CHICAGO (CBS) — It’s not just tens of thousands of music fans looking forward to Lollapalooza when the festival returns to Grant Park this summer, after the pandemic canceled last year’s event; countless businesses are eager to take advantage of the big crowds they hope will be flocking to downtown shops.
“We are just so excited. We’ve been waiting for this a long time,” said Jackie Jackson, who along with her daughter, Janel, owns three Kilwins Ice Cream shops.READ MORE: Doggy Daycare Owner Appalled After State's Attorney Declines To Prosecute State Inspector Jose Guillen, Who Was Caught On Camera Groping Her
The Jacksons have been waiting and working through a pandemic and last year’s civil unrest, doing what they could to hang on to their dream business.
One of those shops is on Michigan Avenue, right across the street from Lollapalooza.
“Lollapalooza, for our bottom line, means we that can possibly survive the winter months when there’s no foot traffic, no festivals, no tourism. We save all of our revenue from Lollapalooza to carry us through the winter months. So it means survival,” Jackie said.
Lollapalooza’s return this year was announced Tuesday morning in a video with Mayor Lori Lightfoot, hamming it up alongside Chicago Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady, recreating a phone call with the festival founder and producer, Perry Farrell.
Arwady said Lollapalooza will operate at full capacity, but the tens of thousands of daily fans will have to show proof of a vaccination, or a negative COVID test within 24 hours of each day they attend.READ MORE: Anjanette Young Speaks With CBS 2 Mornings Gayle King On The Trauma She Still Experiences Years After Wrongful Raid By CPD
For Chicago, it’s the return of an estimated $100 million in economic activity.
“Lollapalooza weekend is always one of the biggest weekends in terms of tourism for the city. Our hotels are sold out across the city, people are working, people are enjoying their good time in the city,” said Michael Jacobson, CEO of the Illinois Hotel and Lodging Association.
A big boost for Chicago’s economy, and a couple of small business owners.
“We can be out there, serving ice cream, listening to jams and music, and seeing people having a really good time, and Kilwins chocolates being a part of that,” Janel Jackson said.
Lollapaloozas 2021 lineup will be announced Wednesday at 10 a.m., and then tickets go on sale at noon at lollapalooza.com.MORE NEWS: Aldermen To Debate Mayor's Controversial Proposal To Sue Gang Members And Seek To Seize Their Assets
Arwady said she’s confident the city can pull off the festival safely, given the requirements that fans show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test, and the fact Lollapalooza is held outdoors, where the risk of spreading COVID-19 is much lower.