Photos show massive, maskless crowds as Lollapalooza begins in Chicago, sparking concerns of a superspreader event

Max will perform on the first day of the Lollapalooza Music Festival on Thursday, July 29, 2021 at Grant Park in Chicago. Photo by Amy Harris / Invision / AP
The four-day Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago returned Thursday after a year-long hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Visitors to the festival must present a vaccination card or a negative COVID-19 test result that is no older than 72 hours.
Unvaccinated participants must wear a mask.
A shorter and smaller festival in the Netherlands reported similar trials and was still seeing an increase in cases, CNBC reported.
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Despite a worrying spike in COVID-19 cases across the country, summer music festivals are back in full swing, and Thursday marked the start of one of the biggest.
Chicago's four-day Lollapalooza music festival kicked off Thursday in the city's Grant Park, where around 100,000 visitors are expected every day.
The festival is back to full capacity after being canceled at the height of the pandemic last year. This weekend's event is expected to be one of the largest gatherings in the country since the pandemic began.
Amid concerns over rising COVID-19 cases and the spread of the highly transmissible Delta variant, festival officials are requiring visitors to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test if they are not vaccinated, according to the festival website. Unvaccinated people must wear face masks throughout the festival.
The return of the festival brought in a number of well-known acts including Miley Cyrus, Tyler the Creator, Post, Malone, Journey, Foo Fighters, Brockhampton and Illenium.
After a canceled event in 2020, the Lollapalooza Music Festival 2021 started on Thursday.
Festival goers can be seen on the first day of the Lollapalooza Music Festival on Thursday, July 29, 2021 at Grant Park in Chicago. Amy Harris / Invision / AP
"When you have that many people who are almost certain to get through there are going to be some cases," said Dr. Chicago Department of Health commissioner Allison Arwady told CNBC.
"But I am confident that the combination of what we know about limiting the risk of being outdoors combines it with vaccinations and / or testing and ideally mostly vaccinations, which is what we expect, as well as all of the other risk mitigation factors," she continued .
However, a festival in the Netherlands with 20,000 attendees over a two-day period resulted in over 1,000 of the attendees testing positive for COVID-19, as reported by CNBC. This is particularly worrying when you consider that Lollapalooza has twice as many days and almost five times as many visitors per day as the Verknipt outdoor festival in the Netherlands.
The Verknipt festival had procedures similar to Lollapalooza - such as requiring a negative COVID test for entry and proof of vaccination or recent infection with the virus.
Festival goers must provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or a negative COVID-19 test result.
Guests are requested to provide proof of vaccination against the COVID-19 virus upon arrival on the first day of the Lollapalooza Music Festival on July 29, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois.
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The precautionary measures come as Chicago sees rising COVID-19 cases, despite the fact that, unlike other parts of the country, the city has so far avoided a massive spike.
Chicago recorded 176 daily cases on Wednesday, up from 104 last week.
The Chicago Department of Health didn't immediately respond to Insider's request to comment on the festival, but Dr. Allison Arwady, the Chicago Department of Health commissioner, told NPR that she believed the festival organizers did everything possible.
The point of sale reported that Lollapalooza has been monitoring ventilation for all indoor areas, requesting vaccination for backstage workers, and providing masks.
Although the number of new cases in Chicago has increased every day, the city has not seen the surge in recent weeks that many other parts of the country have seen, and the average daily death toll and hospital admissions have decreased slightly.
The four-day festival is expected to attract 100,000 visitors a day, making it one of the biggest events since the pandemic began.
Festival goers attend the first day of the Lollapalooza Music Festival at Grant Park in Chicago on Thursday, July 29, 2021. Amy Harris / Invision / AP
Participants were prepared to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19.
Guests are requested to provide proof of vaccination against the COVID-19 virus upon arrival on the first day of the Lollapalooza Music Festival on July 29, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. The four-day downtown music festival is expected to attract 110,000 fans a day.
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As reported by NPR, unvaccinated festival goers who want to attend all four days of the event would have to test negative for COVID-19 twice - since the tests cannot be older than 72 hours.
While fake vaccination cards can be a cause for concern, local news broadcaster KGO reports that the Federal Bureau of Investigation recently announced that fraudulent Center for Disease Control documents could be classified as a crime.
Lollapalooza did not immediately respond to Insider's request to comment on the event's public health measures.
Many festival-goers were seen en masse, maskless.
Festival goers attend the first day of the Lollapalooza Music Festival at Grant Park in Chicago on Thursday, July 29, 2021. Amy Harris / Invision / AP
The official Lollapalooza aftershow on July 28th also had non-socially distant crowds.
Max will perform during the official Lollapalooza aftershow on July 28, 2021 at Park West in Chicago. Amy Harris / Invision / AP
The visitors to the official Lollapalooza aftershow were also seen without a mask.
Max will perform during the official Lollapalooza aftershow on July 28, 2021 at Park West in Chicago. Amy Harris / Invision / AP
Health officials will keep an eye on COVID-19 numbers in the city in the days following the festival.
Festival goers attend the first day of the Lollapalooza Music Festival at Grant Park in Chicago on Thursday, July 29, 2021. Amy Harris / Invision / AP
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