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Riot Fest Blows Up

By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on May 15, 2012 11:15AM

2012_05_riot_fest_poster.jpg Riot Fest surreptitiously dropped a bomb with last night's announcement that its 2012 incarnation would be its most ambitious yet. In previous years the once-punk-rock, now-all-encompassing music festival held shows all over Chicago and used the Congress Theatre as a central hub for its primary festivities. This year they're taking the party outside and creating a concert space AND a carnival in Humboldt Park in the fall.

Congress Theatre still has a part and will host the opening party on September 14, but on September 15-16 the organization is bringing a wide range of music into the heart of Chicago. And the headliners this year show the fest greatly expanding its boundaries. While there's still the dependable punk rock roots of Iggy And The Stooges, Offspring and Rise Against on the bill they're joined by Elvis Costello, The Jesus And Mary Chain and Built To Spill. The other surprise is the incredibly reasonably priced tickets; right now two-day passes are $36 for the outdoor portion of the fest and three-day passes are $90 and include all Riot Fest shows that weekend. We do see the two-day passes will slowly rise in price so get 'em early to get that cheap deal. There will also be one-day passes but those aren't on sale yet.

So to those who have been complaining that our concert festival season has stopped yielding surprises as the institutions have grown we offer this as proof that you can still switch it up and catch everyone pleasantly offguard. We're looking forward to see how this year's Riot Fest shapes up.

Riot Fest is September 14-16 in Humboldt Park, with events at Congress Theatre and Cobra Lounge.


The full first wave of bands announced (and this seems to be in no particular order):

Rise Against
Iggy and the Stooges
Elvis Costello
The Offspring
A Day to Remember
Dropkick Murphys
Alkaline Trio
Gogol Bordello
NOFX * Slapstick
The Gaslight Anthem
The Jesus Mary Chain
The Promise Ring
Chiodos (reunion)
Frank Turner
August Burns Red
Built to Spill
Less Than Jake
Reverend Horton Heat
A Wilhelm Scream
Screaming Females
Teenage Bottlerocket
Off With Their Heads
White Mystery
Sister Crayon
The Story So Far * Japanther