The 5 Reasons You Should Attend Riot Fest Chicago

posted by Laura Baker-Finch on September 11, 2013

Photo: Riot Fest 2012 by Jeff Callen

Chicago, Illinois -- Riot Fest Chicago began in 2005 as a multi-venue weekend of punk and rock with such bands as Dead Kennedys, The Misfits, and The Bouncing Souls. After seven years in this format, Riot Fest relocated to Humboldt Park to accommodate more acts, fans, and even some carnival rides. Now in its ninth year, Riot Fest has maintained its dedication to kick ass artists and the fans that love them. With the festival only a few days away, we've compiled the five reasons you should be in attendance - in case the lineup itself wasn't enough.

1. The Reunion

Photo via The Replacements

There are tons of legends hitting Riot Fest's stages this year, including artists who began in the 80s like Joan Jett, Mission of Burma, Public Enemy, and, perhaps the most anticipated Riot Fest act, The Replacements. Their first album debuted in 1981 and the Minneapolis punk rockers performed their last show together in 1991. Decades later, they're back for Riot Fest thanks to recording a 2012 covers EP Songs for Slim that inspired singer Paul Westerberg and bassist Tommy Stinson to return to the stage.

They technically already reunited at last weekend's Riot Fest installment in Toronto, but it was in Canada, so it doesn't count. Cross your fingers they play "Bastards of Young."

2. Chicago

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

If you're coming from out of town to one of Riot Fest's installments, you should definitely pick Chicago as the city to visit. Not only is it the location of the original Riot Fest in 2005, the city offers plenty more than just the festival. From beaches to art, and from brunch to alcohol, Chicago will keep you busy for hours. Not sure where to start? We've compiled an itinerary for 36 hours in Chicago - we have your whole weekend planned!

3. Danzig on Friday the 13th

Photo via Band's Facebook

Last minute addition to the RF lineup, Danzig, will bring with them the attendees who purchased tickets to his cancelled August 16th gig at Chicago's Congress Theater. But the king of devilish music himself crashing Riot Fest to play a set on Friday the 13th? We're pretty sure they'll draw in some other festivalgoers as well. This stop at the festival will be a part of Danzig's 25th anniversary tour on which fans can expect their own catalog in addition to a number of Misfits songs with ex-guitarist Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein. Riot Festers should hope for the same.

4. They have THE BEST Twitter Feed

If you haven't checked out Riot Fest's twitter (@RiotFest) yet, you're seriously missing out. Seriously. The voice (or tweeter?) of the festival's feed opts to remain anonymous - save for a first name, Jeremy - though admits he's a friend of RF founder Mike Petryshyn. "Mr. Riot" interacts with everyone and anyone who tweets about the fest - which has even included John Stamos, with whom a reunion of the fictional Full House band Jesse & the Rippers has been discussed.

But it isn't just actors who get Mr. Riot's attention. He sarcastically responds to festivalgoers requests and even drops in a few mom jokes for good measure - "I left it on your mother's night stand last night. RT @jackmcgrew: @RiotFest the weeks almost over homie, where's the schedule?"

5. Give EDM a break

Photo via Ganesha Balunsat

Or, rather, give us a break from EDM. Most festivals this season incorporated both rock genres and electronic acts - think Coachella, Governors Ball, and Sasquatch - but those that do stick to one genre tend to always be of the electronic tendency. NYC has its Zoo, Michigan has its Forest, and Croatia has islands of them. Where's the exclusivity rock music?! Riot Fest is helping to even the playing field a little bit by giving the stages to punk, rock, and heavy metal as well as their various sub genres. Here's to having instruments on stage!

Have we convinced you? Buy your tickets.

Follow @laurajbf on Twitter

See Also:

"target="_blank">5 Reasons Why EDM Festivals Love Croatia
Top 10 Moments from FYF Fest 2013
Day Passes as Schedule Released for Riot Fest Chicago