Riot Fest is one of the few remaining independently-owned large U.S. festivals and, aside from being known for its potent punk- and rock-centric lineups, it’s carved a unique niche on the live-music landscape as a host to exclusive reunion sets. This year, along with headliners My Chemical Romance, The Misfits and Nine Inch Nails, pop-punk rockers Yellowcard will play their first show since they called it quits in 2017. Likewise, indie darlings Sunny Day Real Estate will hit the Riot Fest stage to perform for the first time in 12 years. The weekend’s lineup also includes Yeahs Yeahs Yeahs, Sleater-Kinny, Ice Cube, Portugal The Man and Bleachers, as well as tons of others.
More than one reviewer has called this event a place for misfits, and noted that the festival cradles that famous punk rock, come-as-you-are community. The crowd is older and slower than the spandex-clad demographic that populates Lollapalooza. That said, if you prefer your punk delivered in dark clubs, Chicago will host plenty of after shows that weekend.
- Tickets come in four levels: General Admission, VIP, Deluxe and Ultimate. Each is available for one, two or three days. Three-day General Admission tickets start at $300.
- Here’s the festival’s app to help guide you through the weekend.
- If you want to get to know the acts or read essays by fellow music nerds, check out the festival’s magazine.