Lollapalooza Sunday: Music festival wraps up as one of city's largest events since pandemic

Lollapalooza pulls DaBaby from Sunday night lineup following backlash from homophobic comments

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Monday, August 2, 2021
Will Lollapalooza stay in Chicago?
2021 is the last year on Lollapalooza's contract with the city, which brings millions of dollars in revenue each year.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The massive 4-day music festival drew in 100,000 people each day with nearly 200 performers on seven stages over the weekend.

Day four of Lollapalooza Sunday wrapped up as Chicago's biggest music festival since the pandemic

However, the day didn't come without controversy, but not so much over the festival's COVID safety measures.

One of the final day headliners, DaBaby, was pulled from the lineup as of Sunday morning, according to event organizers.

In a Tweet, Lollapalooza organizers said "Lollapalooza was founded on diversity, inclusivity, respect, and love. With that in mind, DaBaby will no longer be performing at Grant Park tonight."

The decision came following homophobic comments the performer made onstage at last week's Rolling Loud festival in Miami.

During the performance, he made false and insulting comments about gay men and HIV, and spoke crudely about women, as well.

"They might be popular and have awesome songs, but at the same time, if they are doing things that are not okay - you have to cancel them," said Lolla attendee Morgan Taylor.

"I would never go to an artist that hates on a specific group of people," added DC Smith. "That is not okay. It is the 21st century. We love everybody and the music should bring the soul out of people and not shove them into a box."

Last week, DaBaby apologized on Twitter for his comments, but the rapper was still replaced with other performers.

"I just wish people would take a second, like him or not, just go enjoy the festival, you are already here," said festival-goer Noah Laney.

"We wanted to see DaBaby and that is who we were looking forward to, but we paid money for it so we are going to see whoever it is," said Karson Cardenas.

Now, instead of DaBaby, Young Thug will perform in his place at 9 p.m. on the Bud Light Seltzer Stage, and G Herbo will perform at 4 p.m.

Watch Lollapalooza live on Hulu

The popular music festival quickly made last-minute changes to admission requirements as Chicago COVID cases continue to rise and as health officials aim to once again slow the spread of the virus amid the contagious Delta variant.

County health officials announced Friday a new "universal masking" recommendation, prompting festival organizers to modify their COVID safety protocols.

Concert-goers were required to show proof of vaccination or a negative test in order to enter, but following the Friday announcement, organizers pivoted to also requiring masks be work in any indoor spaces at Grant Park as of Saturday.

"They were not super strict about verifying vaccines and tests - just a quick flash and go," said Christopher Agostino. "I am worried it could lead to spreading."

In addition to the Lollapalooza vaccine requirement or COVID testing, masks are now mandated indoors on day 3.

Sunday morning, Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, gave an update on the city's response to the rising COVID-19 numbers.

"We have no goal or current plans to close down Chicago again, but we need people, please, once again to step up. We've made it through this pandemic. Well, so far, especially when you compare what happened right at the beginning to after we were able to get a lot of these mitigations in place," Dr. Arwady said.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot and other city leaders provided an update for the COVID-19 response as cases rise.

The new mask advisory comes as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that the Delta variant can be spread by people who are fully vaccinated and have a breakthrough infection.

"This is a virus that needs to be respected, and it's something we need to take precautions against, so the message is simple still. If you're not vaccinated, please get yourself vaccinated. That's still the best way to protect yourself, and we do need to layer on other protections as we're fighting the Delta virus in our area, so that's where the indoor masking comes in," said Dr. Michael Lin, infectious disease specialist at Rush University Medical Center.

Out of an abundance of caution, Governor J.B. Prtizker did not make an appearance at the event despite comments that he was planning on it earlier in the week.

"I am wearing a mask just to be safe," said Lolla attendee Karen Maze.

At Lolla, you must wear a mask in indoor spaces like the merchandise shop, hospitality lounges, wristband help tents and the box office.

COVID tests shown by unvaccinated attendees cannot be more than 72 hours old, so anyone with a four-day pass that isn't vaccinated has to get tested twice.

"It's easy enough for everyone to go get tested. They were offering it right down the street; it's easy enough for everyone to get vaccinated if they feel comfortable, and so I feel like it was appropriate; it's not keeping anyone out unless they have COVID, which I think is fair," said attendee Reagan Tallmadge.

Lollapalooza 2021 releases full lineup by day

Unvaccinated guests also must wear a mask, and pop-up testing sites are all around the fest's perimeter.

The city hoped this would be a safe celebration, but case numbers in Chicago are creeping up.

Lolla organizers tweeted Thursday that more than 90% of people showed proof of vaccination, 8% brought negative COVID tests and 600 people didn't bring paperwork and were not allowed in.

2021 is the last year on Lollapalooza's contract with the city, which brings in millions of dollars in revenue each year.

It can be renewed if both parties agree. The City of Chicago says it is looking forward to continuing its partnership with the fest.

Street closures

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

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

-Columbus from Monroe Street to Roosevelt Road will be closed Monday, July 26, 8 p.m. through Monday, Aug. 2; the closure on Columbus is extended to Randolph Street on Monday, July 26 at 8 p.m. and continues through Monday, Aug. 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 Aug. 2.

ALSO SEE: Lollapalooza scam: Fraudsters target festival-goers with fake tickets, vaccination cards

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