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Riot Fest Thu Aug 21 2014

Riot Fest Now Has a Mini-Golf Course and Is Substantially Larger


So, it was just announced that this year, Riot Fest will have a 9-hole mini golf course. This, in of itself, is excellent news and worthy of all the celebration as drinking beer and playing a round of mini golf on a autumn Chicago night as the Wu-Tang Clan plays a few feet away sounds kinda incredible.

In addition, the grounds will be much larger than previous years as Riot Fest moves to the northern portion of Humboldt Park, operating between Division Street and North Avenue as well as California Avenue and Kedzie Avenue. This is quite a growth from previous years in which the festival operated in smaller southern part of the park.

In addition to mini-golf and the new location, Riot Fest also announced a haunted house, a burlesque show, and an arcade of classic games curated by the cool kids at Emporium with proceeds to benefit the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless. Full details of the recent announcements can be found here.

In case y'all missed it, Riot Fest also announced their lineup of after-parties which can be found here.

Hot Snakes, Television, Bad Religion, and The Hold Steady are all currently sold out but the rest of the after shows are still up for grabs. The more interesting of the after parties seem to be The Get Up Kids at Bottom Lounge as well as Primus at the Concord.

Riot Fest takes place at Humbolt Park on September 12-14. If you're into it, tickets can be grabbed here.

Justin Freeman / Comments (0)

Riot Fest Wed Aug 20 2014

Riot Fest Mystery Act Ur Lineup Sux, Bro Releases Single

When Riot Fest announced its lineup for this year's festival, it included a couple of acts at the bottom that were a bit of a mystery. One of them was Ur Lineup Sux, Bro, the other was Ughh, My Parents Are Here.

Both were assumed to be jokes. Well, jokes they may be, but one of them has released a debut single. The Gapers Block offices received a link to the songs below in an email that simply read, "And people thought we didn't exist. As if! :P"

Continue reading this entry »

Andrew Huff / Comments (0)

Riot Fest Fri Jun 13 2014

Riot Fest Announces Second Wave of Bands


Earlier this week, Riot Fest announced a second wave of bands who are performing at the festival in a few months.

Some of the bigger names on the list include Primus, The Hold Steady and Say Anything. I, for one, find myself kinda excited about the addition of Tokyo Police Club whose most recent album Forcefield has been finding its way into heavy rotation as of late. Fake Shore Drive approved rapper Lucki Eck$ is also set to perform.

Check out the a list of the new acts below.

Tokyo Police Club
Say Anything
The Hold Steady
Frank Iero
Only Crime
Pity Sex
From Indian Lakes
Lucki Eck$
Tiny Moving Parts
The Bots
The Picturebooks
Survay Says

Riot Fest is happening at Humbolt Park on September 12th through 14th. More information can be found here.

Justin Freeman / Comments (0)

Riot Fest Thu May 15 2014

Riot Fest's 10 Year Anniversary Surprise

Finding out about the Riot Fest lineup on Tuesday evening was akin to experiencing complete euphoria, like receiving a long-awaited birthday present as a kid, the first glimpse of sunshine after a Chiberia winter, or a first listen to your favorite band's newest record. The lineup for the festival's 10th anniversary absolutely exceeded my expectations with its stellar lineup of veteran favorites, up-and-comers, and elusive finds that I wistfully listened to years ago, their sound still seeping into my thoughts from time to time.


As if this amazing lineup wasn't enough, Riot Fest unveiled an additional surprise for its 10th year, during which 10 bands will be performing a pinnacle album from their catalog in its full duration. Entitled "10 Years. 10 Essential Albums," this new phase of Riot Fest will allow attendees to hear some of their most coveted albums from some of their most cherished artists, in their full-length form in a live setting. What could be better?

Continue reading this entry »

Sarah Brooks / Comments (0)

Preview Tue May 13 2014

Riot Fest Announces 2014 Lineup

Riot Fest

Ending months of speculation and seemingly endless requests by fervent twitter acolytes, Riot Fest released the lineup for this year's edition. The Cure, Slayer and The National are just some the headliners that were announced just moments ago.

The lineup is expansive and impressive including everyone from Pussy Riot to the Wu-Tang Clan. At first glance, some of the acts I find myself excited for are The Hotelier, La Dispute, Dads, Saosin, and The World Is a Beautiful Place and I Am No Longer Afraid to Die. Other notable acts include Patti Smith as well as The Afghan Whigs. Andrew WK returns for a third year of partying, but the most interesting thing I see on the lineup so far is the inclusion of GWAR which is a curiosity. Dave Brockie, the lead vocalist of GWAR recently passed away and I'm curious as to what will happen. A tribute of sorts to GWAR? Who knows? We'll find out in September.

Chicago acts aren't lacking with Archie Powell & the Exports, ShowYouSuck, My Gold Mask, along with legacy Chicago bands such as Naked Raygun and Cheap Trick all booked to play.

As we previously reported, Riot Fest returns to Humboldt Park this September on the 12th through 14th. This year is special in particular as it marks the ten year anniversary of Riot Fest's existence in Chicago and it appears they went all out to celebrate. Right on.

Tickets can be purchased here. Check out a copy and paste of the lineup so far below.


The Cure * Jane's Addiction * The National * Rise Against * Weezer
The Flaming Lips * Social Distortion * Slayer * The Offspring * Wu-Tang Clan
Descendents * Tegan and Sara * Metric * Samhain * Cheap Trick * ????
Pussy Riot (Nadya Tolokonnikova & Masha Alekhina) * Patti Smith
Taking Back Sunday * Die Antwoord * City and Colour * Paul Weller * The Used
Bring Me The Horizon * ???? * NOFX * Dropkick Murphys * Gogol Bordello
Of Mice & Men * Mastodon *The Afghan Whigs * Naked Raygun * Cock Sparrer
Dashboard Confessional * Superchunk * Billy Bragg * Blue Meanies * Lucero
New Found Glory * Saosin w/ Anthony Green * ???? * Mighty Mighty Bosstones
The Murder City Devils * Mudhoney * Failure * Hot Snakes * The Dandy Warhols
Thurston Moore * Circa Survive * The Get Up Kids * Motion City Soundtrack
Me First and the Gimme Gimmes * Streetlight Manifesto * Clutch * GWAR
Buzzcocks * Andrew W.K. * Bouncing Souls * Stiff Little Fingers * Face to Face
Kurt Vile & The Violators * Marky Ramone w/ the Bouncing Souls * Wavves
Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears * We Came As Romans * Senses Fail
The Orwells * ALL * Mineral * Title Fight * La Dispute * RX Bandits
Samiam * 7 Seconds * Anti-Flag * The Menzingers * The Front Bottoms
Silverstein * Emarosa * Citizen * The World is a Beautiful Place... * Bad Suns
The Pizza Underground * The Hotelier * Nostalghia * In The Valley Below
Radkey * Pianos Become The Teeth * Modern Baseball * I Am the Avalanche
Skaters * Laura Stevenson * Cerebral Ballzy * Red City Radio * PUP * Dads
Show You Suck * The Unlikely Candidates * Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas
My Gold Mask * The Bots * Broncho * The American Scene
Baby Baby * Restorations *Wounds * Plague Vendor * Team Spirit * Somos
Rose's Pawn Shop * Chumped *Archie Powell & The Exports * Ex Friends
& more to be announced!!

Justin Freeman / Comments (0)

Concert Fri Apr 18 2014

Riot Fest Announces 2014 Chicago Dates


Yesterday, the internet's most lovable grump announced the dates for this year's edition of Riot Fest. Riot Fest will return to Chicago this September 12th - 14th. Before that, it'll be in Toronto on September 6th - 7th. Riot Fest will wrap up this year's season in Denver on September 19th - 21st.

From the looks of it, they plan to keep building on what they've started when they pivoted to become a major festival. They plan to expand the grounds at Toronto in order to have more carnival rides. In Denver, they plan to revamp the camping areas. 2014 also marks the ten year anniversary of Riot Fest being in Chicago. In response, they promise "special surprises and attractions."

Ticket and lineup information has not yet been released, but should be provided soon.

Justin Freeman / Comments (0)

Riot Fest Wed Nov 27 2013

Happy Holidays! Love, Riot Fest.

Riot Fest

The end of November always has taken on a generic holiday feel. Everywhere you go as of late, you're increasingly surrounded by decorated trees and joyous carols. It's like we're living inside a Norman Rockwell painting for the next month or so.

The holidays also traditionally mean huge discounts on all sorts of things. Usually these discounts involve you hanging out at a Target at 4am in a depraved insomniac state violently deterring all those who would block your path of getting a microwave at a HUGE SAVINGS whilst Bing Crosby croons, "May your days be merry and bright." Riot Fest is also getting into the holiday spirit by selling some deeply discounted tickets for 2014's edition of the festival just, you know, minus the Mad Max post-apocalyptic warrior part.

A limited amount of three day passes for next year's Riot Fest will go on sale at noon today. No word on what the lineup is going to be yet, but this is the same group that got The Replacements back together so it's safe to assume the lineup will probably be quite impressive.

Tickets are $69.98 and will probably sell out quickly. If you're into it, go here and good luck.

Justin Freeman / Comments (0)

Riot Fest Wed Sep 18 2013

Picturing Riot Fest 2013

Photographer Katie Hovland spent one amazing long weekend photographing the sights and sounds at Riot Fest in Chicago. Here are all of her wonderful shots:

Anne Holub / Comments (1)

Riot Fest Mon Sep 16 2013

Riot Fest 2013: Sunday Review

Replacements 1 by Katie Hovland Gapers.jpg

The Replacements by Katie Hovland

Despite the cold soggy weather and fields of mud, Riot Fest rounded out the weekend and ended on a high note with some of the most anticipated sets of the weekend from The Replacements and Pixies. A little mud or rain only dampened mohawks but not spirits of the considerably older and friendlier crowd that huddled to keep warm in Humboldt Park. -Lisa White

Continue reading this entry »

Lisa White / Comments (0)

Riot Fest Sun Sep 15 2013

Riot Fest 2013: Saturday Review

Radkey 1 by Katie Hovland Gapers.jpg

Radkey by Katie Hovland

Logistically, things are starting to crumble at Riot Fest as the second day was marred with more sound issues, security issues, transit problems and injuries as a considerably much larger crowd trudged along in Humboldt Park. And the city woke Sunday morning to a chilly constant drizzle of rain, so one can only hope that the weekend can pull it off and end on a high note with the odds stacked against them. -Lisa White

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Lisa White / Comments (2)

Riot Fest Sat Sep 14 2013

Riot Fest 2013: Friday Review

Smoking Popes 5 by Katie Hovland Gapers.jpg

Smoking Popes crowd by Katie Hovland

It was the perfect black hoodie and leather studded jacket weather Friday in Humboldt Park, as a noticeably much larger than last year crowd descended on the park for this year's Riot Fest. With one of the most impressive lineups of this years festival season, the growth in attendance is no surprise. And although it made for some major logistical hiccups (long will call lines, confusion with park layout and lack of schedule posting, troubles with transit to and from the festival) the crowd didn't seem to mind once the music started. -Lisa White

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Lisa White / Comments (0)

Riot Fest Wed Sep 11 2013

Ten Ways to Make Your Riot Fest the Best

Riot FestThe feather in the cap of festival season, also known as Riot Fest around these parts, is this weekend in Humboldt Park. Riot Fest transitioned their event into a full three day large scale festival last year, and it was one of the more enjoyable festivals we attended last year. The location was a great fit, the sound bleed wasn't too awful, and booking it in September made for a milder weather experience in the mosh pit. We're back covering the festival all weekend, so we thought we'd share 10 tips on how to maximize your Riot Fest weekend.

1. Show some local love. At some point there'll be a break in your schedule when you have no allegiances to any band playing. So why not fill the time by seeing a Chicago area band, whether they've been on US Weekly covers or you unknowingly walk by them at Cole's? Obviously, there's no shortage of local acts, like the Broadways, Deal's Gone Bad, Fall Out Boy, Flatfoot 56, Lawrence Arms, Maps & Atlases, Pet Symmetry, Screeching Weasel, Smoking Popes, Twin Peaks and White Mystery.
- James Ziegenfus

2. Plan your transportation in advance. The second most annoying tweets that Riot Fest has responded to the last few months is a plethora of people that are utterly confused by transit. Let me break it down for you in the most simple way possible: Take the blue line to either Division or California. Take the California bus south or the Division bus west. Division bus drops you off right across the street from the festival, California bus drops you off at Division and you walk a few blocks. That's my best advice, Riot fest has other options as well. There is ample bike parking onsite as well, so that is another great way to get there. Even if you don't want to deal with the hassle of the bus on the way to the festival, a cab ride from either blue line stop will run you around $10 or less with tip. And last year I was able to immediately catch one of the Division buses lined up ready to go at the end of the night, so thanks to Riot Fest for wonderful planning, getting home was quick and easy. Like anything in life, just plan ahead.
- Lisa White

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Transmission / Comments (1)

Riot Fest Wed May 15 2013

Riot Fest 2013 Lineup Announced


With much fanfare and long waits for many pleading fans on Facebook and Twitter, Riot Fest announced their 2013 lineup just now. The festival, held for the second year in Humboldt Park, is three days (September 13-15) of both new and old punk and hard rock favorites, with the addition this year of some notable hip-hop acts. The festival has added serious ammo this year with an impressive lineup that rivals many of the other major festivals coming through Chicago this summer. Some personal favorites just at a glance includes Blondie, Violent Femmes, Taking Back Sunday, Against Me!, Bad Brains, Stars, Dessa, Saul Williams, and many more. The festival is also going to be three full days in the park instead of two, and will include the same carnival theme as last year.

Three day passes are now on sale for $69.98, and three-day VIP passes (which include 15 drink tickets, not a bad deal at all) are $175. UPDATE: Early-bird tickets are sold out; passes are now $99.98 and increasing as more tickets are sold -- so get in there soon. You can purchase tickets here.

Continue reading this entry »

Lisa White / Comments (0)

Riot Fest Thu Sep 20 2012

Riot Fest 2012 in Photos

Photographer Katie Hovland spent the weekend in Humboldt Park photographing the magic of Riot Fest. Here are her favorite shots.

Anne Holub / Comments (0)

Riot Fest Tue Sep 18 2012

Riot Fest Day Three: Up the Punx

White Mystery-by Katie Hovland GB.jpg
White Mystery (photo by Katie Hovland)

My biggest issue with Riot Fest on Sunday was that the line-up was too perfect. With most other festivals, I end up with only a handful of bands I really want to see and am able to space out my day accordingly. This time around, I was looking forward to almost every single act. I ended up running from stage to stage with little opportunity to sit down and take a break for a second. I barely even had the chance to take faux-artsy Instagrams of carnival rides! And I still wasn't able to catch every band I had been hoping to see. To the fine people that run Riot Fest: Please consider adding a few crappy bands to your line-up next year so I don't have so many painstakingly difficult decisions to make.
- Stephanie Griffin

Continue reading this entry »

Katie Karpowicz / Comments (0)

Riot Fest Sun Sep 16 2012

Riot Fest Day Two: The Carnival Begins

Andrew W.K. Photo by Katie Hovland

If nothing else, 2012 will go down as the year of the outdoor festival in Chicago. With the inclusion of several new large-scale music festivals -- including the conversion of the Saturday and Sunday portions of Riot Fest into an outdoor, all-day carnival -- and more street fests popping up than you can shake an ear of corn on a stick at, planning out your summer calendar has become more trying than ever.

After attending and/or covering many of these festivals this summer for Gapers Block, things almost seemed a bit stale going into Riot Fest yesterday. But, I have to say, what a wonderfully enjoyable experience it was. We've seen a huge growth in electronic music just in the last year in Chicago and most of the bigger music fests have catered specifically to that genre. As much as I've enjoyed them, it was refreshing to get away from the bass drops, the molly-seekers, the Jason-mask-wearing Pikachus hoisted up on poles and get back to my roots, the music I grew up with.
-Katie Karpowicz

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Stephanie Griffin / Comments (0)

Riot Fest Sat Sep 15 2012

Riot Fest Day One: The Offspring, Neon Trees

Photo by Stephanie Griffin

Before we all head off to the new incarnation of Riot Fest this weekend, the festival kicked off with some familiar territory -- the fest's old stomping ground, Congress Theater. Saturday and Sunday we head to Chicago's first outdoor Riot Fest, complete with a carnival and luchadores, over in Humboldt Park. Friday night had no frills, just a great line-up of bands playing a dark, grimy club with plenty of mosh pit space. This is the Riot Fest I am used to.

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Stephanie Griffin / Comments (1)

Preview Thu Sep 13 2012

Riot Fest 2012: Your Best Bets


In the past I've never made it out to Riot Fest. It's right up my alley, musically, but running across the city to catch shows at various venues all week just seemed a little overwhelming. Naturally, I was thrilled when I heard that things had centralized this year... without foregoing any quality in the lineup picks. And carnival rides?! Count me in.

Aside from the bands, I'm most excited to see the crowd that this diverse lineup and new location in such an eclectic part of the city will turn out. How will fans of legends like Iggy and the Stooges interact with fans of the younger, more emo bands -- let alone screamo acts like A Day To Remember? Time will tell. But one thing is definitely for sure: whatever you're looking for, you'll probably find it at Humboldt Park this weekend.
Katie Karpowicz

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Stephanie Griffin / Comments (0)

Classical Wed Aug 06 2014

Pulling Strings: For classical music in Chicago, you got a guy - August 2014

By Transmission

Before the main classical season kicks into gear in the next month or two, take advantage of these local artists and ensembles playing throughout the city.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records


Fri Aug 22 2014
Ken Vandermark's Audio One @ Constellation

Fri Aug 22 2014
Bridgepork @ Maria's

Fri Aug 22 2014
Jeff Daniels and Ben Daniels Band @ SPACE

Fri Aug 22 2014
Boulevard Festival

Sat Aug 23 2014
Ken Vandermark's Audio One @ Constellation

Sat Aug 23 2014
Deer Tick @ Metro

Sat Aug 23 2014
Drivin' and Cryin' @ Reggies

Sat Aug 23 2014
Bridgepork @ Maria's

Sat Aug 23 2014
The Boulevard Festival

Sun Aug 24 2014
Robyn & Röyksopp Do It Again @ Pritzker Pavilion

Sun Aug 24 2014
Monkey Business Backyard BBQ @ Sportsman's Club

Sun Aug 24 2014
The Boulevard Festival

Wed Aug 27 2014
The Dutchess and the Duke @ Empty Bottle

Featured Series


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Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
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Editor: Anne Holub,
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