The Kinzie Street bridge. Credit: DNAinfo

RIVER NORTH — Monday marks 18 years since a group of people taking a river cruise were hit with poop from Dave Matthews Band’s tour bus.

It was the afternoon of Aug. 8. 2004, when people on an architectural boat cruise traveling along the Chicago River got an unwelcome surprise while passing under the Kinzie Street Bridge. The Dave Matthews Band tour bus was driving across the bridge at the same time and someone onboard dumped 800 pounds of human waste on top of the open air cruise’s passengers.

A Chicago Tribune reporter was among the passengers hit with human waste and the newspaper described the substance excreted by the tour bus as a “foul ‘liquid substance’” and “horrific.”

The jam band’s tour bus driver admitted to the dumping and reportedly paid a fine, served 1½ years probation and performed community service. 

The band, known for huge outdoor shows, a string of hits and environmental activism, later donated $50,000 to the Chicago Park District “to begin the healing process,” according to reports.

In 2015 a sign was posted at the Kinzie Street Bridge asking people to remember the infamous incident.

“In August 2004, at this very location, a DMB tour bus dumped 800 pounds of poo on some people. #NEVERFORGET #ALWAYSREMEMBER,” the sign said.

Chicagoans continue to remember that infamous day almost two decades later by posting about it on social media.


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Lincoln Square, North Center, Irving Park reporterrnrnalex@blockclubchi.orgnnLincoln Square, North Center, Irving Park reporterrnrnalex@blockclubchi.org Twitter @avhndz