Riot Fest 2018
This year’s Riot Fest was preceded with several challenges. First off, what some consider to be a late announcement of this year’s lineup – (which happened in May) the full line was not initially announced – with the “second wave” of performers announced only a few weeks before the festival began. A security breach with Ticketfly, that forced the festival to offer discounted passes for 2018 and 2019. Then headliner Blink-182 dropped out due to Travis Barker’s health issue, forcing the fest to need to find a replacement only weeks out from the fest dates. Needless to say, a number of pre-fest challenges, but Riot Fest was able to rebound, find a replacement in Weezer for Blink-182, and provide an overall solid lineup that was well disbursed through the three days.
Riot Fest 2018 didn’t offer any major reunions as in previous years, with the likes of the Misfits, Jawbreaker and the Replacements, nonetheless it did offer a solid collective of performers and performances, notably Bully, Wolf Mother, Weezer, Interpol, Jerry Lee Lewis, Matt and Kim, The Jesus Lizard, Pussy Riot, Andrew W.K., K Flay, Johnny Marr, Suicidal Tendencies, Alkaline Trio, Speedy Ortiz, Incubus, Beck and Run the Jewels.
Founded in 2005, Riot Fest features amazing food vendors, sideshow performers, rides, plenty of beer, and much more. Riot Fest is wholly independent of corporate interests and curated with its fans interests and hearts in mind. In addition to the music, the festival often has quirky, original attractions. Over the years Riot Fest has presented Lucha Libre (Mexican Wrestling), freak shows, a butter sculpturist, and a snowball fight… as well as a full carnival with games and rides. The fest—staged annually in Chicago by community-minded music fanatics—was named #1 Music Festival by USA Today in 2016.
Riot Fest 2019 is scheduled for September 13 -15 in Chicago’s Douglas Park.