Riot Fest cleanup highlights neighbors' dissatisfaction with festival

Crews have begun cleaning up Douglass Park now that Riot Fest is over. 

The three-day music festival got rave reviews but not from all the neighbors.

Some local residents are glad to see Riot Fest leaving. They said the music festival and the 40,000 visitors that take over Douglass Park, caused street closures, increased traffic and spurred parking problems. 


A group called Únete La Villita presented the park district with petitions, asking that no permits be awarded to large festivals in their neighborhood park. 

"Forty-six days is what we estimate we get loss of the full park, including youth soccer, which has to be in the park all summer or they can't be here, actually has canceled being in Douglass Park because of the festivals," Robin Semer said.

Shannon Waldron said he walks his dog through the park twice a day. 

"I understand somewhat the economical impact that [Riot Fest] brings but I also understand, and side with, how it can be a bit of a challenge for folks who are used to playing and having their enjoyment in the park," Waldron said. "I just kind of keep it moving and take things as it is. I love this neighborhood."

Riot Fest moved from the Humboldt Park neighborhood in 2015 for the same reasons.

Festival organizers said they consider Douglass Park to be their home.