago, 5801 S Ellis Ave, Chicago, IL 60637
  • Northwestern University Commencement
    • Date: June 21, 2019
    • Location: Ryan Stadium, 1501 Central St, Evanston, IL 60208
  • Taste of Chicago
    • Date: July 10-14, 2019
    • Location: Grant Park, 337 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60601
  • Lollapalooza
    • Date: Aug. 1-4, 2019
    • Location: Grant Park, 337 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60601
  • Chicago Jazz Festival
    • Date: Aug. 23-Sept. 1, 2019
    • Location: Millennium Park, 201 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60602
  • Chicago Marathon
    • Date: Oct. 11-13, 2019
    • Location: Grant Park, 337 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60601