The dust has settled and the official verdict is in: Riot Fest is saying goodbye to Humboldt Park and hello to Douglas Park.
Mike Petryshyn, co-founder of the recently named Best Music Festival in the US, released a statement about the festival’s move to North Lawndale:
In my very first meeting with Alderman Cardenas, I was happy that we were discussing logistical details and how we could enrich the community. Quite frankly, I was silently ecstatic. He gets it and it was genuine. Our goal has always been to leave a positive impact in the community we call home by helping local independent businesses, hiring ward residents and making an impact year-round. We did that in our previous home and plan to do the same — if not more — in the community surrounding Douglas Park and the 12th Ward.
As soon as we started discussing community, it was refreshing to see George get up from his desk and start pointing on the ward map to the local businesses we need to meet and have a formal introduction. He was excited and so was I. To have an an elected official see clearly how we can bring good things is humbling. To be appreciated for who we are—as people running an indie company and a festival—by the him and all of the supporters has been inspiring.
The strife between Riot Fest organizers and Alderman Maldonado of the 26th Ward (where Humboldt Park is located) has been well-noted since last year’s festival that left the park with thousands of dollars in damages. And while the festival is committed to repairing the park, Maldonado and other Humboldt Park residents were vocal with their opposition to the festival’s return despite overwhelming support that resulted in over 8,000 signatures (ours included) to keep the festival in Humboldt.
Riot Fest also announced the lineup for this year’s festival will be released next week, ensuring a busy Riot Fest-related news month ends on a high note.
You can read the festival’s official announcement here.