Windy City Smokeout organizers require concert-goers this weekend to provide either their full vaccination status or a negative COVID-19 PCR or rapid test to enter the festival.
The coronavirus test must be taken within 72 hours of coming into the country music event, according to organizers.
To provide vaccination status, organizers say to download the phone app CLEAR and complete an enrollment to verify entry requirements. Using the Health Pass, guests can use the CLEAR fast lanes when coming into Windy City Smokeout.
Through Sunday, the United Center will be home to Chicago’s first major music festival in two years, as the Windy City Smokeout continues with another day of country music and barbeque.
Feeling out of the loop? We'll catch you up on the Chicago news you need to know. Sign up for the weekly Chicago Catch-Up newsletter here.
The event has been a long time coming for organizers and festival-goers, who are celebrating a rite of summer returning after a year off due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“It is beyond exciting and thrilling to be the first event for the city of Chicago,” RJ Melman, president of Lettuce Entertain You, said.
The group is spearheading the Smokeout, a showcase for more than a dozen country artists and barbecue options from several states. A long list of craft beer vendors caps off the offerings, giving residents a reason to celebrate in style.
That celebration will come with a unique set of rules, as the city of Chicago plans to implement a more rigorous list of requirements for festivals. To attend, festival-goers must download the Clear app and fill out a daily health screenings. Residents will also need to prove their vaccination status, and those who aren’t vaccinated will need to upload a negative COVID test within 72 hours of attending the festival.
“We have a lot of options for rapid testing to get through….We’re complying with city regulations,” Melman said.
While not everyone is thrilled about the new strict protocols, Melman says that they are a must to ensure a safe viewing experience for everyone.
“We’re excited to be here and have thousands of attendees coming, and we think we are doing it in the safest way possible,” he said.