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In Your Ear: Jill Hopkins Shares her Guide for Riot Fest 2019

Written by on September 11, 2019

https___cdn.evbuc.com_images_62988634_252209030880_1_original.jpgThis year marks the 15th anniversary of Riot Fest.

What started as a multi-venue punk rock festival has grown into one of the largest independently-owned music fests in the country. It is also the indicator that summer is drawing to a close, and with it, Festival Season.

Vocalo’s Jill Hopkins has been attending the fest since its infancy and has some advice for you if you need some focus or some clarity… 



The Violent Femmes 

Friday: 5:30-6:30

Roots Stage

The Midwest is the best! Milwaukee’s Violent Femmes are legends who were emo in the purest sense of the word. Their first albums dealt in EMOTIONS, y’all. Teenage feelings. Angsty, hormonal, bratty, fe-motions that are still sing-alongable all these years later as angsty adults. You’ll join your fellow feelings-havers in “Blister in the Sun”, “Add It Up”, “Gone Daddy Gone” and other tracks from the soundtrack of your high school life. 



Saturday: 2:45-3:30

Riot Stage

In the words of Riot Fest founder, Mike Petryshyn, “Go see GWAR from the Ferris wheel and have a corn dog.” Sounds good to us. Everyone should see GWAR at least once.

And the Ferris wheel may be just the place to see them for those of us who don’t want to be covered in fake bodily fluids from GWAR’s annual inevitably gory set. If you like your social commentary served up with thunderous riffs, out-of-this-world costumes, and the most vulgarity you’ll see during the day, GWAR’s got you covered. This set isn’t for kids, just so you know, but your inner kid will probably giggle their face off. 


The Selecter

Saturday: 3:25-4:15

Radicals Stage

The Selecter is participating in one of the best parts of Riot Fest: The Album Play Set. We’re going to get to hear their entire debut album, Too Much Pressure, in honor of the band’s 40th birthday. There weren’t a whole lot of mutil-cultural, Black woman-fronted 2 Tone bands that worked their world’s racial and social themes into their lyrics, and they feel just as important and relevant today.
Pauline Black and her band are bringing Rude Boy/Rude Girl chic to the West Side, and we stan. 


Wu-Tang Clan

Saturday: 7:30-8:30 

Radicals Stage

They’re the Wu-Tang Clan. I could go on, but do I have to? You know and I know that we’re all going to be there. They know it, too. Let’s not disappoint them. 


Village People 

Sunday: 2:35-3:20

Radicals Stage

There are two separate Facebook events related to the 70s icons’ Riot Fest debut: A “YMCA” Wall of Death and a “Macho Man” Circle Pit. We want to see what happens, don’t you? 

Gather your crew, call dibs on being the Construction Worker, and witness the moment when people find out that disco never actually sucked, Steve Dahl just couldn’t dance. 


The B-52s 

Sunday: 5:15-6:15

Radicals Stage

I sweatergawd, if someone interrupts me for anything other than to make the animal noises during “Rock Lobster”, we’re gonna have a problem. This is the Athens, GA kings and queens of weird’s farewell tour, and I already have goosebumps thinking about the shared festival joy of tens of thousands of people sreaming “TIIIIIIIIN ROOOOOF…RUSTED” in unison. Fred, Cindy, Kate, and Keith just want us to be happy, y’all. Let’s go and be happy. 


Bikini Kill

Sunday: 8:30-9:45

Riot Stage

The original Riot Grrrls are closing out Riot Fest on the Riot Stage. I love it when the stars align. Did you know that Kathleen Hanna follows Vocalo on Twitter? It’s true! Be sure to tag us when you tag her to tell the band that you love them…and us…and feminism.




Check out our interview with Riot Fest Founder, “Riot” Mike Petryshyn below!

He and Jill talked the festival, the 15-year milestone, and who Mike’s looking forward to seeing this year. 

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Riot Fest takes place on September 13-15, 2019 at Douglas Park in Chicago. Visit their website for more information and the weekend’s full schedule. 

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