Kanye West

Kanye West's ‘Donda' Listening Event to Be Held at Soldier Field Thursday

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Kanye West is set to hold his "Donda" listening event at Soldier Field Thursday, the latest in a series of performances the rapper is holding for his latest album.

The Thursday show at Soldier Field is slated to start at 9 p.m. Tickets for the event went on sale Friday.

The Chicago rapper's album, which has yet to be released, was named after his mother, Donda West, who died at the age of 58 following plastic surgery complications in 2007.

In footage captured by NBC's Sky 5 helicopter at Soldier Field, it appeared West was constructing a recreation of his childhood home in Chicago as part of his set. Over the weekend, West cleared his entire Instagram account and started dropping photos on Instagram related to the "Donda" album, the first of which was his that home.

Attendees at the event won't be required to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test to enter, unlike other big concerts being held in Chicago.

While such requirements were in place for major events like Lollapalooza, city officials say the outdoor Soldier Field performance won't require them, but it will have other restrictions in place.

"Kanye West's performance is one of many examples that show that Chicago can be open and safe at the same time," Chicago Park District spokesperson Michele Lemons said in a statement. "We have worked with Soldier Field on COVID-19 safety protocols, as we have other venues including Wrigley and Guaranteed Rate Fields, and feel this event can be safely held with the proper mitigation efforts in place."

Soldier Field's capacity will be nearly cut in half for the event, Lemons said, with only 38,000 people allowed compared to the typical 63,000.

Masks will be optional for the outdoor portion of the event, but are still recommended for anyone who isn't vaccinated.

Per Soldier Field's guidelines and an indoor mask mandate in Chicago, face coverings will still be required in indoor spaces. That includes places like the United Club, Miller Lite Midway, Pro Shop, North Garage, bathrooms, elevators and enclosed hallways.

West unveiled his 10th studio album in front of a packed crowd at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta last month.

The rapper's first listening session — which was livestreamed on Apple Music — sold out the Atlanta venue after he announced that the first public listen of his highly-anticipated album would take place. Some of the big names who attended the event were Rick Ross, Khloe Kardashian and his soon-to-be ex-wife Kim Kardashian West.

West, 44, is known for his Chicago roots, though he was born in Atlanta, so it's fitting that the Soldier Field listening event would follow.

This latest project is a follow-up to his 2019 gospel-themed album “Jesus is King,” which won a Grammy for best contemporary Christian album.

Last year, West announced on Twitter — with colorful cover art and a track list — that he would release his latest album. At the time, his tweets indicated that his project would release on the same day as his rival Taylor Swift's project “Folklore,” but his album ended up being postponed.

NBC Chicago/Associated Press
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