|Genre||Punk rock, rock, alternative rock|
|Dates||September 11-13, 2015 (Chicago)|
Riot Fest (also known as Riot Fest & Carnival) is a multi-day music festival held in Douglas Park in Chicago specializing in rock, punk, alternative rock, and hip hop. Riot Fest is known for its ability to book rare reunions, special guest performances, and performances of classic influential albums. First started as a multi-venue festival in Chicago in 2005, Riot Fest has since expanded to Denver and Toronto. In addition to live music, Riot Fest will also feature a miniature golf course, a video arcade hall, dozens of food options and performances from Heilzapoppin Circus Sideshow Review and The Rock-afire Explosion, called "the greatest animatronic rock band of all time".
The majority of bands that play Riot Fest fall somewhere on the punk spectrum with punk rock, new wave and hardcore punk being the most heavily represented genres. Emo, alternative rock, pop punk, ska and metalcore have also had a strong presence at Riot Fest. The occasionally novelty hip hop, psychobilly, thrash metal, post-hardcore and indie pop bands have also appeared at Riot Fest.
Riot Fest has a strong emphasis booking local Chicago bands such as Naked Raygun, The Lawrence Arms, Rise Against, Alkaline Trio, Fall Out Boy, Screeching Weasel, Flatfoot 56, The Tossers and Slapstick on a regular basis.
Riot Fest began in Chicago in 2005, started by music fanatics with a yen for DIY shows and low ticket prices catering to fans of underground music. Riot Fest spent seven years as a multi-venue festival, utilizing the Metro, Subterranean, Double Door, Cobra Lounge and the Congress Theater to present bands over a three-day weekend, such as Social Distortion, Danzig, Cock Sparrer, Weezer, Alkaline Trio, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Bad Brains, Dead Milkmen, Fun., The Lawrence Arms, Bad Religion, Murder City Devils, Butthole Surfers, Suicide Machines, and more.
Punk, rock, indie rock, alternative, psychobilly, metal, skate punk and ska are celebrated at Riot Fest, and the organizer, Riot Mike, has demonstrated a knack for reuniting influential bands like Naked Raygun, Screeching Weasel, WAX, Blue Meanies, Articles of Faith, Plow United, Jesus and Mary Chain, Chiodos, and The Replacements.
In 2012, Riot Fest moved from various venues around the city to an outdoors venue at Chicago’s Humboldt Park and was marketed as Riot Fest & Carnival, with rides, games, wrestling, and food vendors. 2012 also saw the festival expand through North America with events staged in Brooklyn (September 8), Toronto (September 9), and Dallas (September 22). The festival consisted of two days of music at Humboldt park on Saturday, September 15th and Sunday, September 16th and a Friday night kickoff at the Congress Theater. The lineup for Riot Fest in 2012 included:
Saturday, September 15: Rise Against, Descendents, Dropkick Murphys, Coheed and Cambria, Slapstick, The Gaslight Anthem, Minus the Bear, Andrew W.K., Hot Water Music, August Burns Red, Gwar, Frank Turner, The Adicts, Cursive, Nobunny, Of Mice & Men, Deals Gone Bad, A Wilhelm Scream, Teenage Bottlerocket, Larry and His Flask, Off With Their Heads, The Story So Far, Fireworks, Droids Attack, Environmental Encroachment
Sunday, September 16 Iggy And The Stooges, Gogol Bordello, Alkaline Trio, A Day to Remember, Elvis Costello & The Imposters, The Jesus and Mary Chain, NOFX, Awolnation, Built To Spill, Chiodos, The Promise Ring, Less Than Jake, Fishbone, Reverend Horton Heat, Imagine Dragons, Henry Clay People, Blackbox, Screaming Females, White Mystery, Sister Crayon, Japanther, The Infected, Battle Royal Winner, Environmental Encroachment
Riot Fest & Carnival returned to Humboldt Park in Chicago in 2013 and included satellite festivals in Toronto (August 24-25) and Denver (September 21-22). The 2013 festival was noted for being the first performance by reunited punk legends The Replacements and notably the first performance by the band in Chicago since their very public breakup onstage at the Taste of Chicago in 1991. The 2013 Chicago lineup included:
Friday, September 13: Fall Out Boy, Sublime with Rome, Danzig with Doyle, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Bad Religion, Atmosphere, Yellowcard, Screeching Weasel, Andrew W.K., Gwar, Hatebreed, Smoking Popes, Dessa, Saul Williams, The Flatliners, Masked Intruder, Flatfoot 56, Environmental Encroachment
Saturday, September 14: Blink-182, Violent Femmes, Rancid, Blondie, Public Enemy, FLAG, Guided by Voices, Taking Back Sunday, Dinosaur Jr., X, DeVotchKa, Pennywise, Best Coast, The Lawrence Arms, Glassjaw, The Devil Wears Prada, The Selecter, T.S.O.L., Stars, The Dear Hunter, Surfer Blood, The Interrupters, Empires, New Beat Fund, Radkey, Mephiskapheles, Kitten, Environmental Encroachment
Sunday, September 15: The Replacements, Pixies, AFI, Brand New, All Time Low, Pierce the Veil, Rocket from the Crypt, The Dismemberment Plan, The Broadways, Against Me!, Bob Mould, The Lillingtons, Suicidal Tendencies, Quicksand, Bad Books, Mission of Burma, Saves the Day, Bayside, Peter Hook and The Light, Reggie and the Full Effect, The Wonder Years, Maps & Atlases, Chuck Ragan, Memphis May Fire, Peelander-Z, Touché Amoré, Off with Their Heads, Deal's Gone Bad, Twin Peaks, White Mystery, Direct Hit!, Pet Symmetry, Hostage Calm, Environmental Encroachment
In September of 2014 Riot Festival & Carnival returned to Humboldt Park. Riot Fest 2014 included the inaugural "Riot Fest Speaks" panel, moderated by Henry Rollins and featuring Pussy Riot members Nadya Tolokonnikova and Masha Alyokhina, Bad Religion vocalist and UCLA professor Greg Graffin, Rise Against vocalist Tim McIlrath, writer/activist Marcelle Karp, and Riot Fest founder Michael Petryshyn. In addition, 2014 saw the return of Riot Fest in Denver and Toronto. The 2014 Chicago lineup included
Friday, September 12: Jane's Addiction, Rise Against, Slayer, The Offspring, NOFX, Gogol Bordello, Of Mice & Men, Mastodon, The Murder City Devils, Failure, Circa Survive, Clutch, GWAR, Stiff Little Fingers, Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears, We Came as Romans, Senses Fail, All, Title Fight, Emarosa, Pity Sex, From Indian Lakes, The Hotelier, Radkey, Pianos Become the Teeth, Red City Radio, Baby Baby, Wounds, Plague Vendor, Somos, ¡Vamos!
Saturday, September 13: The National, The Flaming Lips, Wu-Tang Clan, Samhain, Descendents, Metric, Taking Back Sunday, Die Antwoord, City and Colour, Paul Weller, The Used, The Afghan Whigs, Cock Sparrer, Dashboard Confessional, Television, Saosin, Say Anything, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Tokyo Police Club, The Dandy Warhols, The Get Up Kids, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, Streetlight Manifesto, Buzzcocks, Face to Face, Wavves, The Orwells, Rx Bandits, Samiam, 7 Seconds, Anti-Flag, FrnkIero And The Cellabration, Citizen, The World Is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die, Lemuria, The Pizza Underground, Nostalghia, Skaters, The Unlikely Candidates, Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas, The Bots, Broncho, The American Scene, Restorations, The Picturebooks, Rose's Pawn Shop, The Crombies, Ex Friends, Daniel Wade, Buffalo Rodeo
Sunday, September 14: The Cure, Weezer, Social Distortion, Primus, Tegan and Sara, Cheap Trick, Patti Smith, Bring Me the Horizon, Dropkick Murphys, Naked Raygun, Superchunk, Billy Bragg, The Hold Steady, Blue Meanies, Lucero, New Found Glory, Mudhoney, Hot Snakes, Motion City Soundtrack, Andrew W.K., The Bouncing Souls, Kurt Vile & the Violators, Mineral, La Dispute, Only Crime, The Menzingers, The Front Bottoms, Silverstein, The Whigs, In The Valley Below, Modern Baseball, I Am the Avalanche, Laura Stevenson, Cerebral Ballzy, Pup, Dads, ShowYouSuck, Lucki Eck$, My Gold Mask, Tiny Moving Parts, Team Spirit, Survay Says!, Chumped, Archie Powell & the Exports, Netherfriends, Mutts, The Grizzled Mighty
As 2014 was Riot Fest's 10th anniversary, the festival featured 10 bands performing 10 classic albums live:
- Jane's Addiction performing Nothing's Shocking
- Weezer performing The Blue Album
- Slayer performing Reign in Blood
- The Offspring performing Smash
- Samhain performing Initium
- Descendents performing Milo Goes to College
- NOFX performing Punk in Drublic
- Naked Raygun performing Throb Throb
- The Get Up Kids performing Something to Write Home About
- Cheap Trick performing Heaven Tonight
Riot Fest and Carnival will be held September 11th - 13th in Douglas Park, Chicago. Conflicts over the condition of grass and negative effects on the community, including gentrification and lack of financial benefits to the residents of the area led to the festival being moved from Humboldt Park. In addition to the Chicago date, Riot Fest will again return to Denver (August 28-30) and Toronto (September 19-20).
The 2015 Chicago lineup includes
Friday, September 11: No Doubt, Faith No More, Motorhead, Ice Cube & special guests, Alkaline Trio, Coheed and Cambria, Flogging Molly, Slightly Stoopid, Thrice, Dirty Heads, Anthrax, Eagles of Death Metal, Against Me!, Bayside, Mest, Atreyu, Lee Scratch Perry, The Expendables, Living Colour, Fishbone, Death, Mariachi El Bronx, CIV, Every Time I Die, Real Friends, 88 Fingers Louie, Mustard Plug, Into It. Over It., Post Malone With FKI, Chef's Special, Marmozets, Barb Wire Dolls, The Coathangers, Prayers, Speedy Ortiz, White Mystery, Main Attrakionz, Ground Up, Skinny Lister, Alex Wiley, Heems, Psalm One, Dreamers, Faulkner
Saturday, September 12: System of a Down, Iggy Pop, Rancid, Billy Idol, Taking Back Sunday, Rodrigo Y Gabriela, Drive Like Jehu, Merle Haggard, Alexisonfire, The Academy Is..., The Lawrence Arms, Echo & The Bunnymen, Bootsy Collins' Rubber Band, The Damned, Pennywise, The Devil Wears Prada, Mayday Parade, Babes in Toyland, Desaparecidos, The Joy Formidable, The Dead Milkmen, Fidlar, Millencolin, American Nightmare, Swervedriver, Gwar, Lifetime, Joyce Manor, The Movielife, Steve Ignorant and Paranoid Visions, The Dear Hunter, The Ataris, Modern Life is War, Fit for Rivals, Flatfoot 56, Teenage Bottlerocket, Chon, Counterpunch, Direct Hit!, Dirty Fences, Sleep On It, The Brokedowns, Meat Wave, Elway, Indian Handcrafts, Pears, Gateway Drugs, Clowns, The Rock-afire Explosion
Sunday, September 13: Modest Mouse, The Prodigy, Snoop Dogg, Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley, Tenacious D, L7, Stephen "Ragga" Marley, Kongos, Cypress Hill, Yelawolf, The Airborne Toxic Event, Manchester Orchestra, De La Soul, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, New Politics, Jimmy Cliff, Andrew W.K., Less Than Jake, The Thurston Moore Band, Morgan Heritage, Doomtree, Hum, Tarrus Riley, The Dwarves, Tommy Stinson, Kevin Devine, Jo Mersa, Alvvays, The White Buffalo, Black-Am-I, Skip Marley, Knucklepuck, Jazz Cartier, Have Mercy, Superheaven, Foxing, Beach Slang, Cayetana, Blis, Northern Faces, Souvenirs, Skating Polly, Signals Midwest, Modern Chemistry, Tashsa the Amazon, Foxtrott, Twin River, Indian School
Continuing from the previous year's festival, Riot Fest 2015 will see several artists performing seminal albums in their entirety, including:
- Snoop Dogg performing Doggystyle
- Ice Cube & Special Guests performing N.W.A.'s Straight Outta Compton
- Rancid performing ...And Out Come the Wolves
- The Academy Is... performing Almost Here
- The Dwarves performing Blood Guts & Pussy
- The Ataris performing Blue Skies, Broken Hearts...Next 12 Exits
- Modern Life is War performing Witness
Two instances of Riot Fest have been canceled over the course of the festival's run.
The first came in 2009 in the form of Riot Fest West, originally set to happen in November 2009 and postponed in September. The fest initially vowed to make up the dates in Spring 2010 but the replacement fest did not materialize.
The second cancellation came three years later in 2012 when Riot Fest East in Philadelphia was again postponed, this time one week before the show's planned July 19th start date. Though a reschedule was initially promised a follow up never emerged. 
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- Media related to Riot Fest at Wikimedia Commons