In accordance with new city guidelines, all concertgoers in indoor spaces, regardless of vaccination status, will be required to wear masks.
The mask rule takes effect on Saturday, the third day of the four-day Grant Park festival, which has been a summer staple in Chicago for over a decade and attracts over 100,000 visitors daily.
Photos from the weekend showed massive crowds of fans crammed around the park’s stages, prompting public outcry and criticism of Mayor Lori Lightfood, who had been adamant about moving forward with the event, telling reporters Monday that she had “no second thoughts” about it despite rising COVID-19 case numbers, according to WTWW.
However, by Friday, the Chicago Department of Public Health announced new mask recommendations in response to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention raising the city’s transmission rate status to “substantial.”
“Based on the latest advice from the Chicago Department of Public Health, Lollapalooza will require masks in any indoor spaces at Grant Park beginning Saturday,” the festival tweeted on Friday. “We encourage all fans attending the festival to bring a mask as they attend the final two days of the festival.”
According to WGN9, Lollapalooza had already required all attendees to show proof of vaccination status, which 90 percent did on the first day.
In a statement, Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Allison Arwady said, “We are taking this step to prevent further spread of the highly contagious Delta variant and to protect public health.” “This isn’t forever, but it is necessary to help decrease the risk for all Chicagoans right now.”
For the upcoming school year, which begins Aug. 30, Chicago public schools have already announced that all students, staff, and visitors must wear masks indoors.
Some Twitter users reacted angrily to Lollapalooza’s announcement, asking why the festival was allowed to continue into the weekend.
One user chastised the city for not canceling the concert, claiming that the indoor mask rule was essentially useless because the majority of the event took place outside.
“Literally almost zero indoor areas in grant park. Fck @LoriLightfoot , @GovPritzker @chicago for just collecting a check. @lollapalooza would have been canceled if they truly cared about COVID.”
“This is going to go down in History as a major Super-spreader event. Whoever signed the permit for the city and the promoters should be in jail,” another user tweeted.
Miley Cyrus, Foo Fighters, and Tyler The Creator are among the headliners at this year’s festival.