Pride in the Park has announced its return to Chicago's Grant Park, with plans to move forward with a two-day outdoor festival in June, marking one of the city's first live music festivals since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
The event is expected to take place June 26-27, with a "COVID-safe outdoor festival that brings equity, diversity, safety, and sickening sounds to the main stage," organizers said.
It will mark one of the city's first live, in-person concerts since the start of the coronavirus pandemic last year, and will be the festivals second event since launching in 2019.
"It's been more than a year, but this summer, live music and meaningful, safe ways to connect with our chosen friends and family is coming back. We are very pleased to meet state guidelines and working with the City of Chicago and Chicago Park District to make this event happen” Dusty Carpenter, president and lead organizer of Pride in the Park Chicago, said in a statement.
Organizers said they are following "a prudent health and safety plan that follows the strict yet sensible 'Restore Illinois Plan.'" Capacity limitations are expected to be in place, but among the safety protocols currently in store are a requirement that attendees be vaccinated or have a negative COVID test within three days of the event, that all attendees wear masks when not eating or drinking, that all guests and staff complete a "health pass."
"The Chicago Park District and Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events deserve a shout out for their collaboration. The health and safety of our attendees, artists, activists, guest speakers, vendors, and staff is our highest priority; it was one team working out a comprehensive plan," Carpenter said
Tickets are set to go on sale at noon Friday. Further details surrounding the event have not yet been released, including musical acts. Organizers said an announcement would be made in the coming weeks.
The 2019 event, which marked the first-ever Pride in the Park, saw headliners like Iggy Azalea and Steve Aoki.
Already this week, Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady hinted at the potential for new reopening plans associated with an increase in vaccinations.
She revealed plans for a possible Vax Pass that could be the key to attending summer events.
"So certainly, as we build vaccine confidence and convenience, we're interested in thinking about ways to incentivize people to get the vaccine," Arwady said. "I would hope that for most people, their their main incentive is to be able to stay healthy, keep their families healthy, keep their communities healthy. But we also know, younger people in particular, may be excited about the idea of getting into events."
Although she said non-vaccinated people will still be eligible to attend concerts this summer, those with the Vax Pass could receive limited access, along with other "incentives."
The CDC revealed Tuesday that vaccinated people don't need to cover their faces anymore unless they are in a big crowd of strangers. Officials said a focus in the coming weeks will be on easing guidance for vaccinated people, both in recognition of their lower risk and to provide an incentive to get shots.