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Safety emphasized as city preps for Lollapalooza 2016

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With just a couple of days until Lollapalooza begins, preparations are already underway for putting on the massive music festival. (WLS)

With just a couple of days until Lollapalooza begins, preparations are already underway for putting on the massive music festival.

Streets around Grant Park will be closed - including Balbo and Jackson from Columbus to Lake Shore Drive - starting Tuesday. People planning on attending are encouraged to take public transportation. Metra and CTA are both providing extra rail service this weekend. The CTA is recommending that riders purchase fares in advance to avoid potentially long lines.

"As always with large events, we focus on transportation and taking CTA, and be aware of surroundings. We have large crowds and people need to be aware," said Rich Guidice, Office of Emergency Management & Communications.

Guidice said roughly 100,000 people are expected to attend each day of Lollapalooza, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

This year, the festival has been extended from three to four days and will run from Thursday through Sunday for the first time. There will be plenty of security measures in place to keep everyone safe.

"People coming to the event should expect bag checks, pat downs and should expect to be wanded as well," Guidice said.

For added public safety, attendees are reminded to be aware of the numbers attached to the poles throughout Grant Park. It's a way to locate people who are lost or experiencing an emergency that could send them to the hospital.

"We see people with head exhaustion, even heat stroke, where people will really not be doing well. They feel dizzy or lightheaded liked they're going to pass out," said Dr. Steven Aks, an ER physician at Stroger Hospital.

Dr. Aks said that each year, about two dozen people are brought in, not just for heat exhaustion, but also for drug and alcohol use. He said a lot of the patients are young people who experiment with drinking and street drugs.

"They're very dangerous, they have different effects on different people and we've seen with people come in with super high temperatures, rapid heartbeat, sweating, delirious," Dr. Aks said.
Related Topics:
newslollapaloozasafetyCTAChicago - Downtown
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