Famed Chicago music festival Lollapalooza will require that all concert-goers wear masks in indoor spaces — regardless of vaccination status — in accordance with new guidelines issued by the city.
The mask rule goes into effect Saturday, on the third day of the monster four-day festival in Grant Park, which has been a Windy City summer staple for over a decade, and draws more than 100,000 people daily.
Photos from the weekend showed massive crowds of fans tightly packed around stages in the park, leading to public outcry over the congestion and criticism of Mayor Lori Lightfood, who had been adamant about moving forward with the event, telling reporters Monday 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.”
Lollapalooza had already required all attendees to show proof of their vaccination status which 90 percent did on its opening day, according to WGN9.
“We are taking this step to prevent further spread of the very contagious Delta variant and to protect public health,” said Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health Allison Arwady in a statement. “This isn’t forever, but it is necessary to help decrease the risk for all Chicagoans right now.”
Chicago public schools have already announced mandatory masks indoors for all students, staff and visitors for its upcoming school year, which begins Aug. 30.
Twitter users responded to Lollapalooza’s announcement, with some asking why the festival is permitted to continue into the weekend.
One user criticized the city’s decision to not cancel the concert, calling the indoor mask rule essentially useless since most of the concert is outdoors.
“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.
This year’s festival features big names like Miley Cyrus, Foo Fighters and Tyler The Creator.