Riot Fest | Music Sidebar | Chicago Reader

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Riot Fest

The city's expansive punk beatdown returns with a lineup that includes the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Articles of Faith, Circle Jerks, Propagandhi, Negative Approach, Bad Religion, Naked Raygun, the Zero Boys, the Bronx, and others.


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Riot Fest continues to expand each year, cementing its position as the city's finest concentration of punk, hardcore, ska, pop-punk, and plain old rock 'n' roll. For its sixth installment the schedule includes 17 shows (not counting yet-to-be-announced secret shows) at six venues—Metro, Subterranean, Double Door, House of Blues, Cobra Lounge, and the Congress Theater—from Wed 10/6 through Sun 10/10. This year also features an extraordinary number of sets from reunited bands or groups that rarely tour, among them the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Cap'n Jazz, Snapcase, the Bhopal Stiffs, Cro-Mags, the Zero Boys, Corrosion of Conformity, Negative Approach, Circle Jerks, and Articles of Faith; the sold-out Busted at Oz reunion at Double Door Wed 10/6 includes Naked Raygun, the Subverts, Silver Abuse, and Toothpaste (the Effigies recently canceled). Other notable acts include Propagandhi, the Bronx, Agnostic Front, the Meatmen, Bad Religion, the Bouncing Souls, High on Fire, Torche, Kylesa, Jello Biafra & the Guantanamo School of Medicine, the Toasters, Less Than Jake (playing Losing Streak in its entirety), the Smoking Popes, and Off!, a supergroup consisting of Circle Jerks' Keith Morris, Burning Brides front man Dimitri Coats, Redd Kross bassist Steven McDonald, and Hot Snakes drummer Mario Rubalcaba. Shows at the Congress, House of Blues, and Metro are all-ages (except the Thu 10/7 Propagandhi show at Metro, which is 18+), and shows at Subterranean are 17+. All other shows are 21+. Riot Fest's secret shows, at AAA (2105 W. Caton) and Exit (1315 W. North) on Friday and Saturday, are open to festgoers with three- and five-day passes or Congress Theater VIP tickets. Five-day passes are sold out; three-day passes (Fri-Sun) are $99, or $75 through TicketWeb for a limited time. Individual Congress Theater tickets and three-day passes are on sale at Bleeding Heart Bakery (1955 W. Belmont) and Cobra Lounge with no service charges; pick up wristbands for three- and five-day passes at Cobra Lounge through Fri 10/8. Tickets are also available for individual shows. Prices and start times vary; visit for more details and a complete schedule.

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