Reporting Steve Miller
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CHICAGO (CBS) – Rainstorms on Saturday forced the temporary evacuation of Lollapalooza, but after the crowds returned, some of the fields of Grant Park were left covered with mud.
It’s the second year in a row that rain during the music festival — combined with the huge crowds gathering on the grass in Grant Park — have left much of the grass muddy and damaged.
Last year at Lollapalooza, a lot of rain and a big crowd during Lollapalooza left Grant Park a mess, and the concert promoters paid for repairs to the tune of about $1 million.
“Well, they’re going to have to replace some sod this year also,” a groundskeeper at Grant Park said Sunday morning. “Not great at all. As a matter of fact, it looks like cattle have been running on the grass.”
In front of the southernmost stage, there’s a big watery mud hole. Nearby sit crates of bags of field filler.
The groundskeeper said Grant Park doesn’t look as bad as after last year’s Lollapalooza, in terms of damage to grass, bushes and other greenery. It’s mostly just a muddy mess.
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In an email Sunday afternoon from the promoter, C3 Presents, and the Chicago Park District, officials said they were monitoring the entire site and taking precautions to ensure the safety of everyone at the festival.
“The new agreement between the Chicago Park District and C3 contemplated this type of situation,” said Pat Levar, Chief Operating Officer for the Chicago Park District. “We have been working with C3 every step of the way to ensure that the park is properly restored following the festival.”
Protective fencing is in place to prevent damage from foot traffic in parts of the park, and aluminum panels will be put in place when taking down the concert stages and other equipment for the concert, in order to protect the grass, according to the Park District.
C3, the Park District and an independent third-party contractor have made an assessment of the grounds before the concert and will inspect the site afterward, to establish a cost for any needed repairs and restoration of the Grant Park grounds. The Park District will perform any needed remediation work, at C3′s expense.