dvn 6-14-24 riot fest lineup

Riot Fest abandons Chicago park for SeatGeek Stadium

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The Lyrical Lemonade Summer Smash Festival shattered attendance records at SeatGeek Stadium last year. (Photo courtesy of SeatGeek Stadium)

By Bob Bong

Last year, Lyrical Lemonade moved its Summer Smash hip-hop music festival from Chicago’s Douglass Park to Bridgeview’s SeatGeek Stadium.

Thousands of fans poured into the stadium at 7100 S. Harlem Ave. over the course of three days and, by most accounts, enjoyed the experience.

Summer Smash returned to SeatGeek this weekend for an encore performance. Once again, thousands of fans were expected to return, as well.

Earlier this week, Riot Fest decided to pull up stakes from the same Douglass Park and make the same move to SeatGeek Stadium.

Riot Fest founder Mike Petryshyn announced Wednesday morning that SeatGeek would be renamed RiotLand during the three-day concert in September.

Petryshyn said the Chicago Park District was “solely” responsible for the festival’s move, and thanked Ald. Monique Scott for her support of the event. The music festival had been staged in Douglass Park in North Lawndale since 2015. It began in 2012 in Humboldt Park.

Besides music from headliners such as Beck, Public Enemy, Fall Out Boys and Rob Zombie, Riot Fest will also include its usual array of food, drink and merchandise vendors, as well as the Wedding Chapel, vintage arcade games and the Hellzapoppin’ Circus Sideshow Revue. A Q101 Radio Tower is planned as “a nostalgic tribute to an iconic radio station.” The Cabaret Metro Stage is named after the Chicago music venue. Riot Fest also promised an NOFX World stage, a skate ramp and an operating casino.

The three-day music festival is scheduled for Sept. 20-22. Tickets (2-DAY and 3-DAY) are on sale at riotfest.org. For information and a full list of scheduled performers, visit https://riotfest.org.

SeatGeek has hosted concerts, including Jennifer Lopez and Jimmy Buffet, and music festivals, including Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival, Lyrical Lemonade’s Summer Smash and the B96 Summer Bash, over the years.

The stadium is also home to the Chicago Hounds rugby team, the Chicago Fire II team, and the Red Stars, Chicago’s women’s professional soccer team.

The Red Stars have complained that a match between them and the San Diego Wave set for September 21 will be affected by the music festival. They have even threatened legal action against the Village of Bridgeview if forced to move the match.

On Thursday, village spokesman Ray Hanania said that over the past decade virtually all professional teams that played at the stadium, including the Fire, the Hounds, and the Red Stars themselves have moved games or worked successfully with the village to hold concurrent events without issues.

In October 2019, when the Red Stars renewed their agreement with the village for the use of the stadium, they signed a contract in which they expressly agreed that the village had the right to host concurrent events at the facility.

Hanania said the Red Stars were informed of the possibility of the need to move their September 21 match in April. As soon as discussions with Riot Fest were completed, the Red Stars were provided with written notice of the village’s exercise of its right under its agreement with the Red Stars.

In that notice, the village stated that it and the stadium manager would work “in good faith” to address questions or concerns the Red Stars might have as to the concurrent event. The Red Stars failed to respond.

Hanania said the decision to schedule Riot Fest had nothing to do with gender.  The decision was strictly based on maximizing revenues from the Stadium for the Village taxpayers.

He said the village supports the Red Stars and looks forward to working with them to make sure that any concerns they have about sharing with Riot Fest a portion of the surrounding area around the Stadium are addressed and that Red Stars fans have the usual optimal fan experience on September 21, or whatever day they choose to play the game.

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CRR_NH

Clear-Ridge Reporter and NewsHound July 17, 2024

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