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Lollapalooza, Other Summer Events Could Return In Person In Some Form For 2021

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Concerts are not something many people have been to in about a year, but that could soon change.

Lollapalooza turned virtual last year, and now organizers are hinting at a possible in-person return.

The news about preparations for outdoor events from Mayor Lori Lightfoot's office is music to some artists' ears.

Yelling fans packed into outdoor concert spaces -- a pre-pandemic sight that might make some uncomfortable now -- was a summer staple in Chicago.

"And summer comes to Chicago, so we want to make sure we're prepared," Lightfoot said Friday as she prepared a plan for outdoor events.

They most likely will not look like old times, but the city's declining COVID-19 positivity rate brings some hope of normalcy.

"It's going to be wholly dependent upon where we are in he arc of the virus," Lightfoot said.

The stance comes just hours after the CEO of Live Nation, Lollapalooza's organizer, put out a tweet with a headline reading "concerts staged for a big comeback."

"It's a miracle that we're even in the discussion of something like that," said local musician Melody Angel.

Angel said her fans and other artists are hungry for that live atmosphere again. Her performances - like at the Chicago blues Festival last Summer - have been virtual.

"But it's just not the same, and everyone knows it," she said.

She has also missed out on money.

"A lot of money was lost, no need of me lying," she explained.

And the city has, too -- especially when it comes to huge events like Lollapalooza. Economists estimate close to $250 million lost and 2,400 jobs affected solely from the festival.

But artists hope whatever comes back is well thought out and safe.

"A lot of performers are hesitant to perform live because it's a vulnerable space," said Angel. "I'm just crossing my fingers right now. I hope that we can pull this off."

CBS 2 is still waiting for more from Live Nation about Lollapalooza plans. We did check in with Riot Fest, and that event is still scheduled at Douglass Park in September. Tickets are on sale now.

CBS 2 specifically asked the city whether organizers are applying for permits and is still waiting. But we do know staffers will not start giving out permits until March 31, which would give way for those summer events to move forward. That is if COVID numbers trend downward.

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