CHICAGO (CBS) — Lollapalooza, one of the largest and best-known music festivals in the world, gets underway later today.
Six hours before the gates opened, a music lover from Spain was the first in line.
“I want to meet Arctic Monkeys in the first line,” he said.
The four-day music festival will be protected by an unprecedented show of security, in the wake of the shooting massacre at a country music festival in Las Vegas last fall. A gunman killed 58 people and wounded more than 500 others at the Route 91 Harvest music festival on the Las Vegas strip on Oct. 1, 2017.
In response to the Las Vegas massacre, the Chicago Police Department and Lollapalooza organizers have widened the security perimeter for the four-day festival.
In addition to the standard 8-foot fence surrounding the festival, Department of Streets and Sanitation trucks have been parked around Grant Park to prevent vehicles from getting close to the crowds.
No commercial vehicles larger than cargo vans will be allowed on Michigan Avenue in front of Grant Park for the duration of the festival.
A Chicago Police Department special operations team also was deployed at Grant Park on Thursday to assist with security.
In addition, backpacks and bags with multiple pockets won’t be allowed in the festival this year. Fans should also check out our five key hacks to ensure a good experience.
Small purses, totes, and drawstring bags only will be allowed, and will be checked before fans can enter. Bags must be no larger than 14 inches by 11 inches by 5 inches, or 30 linear inches total, and may have only one pocket or opening.
Hydration packs will be allowed, but must be empty upon entry, and can have no more than two pockets, in addition to the water reservoir.
Aerosol sunscreens have been banned, and any water bottles brought into Grant Park must be empty. Free water will be provided at hydration stations inside the festival.
Lollapalooza visitors also might be subject to full body pat-downs or magnetometer screenings before they can enter.
“I think it will be pretty safe. I mean, they’ve got metal detectors and stuff, so it should be good,” said Nick Lucero, of Lexington, Kentucky.
Last year, Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock rented two rooms in the famed Blackstone Hotel on Michigan Avenue during Lollapalooza, but he never showed up at the hotel. After his deadly rampage in Las Vegas, all buildings with along the perimeter of Grant Park have been checked out by police ahead of this year’s Lollapalooza.
“Right now, there’s no credible threat to Chicago, or Lollapalooza in particular,” Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said. “We’ve talked to the businesses around the perimeter and footprint, so I think that, as I’ve said before, last year in Las Vegas taught us all across the country to do things a bit differently.”
Lollapalooza kicks off at 11 a.m. Thursday. Headliners on the first day of the festival include Arctic Monkeys, Travis Scott, Khalid, Galantis, Tycho, Chvrches, and Camila Cabello.