CHICAGO — Throngs of people have already descended upon Chicago’s Grant Park for Lollapalooza, but strict admission guidelines to the four-day music festival require either proof of vaccination for COVID-19 or a negative test for the viral infection within the past three days.
That means that anyone with a four-day pass who isn’t vaccinated will have to get tested twice. Meanwhile, anyone who has not been vaccinated must wear a mask.
In addition to the entry requirements, organizers have looked at air ventilation for any indoor spaces, made sure backstage workers are vaccinated, will make masks available and will test ticket-takers.
Illinois health officials have acknowledged that there will likely be COVID-19 cases tied to the event, expected to attract roughly 100,000 festivalgoers per day, and are urging ticketholders to stay home if they are sick, WGN-TV reported.
Officials in the Netherlands were shocked after a much smaller two-day music festival attended by roughly 20,000 people earlier this month - and with safeguards similar to Lollapalooza’s in place - resulted in nearly 1,000 COVID-19 cases, CNBC reported.
Despite the recent spike in cases caused by the highly contagious delta variant, Dr. Allison Arwady, the commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said this week that she feels comfortable with Lollapalooza going ahead as planned because of the precautions organizers are taking, noting that they have gone “above and beyond.”
“I would not feel comfortable moving ahead with Lollapalooza without COVID protocols in place,” Arwady told The Associated Press. “I don’t think I would feel comfortable if this were an indoor event, either. And I frankly don’t think I would feel comfortable if we were sitting in Louisiana right now, where cases are looking like they’re looking.”
Arwady’s stance is not shared, however, by all members of the medical community:
A sign outside Lollapalooza’s gates reads in part, “We have taken enhanced health and safety measures for you, our artists and employees. You must follow all posted instructions while attending Lollapalooza. An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public space where people are present. COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death.”
According to WGN-TV, headliners for the 30-year-old festival include Foo Fighters, Post Malone, Tyler the Creator and Miley Cyrus, with a host of other performers such as DaBaby, Marshmello, Illenium, Journey, Megan Thee Stallion and Roddy Ricch on tap.
-- The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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