Lollapalooza Lowers COVID-19 Testing Standard Despite Rising Cases | State and regional


GREGORY PRATT Chicago Tribune

Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she had no “hesitation” in allowing Lollapalooza to proceed, even as cases of COVID-19 increase and the safety standard for admitting unvaccinated guests has been lowered from what was originally announced.

In the weeks before the city welcomed hundreds of thousands of spectators to Grant Park for the four-day festival starting Thursday, the festival quietly relaxed the safety standard for unvaccinated guests. In May, Lightfoot first announced that the festival would require attendees who are not fully vaccinated to have a negative COVID-19 test result within 24 hours of participating in Lollapalooza each day.

It is not known when the test window change occurred, but it appears to have been between June 18 and July 8, according to a review of the festival’s public communications.

Now the city and Lollapalooza are allowing the festival to run with negative tests up to 72 hours before guest entry, according to the festival’s website.

For her part, Lightfoot said she had no concerns about Lollapalooza.

“It’s outside. We’ve been running large-scale events all over town since June without any major issues or issues, ”Lightfoot said. “The Lolla team have been phenomenal.”

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Lightfoot also said it was important for participants to test negative within a “reasonable time frame” and said it could be longer than 24 hours. Lightfoot said unvaccinated participants would need a negative test within 48 hours, but admitted she could be wrong about that.

The news of the lower admission standard comes at a time when Lightfoot is facing criticism from people who fear the Lollapalooza Festival will turn into a big-ticket event.

Some have pointed to what happened at a Dutch music festival as a warning to Chicago.

After more than 1,000 people tested positive for COVID-19 after attending a music festival in early July in Utrecht, the Netherlands, a representative from that city’s health board told a Dutch broadcaster that it It was a mistake to allow unvaccinated participants to enter with a negative test within 40 hours of entry.

A spokesperson for the Utrecht Health Board said the 40-hour period was too lax, leaving too much time for people to become infected between receiving the test result and attending the festival.

The Utrecht festival hosted a total of 20,000 participants over two days, compared to a full capacity at Lollapalooza of 400,000 over four days.


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