Riot Fest is announcing its lineup early this year…one year early. That is because while the 2020 festival (scheduled for September 11-13 in Douglas Park) has been cancelled due to covid-19, the festival is plowing ahead with its first wave lineup announcement for 2021. Riot Fest 2021, scheduled for September 17-19 in Douglas Park, will include headliners My Chemical Romance, The Smashing Pumpkins, Run the Jewels, and Pixies, with additional acts including Coheed & Cambria, Taking Back Sunday, Lupe Fiasco, Vic Mensa, Sublime, Gogol Bordello, New Found Glory, Toots & the Maytalls, Les Savy Fav, Living Colour, Fishbone, and many more, with a second and third wave to be announced. For the first time, the 2021 festival will also include a Thursday night preview party on September 16 featuring “special performances from mystery bands” for 2020 ticketholders and those who purchase their 2021 tickets by July 15. Weekend passes for the 2021 festival are currently on sale for $150.
The long anticipated cancellation of Lollapalooza is finally official. One of North America’s largest music festivals, scheduled for July 30-August 2, has been shut down due to covid-19 concerns. Chicago’s biggest music festival brings in around 100,000 people per day over four days, a mass gathering that now seems unthinkable in the age of coronavirus. “The reality is, bringing 100,000 people en masse, in close quarters, which is what the daily head count is every single day at Lollapalooza, bringing that many people from all over the country, downtown, in Grant Park, every single day, we might as well just light ourselves on fire,” said Mayor Lori Lightfoot at a news conference announcing the cancellation. In its place, the festival is planning a weekend-long virtual edition to include livestreamed performances from Chicago and beyond, archival sets from past festivals both in Chicago and Lollapalooza’s six international editions, and “never-before-seen footage” from the early days of Lollapalooza in the 1990s. The full schedule is expected to be announced in July. PHOTO BY CHARLES REAGAN HACKLEMAN FOR LOLLAPALOOZA 2019
A quartet of local Chicago venues including Reggie’s, Cobra Lounge, Liar’s Club, and LiveWire Lounge have announced the creation of a new three-day music festival called Save the Rock N Roll Fest, scheduled to take place December 11-13, 2020. In addition to a “shitload of bands playing all weekend,” the event will also include live band karaoke, burlesque, comedy, bingo, a pig roast, and venue memorabilia raffles. Described as a “true Chicago rock fest,” proceeds from ticket sales will be divided between the four venues “in order to help keep open the rooms that host much of the local punk, metal, and hard rock scenes.” In addition, the Reggie’s bus fleet will be providing free shuttles between the four venues for the duration of the festival, which is designed to help “keep the rock scene alive in Chicago and come back stronger than ever.” Three-day passes are good for all four venues, and go on sale May 8 for $135. Tickets may be purchased on the Save the Rock N Roll Fest website.
In the biggest domino to fall yet in a young but already nightmarish year for Chicago live music, Pitchfork Music Festival has cancelled its 2020 edition due to Covid-19. The festival, which was scheduled for July 17-19 in Chicago’s Union Park, was to host a star-studded lineup in honor of the festival’s 15th anniversary headlined by Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Run the Jewels, and The National. “It can be pretty daunting to think about the future of live music right now,” the festival notes on its website, “but know that we are fully committed to bringing Pitchfork Music Festival back in 2021, if the public health situation allows for it.” In the meantime, the festival is planning additional livestreams “and more ways to use the full weight of Pitchfork to support musicians and the community around our festival.”