Chicago — When Kanye West steps onto Soldier Field Thursday in Chicago for his “Donda” listening party, some fans won’t be in attendance due to the lack of COVID-19 requirements.
There will be no proof of vaccination or a negative test required for entry as virus cases are on the rise in the city and nationwide. The increase has led to the return of a mask mandate for indoor public settings.
The album is named after his mother who died in 2007.
A lifelong fan of West’s said it’s too risky to attend especially since “people are coming from all across the country because it’s Kanye.”
“If it’s that many people coming and they don’t care about requiring those things, I wouldn’t feel safe,” said 23-year-old Christopher Plummery.
Ishmael Gilmer, 23 and vaccinated, also doesn’t feel comfortable attending.
“Even though I'm vaccinated that doesn't mean I’m immune from the disease, and I have people around me with underlying health conditions. For me, I always have to think about them,” said Gilmer.
Markus Smith tried to get tickets but they were sold out. After learning that proof of vaccination isn’t required, he’s glad he can’t attend because “he doesn’t want to trade his health at the expense of Kanye.”
“I’m starting to think that people are forgetting that COVID is still prevalent,” the 24-year-old said. “And that’s unfair to people who do get vaccinated, who do wear their masks, get tested often.”
Other fans, like Andreana Brown are willing to take their chances.
Since the onset of the pandemic, she has spent a lot of her time inside. She got fully vaccinated a month ago, wears masks when she goes out and continues to social distance.
But when she heard about the listening party, she “jumped at it as a once in a lifetime opportunity,” the 23-year-old Brown said. “I guess I’m feeling FOMO (fear of missing out).”
“Yes, I’m nervous of the thousands of possible unvaccinated people I’ll be around, but I’ll wear my mask and may get tested after so I can feel like I’m doing the best I can to be safe,” she said.
About 38,000 people are expected to attend. The listening party is the third of its kind after two others were held in Atlanta this summer.