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Chicago cancels Lollapalooza amid coronavirus: How much will businesses lose?

Evie Fordham

Chicago will likely lose out on hundreds of millions of dollars after coronavirus caused the city to cancel large gatherings including the Lollapalooza music festival scheduled for later this summer, according to an estimate from the Anderson Economic Group released Tuesday.

Lollapalooza's cancelation will cost Chicago businesses at least $35 million in sales and Chicago residents nearly $9 million in lost earnings, Anderson Economic Group analysts said.

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"Lollapalooza, the Taste of Chicago, the Air and Water Show, the Jazz Festival – these are all significant events that draw hundreds of thousands of attendees and inject millions of dollars into the local economy,” Andrew Miller, a senior analyst at Anderson Economic Group, said in a statement.

Canceling Lollapalooza will result in 300 fewer jobs for the Chicago economy as well, Anderson Economic Group estimated.

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Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Tuesday her office had "extensive" discussions with the owners of Lollapalooza.

"The reality is, bringing 100,000 people en masse in close quarters ... every single day ⁠— we might as well just light ourselves on fire. It makes no sense," Lightfoot said. "We're still very much in COVID-19."

Lollapalooza would have taken place from July 30 to August 2. The festival's organizers vowed to create a "spectacular" 30th anniversary celebration of Lollapalooza in 2021.

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