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Remove Riot Fest from Humboldt Park

This petition had 1,342 supporters


The Riot Fest festival has caused unacceptable damage, denied lengthy access to the community, created many negative issues for surrounding residents, and produced ecological destruction to the park.

For these reasons, Humboldt Park Citizens Against Riot Fest respectfully ask our Alderman Maldonado,  Chicago Park District and Mayor Rahm Emanuel to deny any permits that will allow the Riot Fest festival to continue in Humboldt Park.

In 2014, to the objection of many community residents, the festival grew to over 4X its original size and occupied the entire park. Not only were residents, sports groups and local park vendors denied access to the entire park, the set-up and breakdown of the festival caused major disruption of traditional events and access for residents for almost three weeks. Contrary to what festival organizers claim  the community and businesses around the park did not benefit from the experience.

In comparison, The area of the traditional annual Puerto Rican Festival is less than 20% the size of last years Riot Fest festival.

We believe that it was an extreme lapse in judgement by Riot Fest organizers, perhaps due to their lack of consideration for the park and its community, that resulted in unacceptable damage to the majority of the Park. To date many repairs have not been completed and we can no longer count on promises by Riot Fest to respect Humboldt Park.

The Humboldt Park Citizens against Riot Fest are opposed to the event for the following reasons:

  • The Riot Fest festival is too big for the park - it is not sustainable there. 
  • The attendance at the event far exceeds original expectations and the park's historic design and infrastructure can no longer support it.
  • The size of the festival lends itself to require a longer setup and breakdown time that along with the actual event, creates an unacceptable amount of time that the park is occupied.
  • Historical activities in the park such as our soccer and baseball leagues were disrupted for over three weeks or more.
  • Access to the entire park was denied to the community for an unacceptable amount of time. 
  • The festival footprint lends itself to cause major damage to an unacceptable size of the park every year. In 2014, the amount of damage caused the majority of the park to be unusable for the year. Humboldt Park was lost for the fall 2014 season.
  • An important and traditional activity in the park, softball leagues, were disrupted as many of the 16 baseball fields were damaged. Many continue to be damaged.
  • To date there are still repairs that have not been completed as promised. 
  • Riot Fest organizers were unavailable to park administrators to discuss park repairs immediately after the festival.
  • An enormous amount of ecological damage takes place in the park with a festival this size.
  • Over 10 vendors that traditionally operate in the park lost business due to the above mentioned.
  • Issues between drunk & drug induced fest goers and neighborhood residents.
  • Denying the community access to the park and destroying it in the process is not worth any amount of money. Our parks belong to the people and should not be for sale.
  • The Riot Fest Festival has had a history of being banned from other cities and parks for similar reasons to those listed above.

We the Humboldt Park Citizens against Riot Fest simply want to protect and preserve our park.

Let your voice be heard! Urge 26th ward Alderman Maldonado, the Chicago Park District and Mayor Rahm Emanuel to protect the park by NOT allowing Riot Fest to remain in Humboldt Park and to NOT issue Riot Fest permits to operate in the Park.



Today: Citizens of Humboldt Park Against Riot Fest is counting on you

Citizens of Humboldt Park Against Riot Fest needs your help with “26th Ward Alderman Roberto Maldonado, City of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Chicago Park District Michael P. Kelly: Remove Riot Fest from Humboldt Park”. Join Citizens of Humboldt Park Against Riot Fest and 1,341 supporters today.