Riot Fest and Re:SET Festival get green light despite community opposition

It's music to concert fans ears, as both Riot Fest and the Re:SET Festival will go forward after winning Chicago Park District approval.

This comes despite calls from the community to stop both from happening in Douglass Park and Riis Park.

Riot Fest, the hard rock festival, is set for September and is in its eighth year. But some in the community are sick of the noise, traffic, setup, and cleanup.

Riot Fest leaders say over the years they have paid $12 million in city taxes, but Lawndale residents reply they don’t see any of those dollars and must deal with the tens of thousands of people.

Some business owners of course do like to see the increase in traffic. The 24th Ward alderwoman says this is a win-win situation.


"It just aids to the economic– to the lack of economic development that we have right now," said Alderwoman Monique Scott of the 24th Ward, who lives across the street from the park. She said it also seems violence slows down while Riot Fest is in town.

"On that weekend, we're safe, we have a bunch of police presence. We don't hear gunshots, we have music."

The Chicago Park district Board of Commissioners voted unanimously in favor of offering Riot Fest a permit.

Riot Fest leaders are trying to better connect with the community, offering free booth space for 10 businesses. They’ve also agreed to offer mentoring, scholarships, and more than 300 local jobs. Applications for those jobs can be picked up at Alderwoman Scott’s office.

The festival will run Friday, September 15th through Sunday the 17th.

Headliners include The Cure, The Foo Fighters, and Queens of the Stone Age.