CHICAGO (CBS)–Festival-goers flooding Grant Park this weekend for Lollapalooza can expect a more visible security presence, prompted by the mass shooting at a Las Vegas country music festival last year.
The security increase will be marked by additional fencing around the perimeter of the park, tightened restrictions on which bags will be allowed inside the fest and screening that might feel more like an airport than a music festival.
The tightened security, the city says, is intended to make guests feel safer in the wake of the Vegas shooting. A heightened police presence has also been added to this year’s highly-anticipated four-day music fest.
Longtime Lolla fans used to entering the festival grounds with relative ease should plan ahead for new rules that will be enforced at the entryways.
Among the most glaring changes taking effect this year, backpacks of all sizes are banned. Guests can still bring in small drawstring bags and purses, totes and fanny packs–sans the pockets.
The contents of bags will also be screened closer than previous years.
Lolla used to allow two sealed water bottles, but this year guests can no longer bring in outside water, unless it’s in small hydration packs that can be refilled at stations in the park.
Aerosols will also be banned.
Lolla’s organizers say the changes will make the lines go faster, but attendees should still expect to wait to get into the park, as security officers conduct full-body pat-downs and guests walk through full body scanners similar to the ones used by TSA.
For more information on prohibited items, see the website at www.lollapalooza.com/information .
Lolla kicks off Thursday, Aug. 2, but streets surrounding Grant Park will be affected starting Monday night.
Here’s a rundown of the scheduled street closures, starting July 30:
Columbus Drive will be closed from Monroe Street to Roosevelt Road. Motorists should use Lake Shore Drive or State Street as alternate routes.
Balbo Drive and Jackson Boulevard will be closed from Michigan Avenue to Lake Shore Drive.
Congress Parkway (including the Congress Circle) will be closed from Michigan Avenue to Columbus Drive.
Balbo Drive from Columbus Drive to Lakeshore Drive will remain closed through Thursday, August 9 and Jackson Boulevard from Columbus Drive to Lakeshore Drive will remain closed through Wednesday, August 8.
Traffic Control Aides will be deployed to facilitate traffic around the area.
The City of Chicago is encouraging people to register for free emergency alerts from NotifyChicago by texting Lolla18 to 81437. Notifications will include weather, traffic, and any other public safety messages related to Lollapalooza.