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Riot Fest: Repairs To Douglas Park Will Be Done In 3 Weeks

By Rachel Cromidas in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 22, 2015 7:45PM

Photo by Jessica Mlinaric / Chicagoist

On the heels of hosting a three-day music festival in Douglas Park on the city's West Side for the first time, Riot Fest has announced the park is getting $180,000 in repairs and other restoration efforts from the fest.

The repairs will be completed by Riot Fest in the next three weeks, organizers said in a statement Tuesday afternoon, and include an array of maintenance and restoration efforts that are typical for outdoor music fests—particularly when the festival grounds gets rained on, as Riot Fest's did when it was hosted earlier this month. Most of the park is open to the public and has been throughout the month.

The total cost for preparation, maintenance, restoration and improvement of Douglas Park will be approximately $180,000, the majority of which was spent before the event to ensure that restoration would be as swift as possible and during the event to stop the park from getting worse during the rain. It cost Riot Fest more money in the end, but was necessary to minimize the impact.

Riot Fest's summary of repairs and restorations to the park highlighted ways the fest was improving parts of the park that had nothing to do with the festival grounds. For example: Riot Fest is having a boggy, unusable area of the park filled with mulch and soil so that it will be usable to park-goers in the future; Riot Fest is aerating the fields in Douglas Park; Riot Fest will re-sod the park's baseball diamond, which the city plans to enlarge for spring. Riot Fest is also funding other improvements to the park grounds.

In the festival's press release, Ald. George Cardenas (12th) whose ward includes parts of the park and has faced some criticism for opening the park up to Riot Fest in the first place, said restoration is "happening swiftly," and Riot Fest has been "great community partners throughout this process."

Last year Riot Fest spent over $180,000 repairing Humboldt Park, but still caught the flack of some residents and the local alderman who said they didn't want Riot Fest inconveniencing their use of the park again. Riot Fest was ultimately told to move to another park.