Festivals and concerts return with exciting energy

By James Stein Oct 8, 2021
Credit: Isabella Parish
Credit: Isabella Parish

Concerts have been my favorite thing to spend money on since I attended one in 2008. With their return I have splurged and gone to a few festivals and indoor concerts over the past few months. For all the concerts and festivals I have recently attended either a negative COVID test is required or full vaccination status. 

All of the shows that I have gone to have had insane amounts of energy whether it was a festival or just a concert it was obvious how excited everyone was to be there. The artists performing did not disappoint,  exceeding my expectations after two years with no concerts.

Throughout the summer, major cities were given the okay to host their annual festivals now that vaccines are available to most people. Coachella has a return date of Spring 2022 and Bonaroo was planned but had to be canceled because of waterlogged festival grounds this past September. Chicago was one of the only festivals that had the time to plan and execute Lollapalooza. 

I was in attendance at Lollapalooza, which made this year my fourth year at the festival. The performers, vendors and overall experience did not disappoint at all. This was my first concert during the pandemic and I was originally apprehensive about the whole experience, so I decided to wear a mask for my whole four day experience. Masks were not required for this event and many people chose not to wear them.

I was very excited with the performers I decided to see which included Miley Cyrus, Tyler the Creator and Olivia O’Brien. The concerts themselves were almost more enjoyable than ever before because of the artists’ visible excitement. 

With outdoor festivals making their return, many artists have been able to begin their tours that were originally planned for 2020. Artists like Harry Styles, Role Model and Dan + Shay are currently on tour. 

Back in 2019 I bought my Harry Styles concert tickets. I have been a fan since his One Direction days so I decided to buy tickets to both of his Chicago shows. The concert was originally planned for summer 2020 but was then rescheduled for September 24 and 25 of 2021. The concerts were held in the United Center and masks were required as well.

My excitement was through the roof. I saw Styles’ in 2018 and his performance and stage presence were unmatched so my expectations for this concert were high. 

Over the past two years of waiting my anticipation for these two days of Styles’ just grew. There were times it felt so far away I couldn’t  even believe I was actually going to attend this concert.

This experience had a similar outcome to how I felt about Lollapalooza. Styles’ was visibly excited to be there and perform. And the energy from his fans matched his. While I would have changed some things around on the setlist, it was still a great experience. 

The return of concerts has been exciting but following protocol with the pandemic is crucial for these events to continue to happen. The artist’s attitude about performing has made the concerts even more enjoyable than in the past.

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