Chicago Launches Concert Series Exclusively for Residents Fully Vaccinated Against COVID

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Chicago is launching a new concert series exclusively for residents who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the city announced Tuesday.

The Protect Chicago Music Series will be a monthly series of events across the city as an "incentive and benefit" for Chicagoans who receive the COVID-19 vaccine, Mayor Lori Lightfoot's office said in a statement announcing the program.

Attendees must have received their second of two doses or their single-dose shot at least two weeks prior to be eligible to attend that event, according to the city.

Events will be ticketed and attendees must bring their Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccination card as proof of vaccination, as well as a matching photo ID, officials said.

The first event will be held on May 22 in the city's Hyde Park neighborhood, with DJ Ron Trent and Duane Powell performing, officials said. Based on that date, anyone who receives their final dose of the vaccine by May 8 will be eligible to attend.

Tickets can be found on Eventbrite, at vaccination sites and at will call. The city said for the first event, tickets will be made available first to people who attend a vaccination event at Apostolic Faith Church, located at 3823 S. Indiana Ave., between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. on May 8. Residents can register for a vaccination appointment here, though walk-ins will also be accepted.

Tickets for the May 22 event will then be released at 12 p.m. on May 11 when concert partner The Silverroom opens an Eventbrite RSVP portal on its website.

More dates and artists in the series will be announced throughout the summer, according to the city.

The new event series comes days after the city loosened COVID restrictions in its current phase of reopening and announced the return of some summer events. Lightfoot also revealed Tuesday that Chicago's target date for a full reopening is the Fourth of July.

"Every day that our COVID-19 metrics continue to tick downward raises the day closer to be able to put this pandemic in the rearview mirror, and we are too close to accomplishing this mission to give up now," Lightfoot said at a news conference announcing that the Chicago Auto Show would return to McCormick Place this summer.

"Our goal, ladies and gentlemen, is to be fully open by July 4," she continued. "I am working night and day toward this goal, as is our public health department, but we and I need you to continue to be on this journey with us, and that means getting vaccinated now, as soon as possible."

Chicago officials have on multiple occasions discussed incentives to encourage people to get vaccinated.

Last week, Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady discussed a potential new "Vax Pass" that could give special benefits for those who are vaccinated.

"People took this to mean 'I am going to need to show I am vaccinated to get into any restaurant in Chicago, this is going to be a requirement.' We are not talking about a vaccine passport here," Arwady said. "The Vax Pass concept is to really have activities and events that are incentives for people who choose to get vaccinated."

A vaccine passport won't be required in Chicago or Illinois, state and local officials have said, but they've floated the idea of incentives like discounts, exclusive events, giveaways and more to encourage vaccinations.

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