Riot Fest 2017

Riot Fest Chicago Music Festival 2017

Chicago Riot Fest 2017 – Chicago Music Festival

Douglas Park, Chicago, IL, USA,  September 15-17

Review by Sommer Thornton

The 2017 Chicago’s Riot Fest brought out hundreds of thousands of metal, alt, emo, pop, ska, and hip-hop heads for three full days with five stage rocking at the same time. The acoustics for Riot Fest were so spectacular that I caught Taking Back Sunday open their set next to Wu Tang’s encore with no interference.

Headliners Nine Inch Nails, Queens of the Stone Age, and rockstar ladies Peaches and M.I.A. all performed at the Chicago festival. Danzig returned to Riot Fest and set the crowd on fire. Prophets of Rage ripped the stage with Chuck D of Public Enemy. And Mike D. of Beastie Boys gave a heartfelt solo performance.


Mike D. performing some of the Beastie Boy’s hits: 

Day one – a sunny Friday Riot Fest kicked off with LIARS and Saul Williams rocking the big stages. Chicago rapper Vic Mensa gave an electrified show. Newcomer rapper Action Bronson also performed. Death From Above, Buzzcocks, Dirty Heads, State Champs, Ministry and New Order all hit the stage before headliner Nine Inch Nails closed out the show.

Check out Performances from Ministry, and Nine Inch Nails:

Day two of Riot Fest was a sweltering Saturday, but fans who braved the heat saw GBH, Fishbone, Knuckle Punk, Fidlar, Bayside, The Smith Street Band, and Shabazz Places rock stages. That night Danzig held it down with a fiery performance.

Later that night, New Found Glory, Taking Back Sunday and the Wu Tang Clan ripped it. On the way from the Wu Tang heading to Queens of the Stone Age, I got a pleasant surprise from the Heather Owen Stage where Streetlight Manifesto performed with a five-piece brass band. Streetlight Manifesto cleverly blends punk rock, ska, and uptempo Jazz bridges to create their unique sound.

Later then night Queens of the Stone Age and Taking Back ended the perfect Chicago summer night.

Check out performance from Wu Tang Clan

Knuckle Punk’s full set

and a performance from Streetlight Manifesto:

The last day of the Riot Fest brought out the Orwells, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Beach Slang, Dessa, and Engine 88 earlier in the day.


Check out performances from Prophets of Rage, Paramore and Pennywise from Sunday afternoon:

Recently reunited, veteran punk rockers Jawbreaker closed out the festival with a bang.

Check out Jawbreakers Riot Fest performance!

Riot Fest is the official end to Chicago’s summer festivals. Each year the lineup gets more diverse and so does the crowd. Festival goers of every background can rock out, juke, head-bob, and dutty wind together to their favorite bands, and discover an artist they never heard. My only suggestion for next year – sell more liquor with the beer.