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Lollapalooza returns to Grant Park

The lineup of entertainers will be released at 10 a.m. Wednesday; tickets go on sale two hours later. Full COVID-19 vaccination or negative COVID-19 test results will be required to attend.

A packed Grant Park on Aug. 1, 2019, on the first day of Lollapalooza.
Fans at Lollapalooza in 2019, the last year it was in Grant Park. Last year’s in-person event was canceled due to the pandemic.
Sun-Times file

Lollapalooza, Chicago’s premier music extravaganza, will make a triumphant return to Grant Park at “full capacity” from July 29 through Aug. 1, the mayor’s office confirmed Tuesday.

One week after Variety reported Lolla’s return, Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office confirmed it with no restrictions.

The lineup of entertainers will be released at 10 a.m. Wednesday, though the headliners will include the Foo Fighters; band member Dave Grohl appeared in a YouTube video with Lightfoot to promote the festival’s return.

Tickets go on sale at noon Wednesday at www.lollapalooza.com.

Full COVID-19 vaccination or negative COVID-19 test results will be required to attend Lollapalooza 2021. For patrons who are not fully vaccinated, a negative COVID-19 test result must be obtained within 24 hours of attending Lollapalooza each day, officials said.

“Here in Chicago, the word ‘Lollapalooza’ has always been synonymous with summer, great music and four days of unforgettable fun — which made last year’s decision to postpone it all the more difficult,” Lightfoot was quoted as saying in a press release.

“Now, less than a year later and armed with a vaccine that is safe, effective and widely available, we are able to bring back one of our city’s most iconic summer music festivals. I want to thank the Lollapalooza team for working closely with the City to create a reopening strategy that prioritizes safety and can’t wait to see festival-goers return to Grant Park this summer.”

Also anxious to see those crowds: Chicago restaurants.

Illinois Restaurant Association President Sam Toia is hard-pressed to name an event that generates more activity for city restaurants and nightclubs than Lollapalooza.

Toia pointed specifically to what happens at Chicago nightclubs when musicians appearing at Lollapalooza take the opportunity to do what Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones once did after a Chicago show: perform at smaller venues later that night.

“You have a lot of people who come in from around the country and around the world. They’re here to obviously experience Lollapalooza. But, they’re also here to experience Chicago and the culinary scene and the music scene,” Toia said.

“When you bring that many people into the city of Chicago, they definitely go out to the bars and restaurants. It’ll definitely be a shot in the arm.”

Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said Lolla’s return was made possible by the “tremendous progress” Chicago has made in containing the spread of the coronavirus. Daily case rates, positivity rates and other “leading metrics” are all either stable or declining, she said.

“This is a reason to celebrate and why we’re able to make this announcement today,” Arwady was quoted as saying.

“To ensure we celebrate safely this summer I encourage everyone to continue to be safe and smart. If you’re sick, stay home; wash your hands frequently. Wear a mask if you’re traveling or using public transit; and most importantly get vaccinated if you haven’t already.”