Chicago has a well known history in the world of music, which explains why Riot fest exists in Chicago. Electric blues started here, on Maxwell Street. Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf and Willie Dixon were the stars of their era. Their music influenced Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley, who recorded some of their most well known songs at Chess Records on Michigan Ave. The Chicago music scene is still alive and thriving with events like Riot Fest.
Maxwell Street was where the old Italian and Jewish neighborhoods met up. Some of the merchants, trying to draw people into their stores, would arrange for blues musicians to perform in front. They would run extension cords out to the side walk, garnering attention and allowing the development of Electric Blues music. Amplified guitars and harmonicas was a new twist on the old blues music from the south. These same merchants also happened to create the Chicago style hot dog, because just like Riot Fest singers can tell you, you need a day job till music is paying the bills full time. Today, the area is vastly different. In the 1960’s, a college campus (UIC) was built here, forever changing the area.
More recently, Chicago became known as the starting point of House Music. It is a form of Electronic Dance Music (EDM). While most of us are not familiar with the creators of the sound, it was incorporated into many of the hits of the 1990s. Madonna, Janet Jackson, C C Music Factory (Everybody dance now), Paula Abdul and more sampled House Music in many of their hit songs.
Paying homage to Chicago’s musical history, Riot Fest is a loud, fun and diverse weekend in Douglas Park. Located on the city’s west side, you can spend one to three days in the warm, late summer sun at Riot Fest. This years performers at Riot Fest include:
Friday Sept. 15 Nine Inch Nails, New Order and old punk rock groups X and The Buzzcocks.
Saturday Sept. 16 Queens of the Stone Age, Wu Tang Clan, Gogol Bordello, Danzig, Bad Brains and Taking Back Sunday.
Sunday Sept. 17 Paramour, Dinosaur Jr., Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Gwar and Andrew WK.
So, what are you waiting for? Come to Chicago for Riot Fest!