Lollapalooza street closures, COVID rules as preparations for Chicago music festival continue

ByJessica D'Onofrio and Alexis McAdams WLS logo
Tuesday, July 27, 2021
Lollapalooza preparations continue as COVID-19 cases rise across US
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Preparations are underway for this week's Lollapalooza music festival in Grant Park as concerns grow about rising COVID-19 cases across the U.S.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Lollapalooza COVID rules have been clarified and preparations are underway for hundreds of thousands of people to flock to Grant Park for the first iteration of the city's biggest music festival after a global pandemic.

Health officials say the COVID surge is fueled by unvaccinated Americans and the highly contagious Delta variant.

The musical festival typically draws about 100,000 attendees per day, and that has some people worried.

"I do think there is going to be a significant risk of transmission at a tightly packed event such as Lolla, unfortunately," Dr. Zachary Rubin said.

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Lollapalooza said they are enforcing health measures at the direct of the city and the Chicago Department of Public Health.

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Each person will have to show a printed vaccine card at the gate, or proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of attending. Since the festival is four days long, weekend-long attendees will have to get tested multiple times.

If you don't have the papers, you will not get in.

"We have tightened up the security procedures," said Bob Klich of Monterrey Security.

A retired CPD commander with more than 35 years of law enforcement experience, he knows how to run a festival. But this year their biggest concern is health.

"It is going to be a challenging thing to do, but this is a new world that we are entering as America and the world starts to open up," Klich said.

Klich and other security team members will be keeping a close eye out for fake vaccine cards and anyone trying to sneak in.

"There are two types of fences. The main fences are very hard to get over. They are going to be patrolled by our security and security from other companies, along with CPD," he said.

But a rise in cases is still expected by many doctors.

Dr. Robert Citronberg with Advocate Lutheran General Hospital weighed in on the risks.

"The good news is it's an outdoor event and we know that transmission of the virus is much less likely is much less likely in outdoor spaces," Dr. Citronberg said.

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While some health experts say it's unlikely to become a super spreader event, they say there are chances for a spike in COVID cases. And Dr. Citronberg issued a warning for those who aren't vaccinated.

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"Every single person at that event who is unvaccinated is at risk of getting COVID-19," he said. And I think you should really give consideration about not going if you are unvaccinated.

Dr. Citronberg said if you are unvaccinated and you do go, regular cloth masks won't do. He said to wear an n-95 type mask for maximum protection.

Lollapalooza gets underway Thursday and runs through Sunday.

Lolla's website has listed the safety protocols now in place. You must be fully vaccinated, or have a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of attending Lolla. When you enter, you must have a printed copy of your vaccine card, vaccine record, or negative COVID test. You must also have your festival wristband. If you're unvaccinated, Lolla's website says you have to wear a mask as well.

Street closures

-Balbo Drive from Columbus to DuSable Lake Shore Drive closed through Friday, August 6; Balbo closure continues to Michigan Avenue on Monday, July 26, 8 p.m. and remains closed through Monday, August 2.

-Jackson Drive from Columbus to DuSable Lake Shore Drive is closed through Friday, August 6; Jackson closure extended to Michigan Avenue on Monday, July 26 8 p.m. and remains closed through Monday, August 2.

-Columbus from Monroe to Roosevelt will be closed Monday, July 26, 8 p.m. through Monday, August 2; the closure on Columbus is extended to Randolph Street on Monday, July 26 at 8 p.m. and continues through Monday, August 2.Additional northbound center lanes on Columbus from 13th Street to Roosevelt Road will be closed on Monday, July 26 at 8 p.m. and the closure continues through August 2.

-Ida B. Wells/Circle is closed from Michigan to Columbus on Monday, July 26 at 8 p.m. and remains closed through Monday, August 2.

-Monroe Street from Michigan to DuSable Lake Shore Drive is closed Wednesday, July 28 at 8 p.m. and remains closed through 6:30 a.m. Monday, August 2.