Riot Fest Chicago: First Impressions

Earlier this evening, the lineup for Riot Fest Chicago was released. Back in December, Court and I got our advanced 3 day pass and ever since I’ve been waiting for this day. In years past the lineup came out around mid-May, however, the venue change delayed the announcement.

I’ll have a more detailed post or set of posts on the bands I’m looking forward to seeing, but tonight I wanted to give my initial impressions. Overall, I think the lineup is very strong. I’m not as excited over many of the headliners outside of No Doubt and Billy Idol, but there are bands from top to bottom I’m looking forward to seeing. The big name on here is Rodrigo y Gabriela. I never expected they’d be at Riot Fest but I couldn’t be more excited about it. I’m a huge fan of theirs and just last year paid the same amount I paid for my 3 day pass as I did to see them. At this point, everything else is gravy.


As usual, the Fest has done a great job of bringing back punk bands that I listened to non stop in high school. It’ll be cool to see Pennywise, Rancid, Millencolin, Less Than Jake, Mustard Plug, and The Ataris. Newer punk acts Mayday Parade and Taking Back Sunday will be on my schedule too.

Of course I’m going to see Metallica at Lolla this year but there will be a couple good metal bands I’ll be looking to see at Riot Fest too. Motorhead and Anthrax won’t disappoint.


I saw Andrew W.K. last year and his set is always super fun and high energy. I’m also looking forward to seeing Flogging Molly. I’ve never seen them live before but always liked their stuff.

One of the reasons I get so excited about the announcement lineup is that I can now listen to a number of bands I’ve never heard of on Spotify. I discovered the Get Up Kids and Survay Says! this way last year and they ended up being two of my favorite bands I saw last year.

Which bands are looking forward to seeing? Do you have any suggestions for me? Let me know in the comments.

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