5 Acts You Can’t Miss at Riot Fest Chicago

Founded in 2005, Riot Fest has grown to become America’s premier punk rock, metal, and hip hop festival, known for creating once-in-a-lifetime lineups of legendary artists alongside an incredible selection of fan favorites. This year, they made headlines once again by convincing punk pioneers The Misfits to reunite with original frontman Glenn Danzig for their first performances together in 33 years. Following another successful takeover of the dusty rodeo pits at Denver’s National Western Complex earlier this month, Riot Fest is set to invade the much more festival-friendly grounds of Douglas Park in Chicago this coming weekend. Keep reading to find out who we’re excited to check out.



This influential Swedish hardcore band rose to fame in the early 1990’s only to part ways in 1998 due to difficulties balancing their anarchist political views with life in the music business. After almost 15 years on hiatus, Refused reunited in 2012 and released their highly anticipated comeback album Freedom  last year on Epitaph Records. This is one of those rare performances Riot Fest is known for, so take our advice and check out their set.

When / Where:  Friday, September 16 at 7:20pm – Rock Stage



Canadian hardcore darlings Fucked Up might not be the band whose shirt you wear to work (unless you have cool jobs like us), but their live shows are absolutely insane and this early afternoon set is sure to get your day off to an intense start. Since the unveiling of their critically acclaimed masterpiece The Chemistry Of Common Life , released on Matador Records in 2008, Fucked Up has been awarded with the prestigious Polaris Music Prize and cemented their place among the scene’s most promising bands.

When / Where:  Saturday, September 17 at 1:05pm – Rock Stage



Denzel Curry is the kind of rapper who embodies the true spirit of punk rock through the raw energy that permeates his music and stage presence. As part of a new wave in hip hop where shows erupt into aggressive mosh pits instead of slick dance battles, young rebels like Denzel Curry are making hip hop as punk as it’s ever been and proving that rappers are definitely the new rock stars.

When / Where:  Saturday, September 17 at 2:45pm – Rise Stage



New York rapper Joey Bada$$ has brought new life to the sounds of 90’s era hip hop with his classic mixtapes 1999  and Summer Knights . Since debuting on the scene in 2012 at the ripe age of 17, this artist has gained respect among hip hop’s elder statesman for his ability to channel a sound that’s far beyond his years.

When / Where:  Sunday, September 18 at 5:15pm – Rise Stage



Death Grips is an experimental punk-rap duo from Sacramento, California with a short, but rocky history who are known for their intense performances and a fanbase that includes everyone from Tyler The Creator to Bjork. Vocalist MC Ride has the kind of violent, destructive stage presence that’s so authentic, it’s almost unsettling to watch, but with some of music’s most respected gatekeepers giving Death Grips their nod of approval, this is definitely a show you need to witness first hand.

When / Where:  Sunday, September 18 at 7:45pm – Rise Stage