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No Masks, Social Distancing: Lollapalooza Crowd is Giving Twitter a Headache

Some Twitter users had serious criticism for the festival attendees, while others made memes. (Photo credit: AP)

Some Twitter users had serious criticism for the festival attendees, while others made memes. (Photo credit: AP)

Sharing photos from Chicago's Lollapalooza music festival, some Twitter users said it was a blatant invitation to Covid-19.

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.

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Some Twitter users had serious criticism for the festival attendees, while others coped with the slightly disturbing visuals with memes.

The following user was convinced that most people didn’t actually want the pandemic to end.

Some compared visuals of the Andromeda Galaxy with the Lollapalooza crowd.

One user pitched the unmasked Lollapalooza festivities against the travel ban.

Some were even apprehensive that it might end up being a “superspreader".

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.

However, some people had an entirely different kind of concern, which was: how does one find a restroom in that crowd?

Or how to find anything that one might drop. Especially things like contact lenses.

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.

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first published:August 03, 2021, 13:46 IST