Riot Fest

Riot Fest is one of my favorite summer music festivals in Chicago. Other outdoor festivals such as Spring Awakening, Lollapalooza and North Coast typically attract younger, wilder fans, but Riot Fest attendees tend to be a slightly more mature crowd, making for an arguably better overall experience.

With a lineup that boasts the likes of No Doubt, Iggy Pop, and Tenacious D (for starters!), there's no way you can go wrong. Three-day passes (going fast!) are an affordable $189.98 when compared with the likes of Lollapalooza ($250+), and festivities run from September 11-13 in Douglas Park. Note that the location has changed from prior years, when Riot Fest took place in Humboldt Park.

So now that you know what to expect, it's time to consider how to prepare. It's never a good idea to attend a festival without preparation! You're out in the sun, perhaps enjoying an adult beverage or two, in a big throng of other festival-goers. Here are our suggestions for making the most of it:

Bring Sun Protection

Put sunglasses, a hat, and 30+ SPF sunscreen on your checklist. Being in the sun for long periods of time can cause sun poisoning, not to mention a painful Monday when all is said and done.

Riot Fest

Bring Rain Protection ... If You Want

Check the weather before the weekend for the possibility of rain. Sometimes it can be fun to play in the rain at a concert. But if you don't want your clothes to be damp and your shoes to be gross, pack a raincoat. Umbrellas are not allowed.

Riot Fest

Bring a Backpack and Empty Plastic Water Bottle

Or better yet, just get a Camelback or one of their competitor's versions. You're going to want something solid to hold all of these things, and you need to stay hydrated to stay healthy.

Don't Forget: Tickets, ID, Money

Don't show up to the venue empty-handed! Make sure you have all necessary items on your person before you leave for the festival.

Ride the rides!

Riot Fest features a full carnival on the grounds, complete with Ferris wheel and other mainstay carnival rides, as well as arcade games, a mini-golf course and more. These are fantastic diversions from an already awesome concert festival - make sure you try everything!

Although not an exhaustive list, these tips will help you enjoy Riot Fest to the fullest. What are your festival necessities?

Chicago's Riot Fest and Carnival takes place Sept. 11-13 at Douglas Park, 1401 S. Sacramento Dr. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

Photos Courtesy of Riot Fest