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    Riot Fest bids Chicago goodbye, moving to the suburbs

    By Carolina GaribayMike Tish,


    (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — After nearly 20 years of bringing punk rock music fans together in Chicago, Riot Fest is headed to the suburbs.

    In an announcement Wednesday morning, festival officials said Riot Fest will move to Bridgeview’s SeatGeek Stadium starting this year. They’ve dubbed the new venue as “RiotLand.”

    Riot Fest teased the move on Tuesday night, when co-founder Mike Petryshyn released a statement saying they would be leaving the West Side’s Douglass Park. The park had been home to Riot Fest since 2015, but in recent years festival organizers were faced with vocal opposition from some in the community.

    “Several weeks ago, I had enough,” Petryshyn wrote. “I was tired of Riot Fest continually being the lowest hanging fruit.”

    The festival co-founder placed blame solely on the Chicago Park District, which he accused of leaving Riot Fest “no choice.” He did, though, thank local Ald. Monique Scott (24th), who had been a reliable supporter of the festival even as it came under criticism.

    Scott on Wednesday morning expressed her “resolute support for Riot Fest and the need to address the challenges they have faced with the Chicago Park District process.”

    In a statement emailed to WBBM Newsradio, the Chicago Park District said it only learned “indirectly” that Riot Fest organizers would be leaving Douglass Park.

    A district spokesperson said Riot Fest’s permit application has not been withdrawn and is currently moving through a Special Events Permit Review process, which was established two years ago. They said the park district works to balance community interests with those of event organizers.

    “For large-scale events our top priorities are to minimize the impact on the community, protect our park assets and ensure the organizers are planning a safe and well-organized event,” the park district statement read. “It is imperative that an event organizer work with and understand the community in which they are hosting an event.”

    Scott said the park district was scheduled to approve Riot Fest’s permit at its June 12 board meeting. She added that the festival has been “a cornerstone of positive impact and opportunity in our community” since it arrived.

    Petryshyn on Tuesday night promised that the festival wasn’t abandoning the 24th Ward community and added that they were “taking them on this journey, as well.”

    No actual details were shared, though, about how the festival plans to include 24th Ward residents and businesses in the move to Bridgeview.

    Chicagoans who wish to to take public transit to the festival were instructed to take an Orange Line train to Midway Station, where they could take a Pace bus to the stadium. Bus service will not be provided after 7 p.m., though, so Riot Fest encouraged patrons to take an Uber or Lyft back to Midway Station to get home.

    As for any special shuttles, officials only said “more information coming soon.”

    Riot Fest will take place Sept. 20 – 22. The lineup was announced Wednesday. Headliners will include Fall Out Boy, Beck, and Slayer, and the rest of the lineup includes: The Offspring, Saint Vincent, Rob Zombie, Sublime, Spoon, Sum 41, Waxahatchee, New Found Glory, Something Corporate, Tierra Whack, Taking Back Sunday and Beach Bunny.

    The full lineup can be found online .

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