Chicago’s four-day Lollapalooza music festival got underway recently and drew in huge crowds that threw caution to the wind. Some 1,00,000 odd people could be seen in viral photos, mostly mask-less and not socially distanced by any stretch of the imagination. Twitter was having none of it. Lollapalooza is an annual four-day music festival held in Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois. The festival, which started as a touring event in 1991 now has music genres that include but are not limited to alternative rock, heavy metal, punk rock, hip hop, and electronic music. The festival went ahead despite surging cases of the Delta variant of the novel coronavirus both in Chicago and across the country. Organizers required attendees to wear masks at any indoor spaces, and all guests had to show either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test in order to enter the festival, reported Buzzfeed.
Sharing photos from the festival, some said it was a blatant invitation to Covid-19 and the fast-spreading Delta variant, while others said the cascading crowds would be the stuff of nightmares even in non-pandemic times.
Some Twitter users had serious criticism for the festival attendees, while others coped with the slightly disturbing visuals with memes.
If you're generally concerned about this global pandemic, as we all very much still should be, I don't recommend looking at the photos from Lollapalooza. It will not make you feel better about the state of things. 😷👍🏻— Meg (@WestCoastGirlie) August 3, 2021
that crowd at Lollapalooza alone created a completely new strain of covid fr fr— kate 🇵🇸🇮🇹 (@katelilyalice) August 3, 2021
The following user was convinced that most people didn’t actually want the pandemic to end.
im half convinced a lot of you straight up never want the pandemic to end, the reaction to lollapalooza has been bleak— coffee (@thesolarcoffee) August 3, 2021
Some compared visuals of the Andromeda Galaxy with the Lollapalooza crowd.
One user pitched the unmasked Lollapalooza festivities against the travel ban.
Still trying to decide if vaccinated Europeans are too dangerous to let in while allowing US citizens to these same places and allowing Lollapalooza with an unmasked crowd of 120,000 to take place? I just can’t get my head around this. #LoveIsNotTourism #liftthetravelban— Luke Bromfield (@BromOnYourFace) August 3, 2021
Some were even apprehensive that it might end up being a “superspreader".
Hope Lollapalooza will not be proved to be a Super spreader. Looks like it might be.— Drstrangelove (@Drstran30745387) August 3, 2021
Sharing a video of Megan Thee Stallion’s performance, one user wrote, “Fun fact: when she says 180,000 hotties she means fevers of 104f".
The general disregard for Covid-19 norms, coupled with the potentially anxiety-inducing crowds, set some people on the edge.
Mentioned to my coparent that Lollapalooza happened this weekend. Big Sigh… Then I saw this. Damn. Glad I'm old. My anxiety & general dislike of people will keep me home forever now. There's maybe one mask in there. End Times… looks like we're doing this. https://t.co/AmskFxdMsa— SupurrKitten (@Supurrkitten) August 3, 2021
However, some people had an entirely different kind of concern, which was: how does one find a restroom in that crowd?
I submit all the obvious covid concerns. But what do they do if they have to go to the bathroom??— Suzanne (@suzmccraw1) August 3, 2021
Or how to find anything that one might drop. Especially things like contact lenses.
“Nobody move! I dropped my conctact lens!”— Gregory W Nelson (@Gregory35346622) August 3, 2021
In the end, the festival turned out looking a lot different than what was expected, owing to the pandemic. The hordes of people expected to descend on Chicago’s Grant Park for the Lollapalooza music festival were required to show proof that they had been vaccinated for COVID-19 or tested negative for the disease within the last three days.
This year’s festival was supposed to look very different than in the past. To gain entry, attendees had to present their vaccination cards or a printed copy of a negative COVID-19 test that was no more than 72 hours old. That meant that anyone with a four-day pass who wasn’t vaccinated would have to get tested twice. Furthermore, anyone who wasn’t vaccinated would have to wear a mask.
Public health officials and others have raised concerns that such a large gathering, evening outdoors, risks turning into a super-spreader event. Officials in the Netherlands were shocked after a much smaller music festival attended by 20,000 people over two days early this month led to nearly 1,000 cases of COVID-19, CNBC reported. That festival had similar safeguards to Lollapalooza’s.