NORTH LAWNDALE — Riot Fest will share its plans with West Siders at a community meeting next week as the fest looks to return to Douglass Park.
The meeting is 6:30-8 p.m. April 6 at LEARN Charter School’s Romano Butler Campus, 1132 S. Homan Ave. A flyer for the meeting says neighbors are invited to hear from the fest’s leaders as they “share new ideas for improvements on Riot Fest 2023 in Douglass Park.”
The Park District did not respond to requests for comment about the event.
The festival has been held at Douglass Park, 1401 S. Sacramento Drive, for years — but it’s faced fierce opposition from some neighbors, who want it gone. That opposition peaked last year when three major events — Riot Fest, Lyrical Lemonade’s Summer Smash and the Heatwave Festival — were held at the park during the summer and early fall.
This year, Riot Fest’s organizers have applied for Park District approval to host the fest Sept. 15-17 at Douglass Park.
But the festival’s return hinges on its organizers getting the Park District’s OK — and the agency has changed its rules to take neighbors’ input into consideration for such events.
Last year, neighbors said the festivals shut down a large portion of the park for a broad swathe of the summer, forcing out youth sports teams and leaving behind trash and broken glass.
After their pushback, the Park District approved new rules requiring community input about events in public parks.
Some neighbors have continued to oppose hosting Riot Fest at Douglass Park. Earlier this month, people ranging from health care workers to residents spoke against the event during a Park District board meeting.
Listen to the Block Club Chicago podcast: