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UPDATED: Hospital Lawsuit Seeks To Block Riot Fest In Eleventh Hour

By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 6, 2015 3:12PM

Photo via Riot Fest

Updated 8:30 a.m. Sept. 8: Riot Fest released two emails from the legal firm representing the hospital Sunday night to support their claims. The text of those emails has been added to the bottom of this post.

As Riot Fest begins to set up its much-anticipated three-day music fest in Douglas Park, the nearby St. Anthony Hospital has asked a federal judge to block the fest from taking place next week.

Hospital attorneys have filed a federal lawsuit and requested a temporary restraining order to block Riot Fest, the Tribune reports, over concerns that the "extreme" noise from the punk rock fest will harm patients and create neighborhood traffic congestion.

Riot Fest has suffered a number of hurdles in recent months, including losing their initial festival location in Humboldt Park over a disagreement with Alderman Roberto Maldonado.

Organizers say the festival has gone to great lengths to meet with community leaders in the Douglas Park area to ensure they are making a positive contribution to the neighborhood. This has included meetings with Saint Anthony officials to ensure Riot Fest wouldn't impede the hospital's work or put the safety of those needing its services at risk.

In a statement released last night, Riot Fest said, "hospital officials, their lawyers, sound engineers, and others walked the festival site, requesting certain modifications including moving the entrances of the fest, changing the stage locations of the fest, and ensuring adequate traffic and pedestrian flow around the areas surrounding the fest—all of which was agreed to by Riot Fest without hesitation."

Riot Fest spokeswoman Chris Mather also said the hospital was requesting a payment of $158,000 from Riot Fest to stop the lawsuit—a claim hospital officials denied in a statement to the Tribune. The hospital's statement said the hospital is in a quiet zone and "Saint Anthony's patients will not be able to peacefully heal when being forced to listen to heavy metal, rap, and rock music blaring from stacked amplifiers just a few hundred feet away."

It seems hard to believe the hospital would suddenly be concerned about Riot Fest noise after months of planning with Riot Fest organizers, so we'll see how this plays out and will update as more information becomes available.

The fest is scheduled to run from Sept. 11 to 13 in Douglas Park on the city's West Side.

These emails sent from St. Anthony's legal team to Riot Fest were released by festival organizers Sunday night. Email addresses and contact information have been removed by us.

Email #1

From: Pivnick, David J.
Date: Wed, Sep 2, 2015 at 3:52 PM
Subject: RE: Confidential Settlement Proposal from Saint Anthony


Based on Saint Anthony’s review, there was a small tweak in the number for costs. That number is actually $99,211.13 (instead of the $98,246.27 noted below).



From: Pivnick, David J.
Sent: Wednesday, September 02, 2015 3:39 PM
To: 'Homero Tristan
Cc: 'Pedro Cervantes'; 'Emily Jenkinson'; Brooks, Edwin E.; Barnett, Brett W.; Hamilton, Steven D.
Subject: Confidential Settlement Proposal from Saint Anthony


This email confirms our discussion this morning. This proposal is submitted pursuant to Federal Rule of Evidence 408 and Illinois Rule of Evidence 408. Saint Anthony is willing to refrain from filing its motion for TRO or taking legal action to prevent Riot Fest from occurring in 2015 if the following conditions are satisfied:

· Riot Fest agrees to pay Saint Anthony’s expenses that are incurred as a result of Riot Fest occurring in Douglas Park, including but not limited to costs for additional security, staff, equipment and supplies. These costs are estimated to be $98,246.27. Saint Anthony is still reviewing its figures on this front and this number may be subject to some change. Saint Anthony will provide support for the numbers.
· Riot Fest agrees to use the revised plot layout (as presented at the OEMC meeting) and to not include any entrances or exits on 19th Street.
· Riot Fest agrees to take steps to ensure that the intersections at 19th and California and 19th and Sacramento are not impeded during the festival and that neither 19th Street nor California will be closed during the festival.
· Riot Fest agrees to pay Saint Anthony’s legal fees and expert expenses in connection with this dispute, which are approximately $54,674.00.

Per our discussion, Saint Anthony needs to know Riot Fest’s position on this proposal by the end of the day.


David J. Pivnick
McGuireWoods LLP

Email #2

From: Brooks, Edwin E.
Date: Thu, Sep 3, 2015 at 1:46 PM
Subject: Riot

Would one of you guys give me a call. I need to get an agreement today on our settlement proposal or we file the complaint and motion.

Edwin E. Brooks
McGuireWoods LLP