2014 Riot Fest Looms!

Riot Fest

Long-running punk ‘n’ indie blast kicks off this weekend in Toronto then moves to Chicago and Denver. And BLURT gonna be there.

By Tim Hinely

And another year and it’s another Riot Fest. I’m glad this long-running Chicago festival is still rearing its greased n’ grizzled mohawk after all these years. The festival, now in its 10th year in Chi-town, is coming back to the two cities it gave birth to in recent years, Denver (2nd year) and Toronto (3rd year). The festival, which started in 2005 with bands playing a few local clubs, expanded to Humboldt Park in 2012 and has now been a mainstay on the Chicago festival circuit (which already boasts Pitchfork, Lollapalooza and about a million other smaller festivals).

Each stop has different acts though there are some bands, headliners mostly, playing all three of the festivals. The first stop is next weekend September 6th and 7th at Downview Park in Toronto and includes a scaled-down bill, but still includes heavyweights like The Cure (playing all three dates), the Flaming Lips (same), The National (yup), The Afghan Whigs (playing Chicago as well but not Denver….grrrrr), plus some familiar Canucks in the lineup like New Pornographers, Metric plus plenty more.

In Chicago (September 12-14) , which let’s face it, always gets the cream of the Riot Fest crop, blowing through town are those same headliners mentioned above (The Cure,  The National, Social Distortion, Weezer, Rise Against) and about a thousand others Plus, some of the bands that the Windy City gets that the others don’t include long-running Chicago punk mainstays Naked Raygun, Glenn Danzig’s Samhain, Pussy Riot (with a panel), Television (!!!) , Cock Sparrer, Mudhoney, Thurston Moore and plenty of others.

Headliners at the Denver stop on the festival, which will be September 19th through the 21st at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium right in beautiful Denver, Colorado include the previously mentioned The Cure, The National, Social Distortion, Weezer, The Flaming Lips, Slayer and many other plus enough old-time punk acts to satisfy the crusties (The Buzzcocks, Descendents, All, Bouncing Souls, Hot Snakes (their related band, Rocket from the Crypt, stole the show here last year), Bob Mould and many more.

Ok, I know you folks want a little controversy, right? Up until about a month ago the Colorado festival was going to be at May Farms out in Byers, Colorado (where it was last year, about an hour east of Denver) but at the 11th hour the local raised their pitchforks (ahem) and said No! “No tattooed whippersnappers in our town!” so at the last minute the festival coordinators had to find a different site. Peyton Manning gave his blessing (I think). Also, while there is no camping at the Denver site, the Riot Fest brass promise that they will “bring the May Farms look and feel to Mile High.”

Oh and also check local papers for plenty of after shows as well.

Who’s ready for Riot Fest? You? You?! You??!! Ok, I know I am.

For more information go to:  www.riotfest.org

Incidentally, the Toronto hourly schedule has just been announced, and the Denver and Chicago hourly schedules will be released in the coming days.

 Riot Fest 2014 – Toronto

Saturday, Sept 6th

The Cure

Billy Talent

Rise Against

The Flaming Lips

Death From Above 1979

Brand New

Paul Weller


Bring Me the Horizon

Taking Back Sunday

The Afghan Whigs

Alkaline Trio


New Found Glory

Circa Survive

Manchester Orchestra

Title Fight

Bad Suns






Laura Stevenson

The Beaches


Almighty Trigger



Sunday, Sept 7th

City and Colour


The National

Social Distortion

Death Cab for Cutie


The Head and the Heart

Dropkick Murphys

Die Antwoord

Tokyo Police Club

The New Pornographers

Bob Mould

Thurston Moore








The Hotelier


Say Yes



The Bots

Dead Tired

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