Major Chicago events like Lollapalooza, the Taste of Chicago and other summer festivals and concerts in Chicago may return this summer so long as COVID-19 indicators continue to trend in the correct direction.
On Thursday, city officials said that while nothing is for certain, they’ve asked various departments to prepare for the possibility of summer events to return.
“While we are not formally planning nor permitting events at this time, our COVID-19 indicators continue to trend in the right direction and we are hopeful that some events that align with health guidelines may be possible later this year,” Christine Carrino of Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s press office said in a statement to NBC 5.
“As such, Mayor Lightfoot has directed City departments to prepare for the possibility of events this summer and ensure any resources that could be necessary are available.”
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Last summer, events like Lollapalooza and the Taste of Chicago were canceled and for the last year concert halls and theatres have been shuttered or forced to operate at a limited capacity.
On Thursday, the Metro announced shows at GMan Tavern, located next to the iconic concert hall that are scheduled for later this month with limited capacity.
However, some, like JAM Productions owner Jerry Mickelson are already selling tickets online for his outdoor music venues in hopes they can soon reopen at full capacity this summer and with precautions in place.
“As the vaccine rolls out and as more people get their shots, that will allow us to have a little more predictability on when the city and state will allow us to open,” Mickelson said. “We’ll still be wearing masks. We have no problem with that. But I think that plenty of places have proven, even if you take a flight, you’re sitting next to somebody.”
During Live Nation’s Q4 earnings call, CEO Michael Rapino said he believes the company will be able to host outdoor concerts in some areas of the country with 75% to 100% capacity by mid-summer, according to Music Business Worldwide.
Despite the challenges ahead, Live Nation hopes to work on a plan to bring shows back to Illinois.
“It’s encouraging to be one step closer to reconnecting artists and fans at concerts.” Live Nation said in a statement to NBC 5.”While events will require regular capacity to really work in the long term, we are grateful for the ongoing partnership of many of Chicago’s elected officials, including Governor Pritzker, and are looking forward to working together on a plan to get to shows with regular capacity as soon as we can.”