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3 weekends, 3 cities – it’s three, three, three fests in one! Plus a corn maze and pumpkin cannon – now THAT’s punk ‘n’ roll, kids!

By Tim Hineley

The long running Chicago punk festival, Riot Fest, now in its 9th year brings it travelling caravan to two other cities this year, Toronto (which had a stop in 2012 as well as Dallas, TX and Brooklyn, NY) and Denver (a newbie). 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 others

Each stop has different headliners though there are some bands playing all three of the festivals. The first stop is next weekend August 24th and 25th at Fort York in Toronto and includes a scaled-down bill, but still includes heavyweights like The Replacements (playing all three dates), Iggy and the Stooges, Rocket from the Crypt, Dinosaur Jr, and plenty more (the four bands listed here are playing on Sunday the 25th).

In Chicago (September 13-15) blowing through town are Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Bad Religion and the 25th Anniversary of Danzig (featuring Doyle!) headline the opening day of Friday. On Saturday fan will enjoy acts as diverse as Dinosaur Jr., Public Enemy and Guided by Voices. Finally, on Sunday in Chicago, The Replacements, The Pixies, Bob Mould and many, many others will grace the Riot Fest stage (thankfully not the band Chicago).

Headliners at the Denver stop on the festival, which will be September 21st and 22nd at May Farms in Byers, Colorado,  include The Replacements, Iggy and the Stooges, A.F.I., Blink 182, Rocket from the Crypt, Naked, Raygun, Yo La Tengo and many, many more.

Wait….bands not enough for you there, punko? Well how’s about this!

In Denver there will be a corn maze. Pumpkin cannon and a ferris wheel (camping, too) while the Toronto stop is at an ancient fort.

 Chicago holds a few special treats, like John Stamos’ butter sculpture (gawd…I would love to see that),  tons of rides at the carnival and Lucha Libre in a park with a stellar view of the Chicago skyline (wrasslin’!).


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