Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot faced criticism for continuing to hold a music festival in the midst of reinstating COVID-19 restrictions.
Despite announcing plans to resume more pandemic restrictions in the city, the Democrat mayor continued to host Lollapalooza, which is one of the largest music festivals in the country.
“At the same time she’s threatening possible restrictions if cases rise above 200 per day, Mayor Lori Lightfoot is moving forward with plans to bring 100,000 a day to Grant Park for Lollapalooza,” Chicago Tribune reporter Gregory Pratt said.
Lightfoot later appeared herself at Lollapalooza saying to the massive crowds “Thank you for masking up and vaxing up.” Despite frequent criticisms against holding the festival, Lightfoot continued to defend her decision.
“It’s outdoors. We’ve been having large-scale events all over the city since June without major problems or issues,” Lightfoot said. “The Lolla team has been phenomenal. They’ve hired their own public health experts who’ve been working hand in glove with us since we started these discussions.”
Lollapalooza was previously cancelled in 2020 due to pandemic concerns. This cancellation reportedly cost “at least $35 million in sales” and “nearly $9 million in lost earnings.”
However, in the middle of various concerns over the Delta variant as well as new COVID-19 restrictions, many people viewed holding the music festival as a “super-spreader” event.
“Will @chicagosmayor Lightfoot be blamed for approving a #COVID19 super-spreader event this weekend — @lollapalooza, three days of music euphoria with a huge, mask-less crowd?” journalist Laurie Garrett tweeted.
Retired Department of Defense operative Tony Shaffer also tweeted “Wow – COVID is the most intelligent virus ever in history – it will wait for @LoriLightfoot to get the City of Chicago all sorts of tax revenue before it becomes super dangerous and transmissible!”
Sports reporter Julio Rausseo commented on Lightfoot’s apparent hypocrisy tweeting “According to @klefurgy, it’s not a big deal since @chicagosmayor is backstage @lollapalooza. What’s odd is, the mayor is masked outdoors with the general public but not with the boujie celebrities.”
Lightfoot told those visiting for Lollapalooza to wear a mask when riding public transportation after reports of Chicago’s public transit being filled with riders not wearing masks.