The four-day Lollapalooza music festival was drawing to a close on Sunday, with health officials hoping they had not attended a large-scale event.
Organizers estimated 100,000 people would attend the 30th anniversary celebration event daily in Chicago’s Grant Park.
Spectators were required to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test 72 hours before, and on opening day – Thursday – Lollapalooza officials said more than 90% of attendees presented proof of vaccination.
About 600 people were not allowed to enter the festival due to lack of paperwork, they said.
The FBI has warned that faking a vaccine crime is a federal crime, punishable by a $ 5,000 fine or five years in prison.
The Lollapalooza festival in Chicago, pictured on Saturday, drew crowds of 100,000 people every day. Participants are urged to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test upon entry, but health officials still fear an increase in cases in the weeks to come following the rally.
Tripple Redd performs on stage Saturday. The third day of the festival was titled by Megan Thee Stallion, Journey and Limp Bizkit
Only 51.7% of Chicagoans are fully vaccinated – although as of Thursday, organizers said, 90% of those in attendance provided their vaccination certificates. The remaining 10% showed negative COVID tests
Limp Bizkit’s Fred Durst is seen live on stage Saturday – one of the Day Three headliners
A sign outside the entrance reads: “We have taken enhanced health and safety measures for you, our artists and our employees.
“You must follow all instructions displayed when participating in Lollapalooza.
“An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public space where people are present. COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to serious illness and death. Seniors and guests with underlying health conditions are particularly vulnerable, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“By attending Lollapalooza, you voluntarily assume all risks associated with exposure to COVID-19.
“Please help yourself to stay healthy! ”
The number of new cases reported daily in Chicago had fallen to 34 by the end of June, but has now risen to 192 – although hospitalizations remain significantly below their peak this spring.
The Illinois State Department of Health reports that 58.6 percent of residents over 18 are fully immunized and 74.3 percent received their first injection.
Chicago is slightly below the state average, with 51.7% of its 2.7 million people fully vaccinated.
Of the six million fully vaccinated people in the state, 644 have been hospitalized with “breakthrough” infections and 169 have died.
The festival kicked off Thursday, with Miley Cyrus headlining and a surprise appearance by Billy Idol.
On Friday, Tyler, The Creator was headlining, while Saturday was owned by Post Malone, Journey, Megan Thee Stallion and Limp Bizkit.
Sunday will end with Foo Fighters.
Cook County was added Thursday to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) list of areas with “substantial” transmission of COVID-19, bringing with it notices for masks indoors.
The festival announced on Friday evening that masks will be mandatory in all interior spaces of the field from Saturday.
“We encourage all fans attending the festival to bring a mask when attending the last two days of the festival,” according to an announcement from festival producer C3 Presents.
Health officials said they expected an increase in COVID cases.
“When you meet so many people coming in, there will almost certainly be cases,” said Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health.
She told CNBC: “But I am convinced that the combination of what we know about limiting risks outdoors, combining that with vaccination and / or testing and ideally primarily with vaccination, which is what we focus on. expect, along with all the other mitigating factors. ‘
Megan Thee Stallion performs in concert on day three of Lollapalooza’s 30th anniversary
The concert in Grant Park is one of the largest since the start of the pandemic, with 100,000 people attending every day
Some felt the event was a bad idea, pointing out that recent music festivals, including the Verknipt Festival in Utrecht, the Netherlands, and Rolling Loud in Miami, have been linked to epidemics among their attendees and communities. surrounding areas.
Dr Emily Landon, executive medical director of infection prevention and control at the University of Medicine of Chicago, said in an interview with NBC-5 Chicago last Monday that she believes the festival should have been canceled.
“I think continuing to have Lolla at this level of ability was a bad idea even before there was a pandemic, and I’m shocked that we agreed to go back to that same level of ability,” she said. declared.