Taste Of Chicago, Lollapalooza and More Canceled Due to COVID-19

Replaced by events including at-home dance parties, drive-in movies, and virtual concerts.

June 9, 2020
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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) - Chicago's Mayor Lightfoot and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) announced Tuesday a slate of new and reimagined summer events including a reimagined Taste of Chicago and Lollapalooza, plus at-home dance parties, drive-in movies, virtual concerts, and more.

DCASE announced Tuesday the cancellation of all permitted special events through Labor Day. 

"Regrettably, this includes many of Chicago’s annual summertime traditions," DCASE said in a statement.

The list includes Taste of Chicago, Lollapalooza, The Chicago Air and Water Show, and the Chicago Jazz Festival.

“We must provide ways for people to enjoy the spirit of a Chicago summer while prioritizing health and safety,” said Mayor Lightfoot, in a statement. “As difficult as it is to remove these in-person events from our calendar, we are pulling out all the stops for an inventive, engaging and fun festival season this summer.”

According to the city, DCASE will produce more than 150 events this summer. Many of these programs support the local music industry during the Year of Chicago Music — now extended into 2021.

This year, the city will offer "Taste of Chicago To-Go" that will include an expanded Community Eats program from July 8-12, supporting about 25 neighborhood restaurants and food trucks while providing free meals to nonprofits serving healthcare and other frontline workers. DCASE will also organize a food truck procession on July 8, and online cooking demos from July 8–12.

Beginning in June, in collaboration with local music venues, DCASE will host a series of about 20 live events featuring Chicago musicians performing at neighborhood clubs and other unique locations — for limited in-person engagements, broadcast to larger audiences. Concerts will include Jazz music in August/September, in lieu of the Chicago Jazz Festival.

According to the city, Lollapalooza will honor its annual summer tradition by bringing Chicago, and the world, together around a common bond of community, civic engagement and, of course, live music in a weekend-long livestream event July 30 – August 2, 2020. Details to be announced next month.

The Chicago Park District, Grant Park Music Festival and many other cultural presenters are also considering — or have already announced — alternative smaller and/or virtual summer events.

According to the city, Millennium Park will reopen in mid-June with limited in-person programming and in accordance with Chicago Department of Public Health safeguards and best practices, to ensure the safety of residents and visitors alike. Chicago Cultural Center and other DCASE-managed venues remain closed to the public until further notice.

Most of the Chicago City Markets will also open in June and July to increase neighborhood access to fresh and healthy food. DCASE will take necessary precautions to encourage social distancing and protect the safety of customers and vendors.

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