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Variety Magazine Reports Lollapalooza Has Green Light To Return This Year; City Says Nothing Is Confirmed Now

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A new day is about to dawn in Chicago in what is called the Bridge Phase for COVID-19 reopening

Starting Friday, COVID restrictions are being relaxed across the state. Larger crowds will be allowed at restaurants, baseball games, and retail stores – among other venues.

Meanwhile, a full reopening is on the horizon as soon as next month.

But what does this all mean for one of Chicago's banner summer events – the Lollapalooza festival in Grant Park? CBS 2's Jermont Terry was looking for answers to that question Thursday night.

There is no definite yes from City Hall as of Thursday night about whether Lollapalooza will be back this year. But it is clear from the Lolla website that the festival is all ready to sell some tickets for this summer – and one report insists the festival already has a green light.

The last time hundreds of thousands of people packed Grant Park daily for the festival was in 2019. We know the pandemic forced the festival to go virtual last year.

Late Thursday, a headline from Variety Magazine sent music lovers into a frenzy. It reads, "Lollapalooza Gets the Go-Ahead for Four-Day Festival This Summer."

Citing sources, the article by Jem Aswad and Shirley Halperin reported, "The city of Chicago gave the event the greenlight at near-to or -full-capacity, insiders report, and an official announcement, likely with headliners, is expected to come next week."

And when you head to the Lolla website, it sort of backs the headline – telling people to sign up for 2021 tickets.

The news sent Twitter into a frenzy – some approving, some not. Writer and activist Charles Preston tweeted: "CDC said mask off. Chicago replied 'Lollapalooza!'"

But City Hall said we'd best hold up – because nothing is confirmed:

"The Mayor's Office and CDPH have been in conversation with several large event organizers, including the team at Lollapalooza, on how to bring these experiences back to Chicago in safe way. We are taking these events case by case and determining how we can ensure the safety of our patrons. While conversations have been moving forward in a positive way, nothing has been confirmed."

And to that response, the r/Lollapalooza Twitter account for the official Lollapalooza subreddit tweeted: ".@Lollapalooza Now would be a good time to say something."

But back in March, festival co-founder Perry Farrell, the frontman for Jane's Addiction, did hint at a summer 2021 comeback.

"Maybe please, God, maybe, we'll get to go to Chicago in early August in one capacity or another," Farrell told iHeartRadio. "If it's not a giant Lollapalooza, it might be a half-capacity Lollapalooza."

The looming question is how the crowds will get ushered in. Is it likely we will see folks crammed on top of each other?

The Variety report said the city will know by next week.

Keep in mind that Chicago plans to reopen by July 4 with no restrictions. Lolla, according to the report, would take place from July 29 through Aug. 1.

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