Cancelled Summer Events Exacting Economic Toll on Chicago Economy

Chicago, IL; June 9, 2020 — Businesses across Chicago began to reopen last week after more than two months of COVID-19 stay-at-home orders. There are still tough times ahead for the city’s economy, however. A major announcement from the Mayor’s office today officially cancelled a number of popular summer events.

“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,” said Andrew Miller, a senior analyst at Anderson Economic Group (AEG).

Experts at Anderson Economic Group estimate that Lollapalooza’s cancellation alone will result in over $35 million in lost sales for Chicago businesses, 300 fewer jobs, and nearly $9 million in lost earnings for Chicago residents. These losses stem from lower direct visitor spending, along with reductions in the indirect spending normally generated as visitor spending recirculates through the city’s economy.

“Altogether, the total cost of cancelled events will likely climb into the hundreds of millions of dollars,” notes Brian Peterson, AEG’s director of public policy. “Summer is a critical time for the city’s economy, especially for hotels and restaurants. These cancellations, while necessary, will make it even more difficult for the economy to bounce back. The repercussions of COVID-19 will continue to be felt long after the virus is under control.”

Anderson Economic Group has been tracking the economic and fiscal impacts of COVID-19 since March. For more information, see