Lollapalooza, Taste of Chicago and More Canceled Amid Coronavirus, City Announces

All permitted special events through Labor Day were canceled, though many will offer "reimagined" experiences

NOTE: Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is set to hold a live update at 1 p.m. CST. Stream it live in the player above

Major Chicago events, including Lollapalooza and the Taste of Chicago, have been canceled in the city amid concerns over large gatherings due to coronavirus, officials announced Tuesday.

All permitted special events through Labor Day were canceled, though many will offer "reimagined" experiences.

“We must provide ways for people to enjoy the spirit of a Chicago summer while prioritizing health and safety,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a statement. “As difficult as it is to remove these in-person events from our calendar, we are pulling out all the stops for an inventive, engaging and fun festival season this summer.”

Here's a list of canceled events:

  • Chicago SummerDance
  • Taste of Chicago
  • Lollapalooza
  • The Chicago Air and Water Show at North Avenue Beach
  • Chicago Jazz Festival in Millennium Park
  • the majority of programming at the Chicago Riverwalk, the Chicago Cultural Center and Millennium Park
  • Maxwell Street Market through Labor Day
  • the Jumping Jack Program
  • Other festivals, parades and athletic events - some of which have already been canceled

Here's a list of "reimagined" events:

  • "Millennium Park at Home” will continue with a genre-defying Music Series featuring Jon Langford, The Braided Janes, Zeshan B, Sen Morimoto and other local musicians on Thursdays (June 18 and 25, 6–7:30pm; July 9, 16 and 23, 6–7:30pm); and Blues Music performances by Melody Angel, John Primer, Toronzo Cannon and others are rescheduled for July 31–August 2 at 6–8pm. Additionally, Workouts — an alternating weekly schedule of Tai Chi, Yoga, Pilates and Zumba© — will be online Saturdays (June 6–August 29, 8–9am).
  • “SummerDance in Place,” a new citywide, at-home version of Chicago SummerDance will invite residents to plan socially-distant dance parties of up to 10 people — in their homes and backyards, and on porches, balconies and sidewalks — connected via a live broadcast and social media. Programs will include a 30-minute lesson followed by 60 minutes of music on Wednesday evenings in July (July 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29). Dance genres include Salsa, Swing and Line Dancing.
  • “Taste of Chicago To-Go” will include an expanded Community Eats program (July 8–12), supporting about 25 neighborhood restaurants and food trucks while providing free meals to nonprofits serving healthcare and other frontline workers. DCASE will also organize a food truck procession (July 8) and online cooking demos (July 8–12).
  • In lieu of the popular Millennium Park Summer Film Series, DCASE (Chicago Film Office) and the Chicago Park District are planning six drive-in movie nights across the city. The events will have a limited capacity of 50 cars, all pre-registered — and the City will encourage at-home viewing of the selected movies. Details will be announced soon.
  • Beginning in June, in collaboration with local music venues, DCASE will host a series of about 20 live events featuring Chicago musicians performing at neighborhood clubs and other unique locations — for limited in-person engagements, broadcast to larger audiences. This program brings visibility to local music venues, severely impacted by COVID-19. Concerts will include Jazz music (August/September, in lieu of the Chicago Jazz Festival) presented in collaboration with the Jazz Institute of Chicago and 51st Street Business Association; Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians; Constellation Performing Arts; Elastic Arts Foundation; Jazz Showcase; Kalapriya Foundation; Live The Spirit Residency; Museum of Contemporary Art; Public Media Institute; South Side Jazz Coalition; The Birdhouse, Inc.; and The Hungry Brain.
  • Lollapalooza will honor its annual summer tradition by bringing Chicago, and the world, together around a common bond of community, civic engagement and, of course, live music in a weekend-long livestream event July 30–August 2, 2020. Details to be announced next month.
  • Chicago Park District, Grant Park Music Festival and many other cultural presenters are also considering — or have already announced — alternative smaller and/or virtual summer events.

Organizers and city officials have been teasing a decision about Lolla for weeks.

Organizers of the city's biggest music festival said while they wish they could still hold the popular event, they "understand why things can't move forward as planned."

"Rest assured we will be working behind the scenes to deliver Chicago a spectacular celebration of Lollapalooza's 30th anniversary in the summer of 2021, and we can't wait to celebrate with you," the festival tweeted. "It's difficult to imagine a summer without our annual weekend together, sharing the undeniable energy generated when live music and our incredible community of fans unite."

Lollapalooza was scheduled to be held over four days, from July 30 through August 2, in the city's Grant Park. Last year it drew roughly 400,000 people to Chicago.

Pitchfork Music Festival - also held annually in Chicago - announced last month that it was canceling its 2020 event due to coronavirus.

"It can be pretty daunting to think about the future of live music right now, but know that we are fully committed to bringing Pitchfork Music Festival back in 2021, if the public health situation allows for it," the fest wrote on its website. "In the meantime, we urge everyone to follow local health department guidelines. We are in this together, and, if we all do our part, we’ll celebrate next year in person."

Meanwhile, the group plans to host live streams to "use the full weight of Pitchfork to support musicians and the community around our festival."

The city also previously canceled its Memorial Day Parade and House Music, Gospel Music and Blues festivals. It also postponed the annual Pride Parade.

Still, Millennium Park plans to reopen in mid-June with "limited in-person programming" and most of Chicago's City Markets will also open in June and July "to increase neighborhood access to fresh and healthy food."

Here's a look at the 2020 Chicago City Markets schedule:

  • Division Street City Market (30 W. Division St.), June–October
  • West Humboldt Park City Market (3601 W. Chicago Ave.), June–October
  • Austin Town Hall City Market (5610 W. Lake St.), July–September
  • Bronzeville City Market (4700 S. King Dr.), July–September
  • Englewood City Market (1219 W. 76th St.), July–September
  • LaFollette Park City Market (1333 N. Laramie Ave.), July–September
  • Printers Row City Market (700 S. Dearborn St.), July–October
  • Pullman Market City Market (11100 S. Cottage Grove Ave.), July–October
  • Roseland City Market (139 W. 109th St., Lavizzo Elem.), August–October
  • TENTATIVE: Daley Plaza City Market (50 W. Washington St.)
  • TENTATIVE: Federal Plaza City Market (50 W. Adams St.)
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