Riot Fest

Earlier this year I preedicted that Riot Fest would be the local festival to beat this summer, and now it's time to see if I was right. I'm confident because, well, who doesn't like rock 'n roll and carnivals? Riot Fest returns to Humboldt Park for its second year as an outdoor exposition this weekend (Sept. 13 - 15), continuing its quest to bridge the different generations of punk rock. 

It would be almost impossible to list every little thing that we love about the festival this year. That doesn't mean we won't try though!

The Carnival

A music festival with a freaking Sizzler?! Take it from us, if you're going this weekend, take time to enjoy at least one artist's set while gazing out over beautiful Humboldt Park from atop the ferris wheel. No carnival would be complete without games and performers too, so keep an eye out for both. 


Obviously the biggest news of Riot Fest this summer is The Replacements headlining reunion set. After breaking up 22 years ago, this is a big deal. But they aren't the only band for the ages on the bill this year. Acts like Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Andrew W.K., Pixies, Screeching Weasel and Glassjaw had us rocking decades ago and we don't see that changing come Friday. 

There's Something for Everyone

While Riot Fest does have pretty defined roots in the punk rock scene, it's not all mosh pits and mohawks at this festival. Almighty metal acts like Danzig and GWAR kick up the heavy factor and hip hop classics like Public Enemy and Atmosphere will be bringing the beats. Heck, there's even breezy indie rock in the form of Best Coast and a little soul a la Saul Williams. 

Pop Punk

Few genres can unify people like pop punk can. Country, rap, metal, Justin Bieber -- they can all be pretty polarizing. Everybody loves Blink 182, though. Right!? Other high school favorites like Taking Back Sunday, Brand New and Yellowcard will all be taking the stage this weekend at Riot Fest. Prepare for more than a few sing-a-longs. 


No, we're not talking about the Minneapolis rap duo (even though we're pumped for them too). Riot Fest combines all the things that reach the inner kid in us. Spending the day at the fair, corn on the cob in hand, while watching your favorite bands on a late summer evening. Now that's worth making a trip for. 

Three day passes and Saturday single day tickets are already sold out but you can still get in on Friday and Sunday tickets for $60 a piece.