Will Riot Fest Return to Humboldt Park?

Photo by Geoff Henao

For somebody that absolutely dislikes music festivals, Riot Fest has been the one consistently appealing and entertaining Chicago festival. A part of what’s made Riot Fest so great is its location in Humboldt Park and the organizers’ ability to utilize the park’s space properly. However, major, lingering damage was sustained during last year’s festival, resulting in Riot Fest organizers paying upwards of $150,000 in repairs.

According to RedEye Chicago, Alderman Roberto Maldonado of the 26th Ward isn’t too keen on having the festival return to Humboldt Park this year, explaining:

I am exceptionally disappointed at the Riot Fest organizers for the mess they left at the park last year and their shallow and hollow promises to restore the park […] I don’t support them coming back.

At a recent Humboldt Park Advisory Council meeting, Riot Fest organizer Max Wagner assured residents that park repairs are still ongoing seven months after the festival ended. He also let worried residents know that the festival won’t grow beyond last year’s size, saying the organization is comfortable with capping the festival’s size to the level it was at last year. Wagner further explains:

We want to use about half the park. We want to scale it way back. We’ve agreed to not grow the event any more. We simply don’t want to sell any more tickets. We don’t want any more people. [We’re] fine with capping it where it is.

Unlike Lollapalooza and Grant Park, Riot Fest doesn’t have a contract with Humboldt Park. Rather, the organizers are given a permit to hold the event the same week it’s scheduled, which is surprising to learn. With opposition coming from both residents and Ald. Maldonado, could Riot Fest realistically relocate this year? It’s possible… but unlikely.

[via RedEye Chicago]

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