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Riot Fest's 'Stolen Camaro' Was A Good PR Stunt For A Good Cause

By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Dec 10, 2015 10:46PM


Earlier, we wrote that Riot Fest's announcement that its "bitchin'" Camaro had gone missing was actually a deception. We weren't the only site to fall for this ruse, and to be honest I'm not all that upset about it. It was a good PR stunt.

At no point did organizers send out a press release about the car's theft. Instead they simply posted cheeky updates to their social media platforms and let the story grow from there. And you know what? It was a convincing story!

In a day and age when a joke Tweet can send off a flurry of activity resulting in serious news outlets reporting something obviously untrue as fact, I don't feel that an actually well constructed PR stunt should really raise public ire. When you add to that the fact that the Riot Fest stunt got lots of attention that organizers directed toward raising money for underserved children in the communities around Douglas Park, the festival's new home, I can't find anything to get upset about.

So if Riot Fest's ruse did upset you, that's fine. Everyone is entitled to their own genuine reaction to these sorts of things. Me? I'm happy to fall for a good story that has a happy ending.

If you want to support the toy drive Riot Fest is running you can learn more about it here and donate money here. And if you want to donate actual new, unwrapped toys for ages 5-11 you can drop those off at Cobra Lounge (235 N. Ashland Ave.) through Dec. 16.

Jim Kopeny is Chicagoist's Arts & Entertainment Senior Editor.