State Rep. La Shawn Ford, D-Chicago, says since profits from events go to the Chicago Park District’s general operations fund, the financial gains from Riot Fest don’t help his constituents directly. He has proposed a 2% community benefits tax.
Riot Fest received permit approval from the Chicago Park District Board of Commissioners on Wednesday, over the objections of opponents who’ve campaigned for more than a year to keep the festival out of Douglass Park.
The Foo Fighters, The Cure and Death Cab for Cutie are among the headliners announced Tuesday by Riot Fest. Whether they’ll take the stage is still up in the air.
Opponents want Riot Fest out of Douglass Park, but supporters of the festival say it has been an asset to the North Lawndale community.
A new policy gives Park District commissioners final say over permits for so-called “mega festivals.” It received its first test Wednesday.
On Wednesday, commissioners unanimously approved an amendment to the Park District’s code that gives members of the board the final say on permits for large-scale events held in the city's parks.
The latest damage comes after the park has been used for three massive Chicago festivals this summer: Summer Smash in June, Heatwave in July and Riot Fest this past weekend. Riot Fest alone brings some 40,000 attendees to the park each day.
An amendment has been proposed to the Chicago Park District code, which, if approved, would insert commissioners into the permit approval process for events drawing more than 10,000 attendees.
Where some see the return of Riot Fest as a step in the right direction for Chicago’s reopening, others say closing their neighborhood green space for a “riot for rich people” is a “slap in the face” to communities traumatized by COVID-19.
“His drive and passion really laid the groundwork for an environment for this culture to thrive,” said Louie Mendicino, Sean McKeough’s friend of 10 years. “He created a space for people to cultivate their art.”
Chicago music fans have a lot to look forward to this summer with the Grateful Dead and Lollapalooza making headlines here. But Humboldt Park neighbors rejected the return of Riot Fest. Rock critics Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis join us to talk about the headliners and the headlines.
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