Lollapalooza returns in midst of pandemic

Festival+goers+at+Lollapalooza+walk+between+the+T-Mobile+and+Lake+Shore+stages+in+Grant+Park+on+Thursday.+The+Chicago+festival+took+place+during+a+surge+in+Covid-19+cases.

Cameron Krasucki

Festival goers at Lollapalooza walk between the T-Mobile and Lake Shore stages in Grant Park on Thursday. The Chicago festival took place during a surge in Covid-19 cases.

By Amrita Bhattacharyya, Interim Editor-in-Chief

For festival-goers and artists alike, Lollapalooza was the first show for some since the pandemic began.

The music festival in Grant Park, which featured over 170 bands on eight stages from Thursday through Sunday, was postponed last year due to COVID-19.

Lollapalooza added some new entry protocols to their requirements this year, such as festival-goers being required to bring a printed copy of their vaccine card, vaccine record or negative COVID-19 test in order to enter. 

According to the Lollapalooza Twitter page, more than 90% of attendees showed proof of vaccination Thursday and 8% brought their proof of negative COVID-19 tests. Six hundred showed up without paperwork and were turned away. 

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot made an appearance Thursday and introduced the Black Pumas at the T-Mobile stage. 

“The rate of vaccination in this crowd is off the charts,” Lightfoot said. “Thank you for masking up and vaxxing up.”

On Friday, Cook County updated their masking guidelines to recommend everyone wear masks when indoors, regardless of vaccination status. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention classifies Cook County as having “substantial” transmission of COVID-19, according to the CDC COVID-19 Data Tracker.

On Saturday, Lollapalooza began the requirement of wearing masks in any indoor spaces at Grant Park. According to the Lollapalooza Instagram page, this was “based on the latest advice from the Chicago Department of Public Health.”

Masks were available for free at the entry gates, guest services and medical tents. Throughout the duration of the festival, the wearing of masks by attendees in outdoor spaces was at a minimum. 

First started in 1991, this year marks the 30th anniversary of Lollapalooza. 

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