CHICAGO (WLS) -- The signage and security of a tier-one event, akin to the Super Bowl, are in place as Grant Park gets set to welcome 100,000 festival goers over the next four days for Lollapalooza 2022.
After last year's tentative return following the pandemic, this year's world-class music festival will welcome people without masking or vaccination restrictions, although everyone is asked to be cautious
"I think the public is very keenly aware of the dangers of COVID and monkeypox, and that is certainly something that they should keep an eye on themselves. If you don't feel good don't come out," said Rich Guidice, executive director of the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications.
Following the standard for big events, backpacks, coolers, chairs and other such personal items will not be allowed. Essentially, you'll wear what you need, and bring what little else is allowed in clear bags, 12"x12"x6" at most.
Highland Park security consultant and author, Doug Cummings, was on the scene in the immediate aftermath of his hometown's Fourth of July shooting tragedy. Now, he has writing a new chapter for his book "Escaping the 'O' Zone" on how people need to operate, particularly as the music blasts and worries are forgotten.
He said Lollapalooza will be a test
"If you have a group of friends, keep them around you. Have your security sense turned on, be aware of what is going on in the street [and] watch for things that may be happening up ahead of you," said.
That goes for even such mundane considerations as choosing not to wear flip flops, where to park and how you get down the street when the last act calls it a night.
"Watch the exits. Watch the people around you, watch what the crowd there is doing and don't ever leave by yourself in the middle of the night. Try and have people with you when you leave," Cummings suggested. "If you get in a situation where you have to evacuate quickly, you could run right out of your shoes or trip and fall, and that is the kind of thing I am sure the people who are running security are very afraid of is... The idea of a crowd surging and having people fall and be injured."
In the aftermath of Highland Park, the security footing will be as intense as ever in the city.
"You would have always seen uniform police officers, SWAT personnel around this event. Also, there are undercover officers, obviously, you won't see," Guidice said, "We have a lot of cameras, as you would imagine, on the footprint of the event itself. We have hundreds of cameras. Really, that is another one of the layers of security that we have for this event and monitoring these cameras from our forward command post actively."
If you are walking in, don't be on your phone and don't be watching your phone.
Lollapalooza will be held July 28 through 31 in Grant Park. You can buy tickets here.
Even if you can't make it to Lollapalooza this weekend, you can still enjoy the festival live on Hulu.