Chicago, IL

Concerns Increase Over Lollapalooza as Footage Surfaces Showing Vax Cards Not Checked as Security Waves People Through

Natalie Frank, Ph.D.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is once more under fire for attending the music festival where other most attendees went without masks, waving vaccination cards to get in, despite imposing more COVID restrictions on the city.

Many health experts warned that holding Lollapalooza in Chicago this summer was a bad idea, stating they were expected a spike in COVID-19 infections to occur the week after next. Major Lori Lightfoot dismissed these warnings stating that the festival was perfectly safe and that she would be attending. Yet experts stated that there was no way that the safety provisions for the festival could be monitored closely enough, and it appears their concerns were warranted.

Even as COVID-19 rates in Chicago are on the rise, and Lightfoot is preparing further restrictions with the possibility of locking down the city again, she believed that it was completely reasonable to welcome over 400,000 attendees to Lollapalooza. Many of these were from out of town such that there was the risk should this become a super-spreader event the concert could become responsible for infecting other areas of the country, in particular where there were low vaccination rates.

The mayor was good to her word, attending the event and speaking to crowds. “Thank you for masking up and vaxing up,” Lightfoot said, then defending the event, she added, “It’s outdoors. We’ve been having large-scale events all over the city since June without major problems or issues. The Lolla team has been phenomenal. They’ve hired their own public health experts who’ve been working hand in glove with us since we started these discussions.”

Much was made over the security measures put in place for the concert which included all attendees being required to show proof they were fully vaccinated to enter and if they were not proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of attending and non-vaccinated individuals being required to wear a mask at all times. Many have said even these measures weren’t strict enough, as they couldn’t be monitored once people entered the grounds.

There were also questions of how they would ensure with so many people needing to be checked every day, that none of the documentation was fake, as this would require a close examination and for security to be trained on what different forms of possible documentation looked like. This wouldn’t be entirely possible since there were so many out of town guests who might have different types of documentation.

Some have accused Chicago leaders of being more concerned about the money that the festival would bring in rather than the health and well-being of the people attending.

With all of this controversy about Lollapalooza being discussed, there has been growing concern tonight as video footage of attendees entering the grounds has surfaced. A number of personal videos have shown that security wasn’t even glancing at vax cards and documentation of negative COVID-19 cases much less examining them to the degree that they’d need to in order to determine if the paperwork was legitimate.

Watch this video coverage of how vax cards and proof of a negative COVID-19 test results failed to actually be checked as attendees were just waved through the entrances.

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker had originally announced he would attend the music festival but changed his mind at the last minute making it more about his own personal comfort level rather than the safety precautions

“I think those [safety measures] were reasonable things to do,” Pritzker said. “It was also reasonable for people like me who got up to near the date and decided, ‘You know what? I’d rather not go, just out of an abundance of caution.’”

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Chicago, IL
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