Riot Fest recently launched their “Beyond The Fest” initiative which was born from community meetings, large and small. As we have previously reported, certain residents of the surrounding neighborhood where Riot Fest is held annually have spoken out regarding how they are affected by the festival which draws thousands of people per day. As a response, the festival has partnered with various entities in the neighborhood and the city of Chicago. New programs include local talent from North Lawndale and Little Village, local vendors from free vendor workshops, and a White Sox Youth Camp which was held on August 20th.
Each week the fest will be rolling out more exciting news, for this unprecedented set of programs partnering an independent music festival and its surrounding community. In addition to these new programs, park clean-ups and local hiring continue. Because of the deeper connection into the community, the fest has seen a 3-fold increase in job applications locally, building the momentum of the past, with over 600 applications returned.
Chicago’s west side have been a hotbed of incredible music since the founding of the city, and Riot Fest is committed to showcasing the phenomenal talent in the community. “Beyond the Fest” launched a local talent contest, with the three winners performing at the festival out of 70 applicants. Catch hip-hop artist 1300cadoe on Saturday, and indie rock brother/sister duo Future Nobodies and hardcore group Through n Through on Sunday.
Riot Fest’s “Beyond the Fest” hosted two vendor workshops, the first program of it’s kind to be launched by a festival. Free to neighborhood residents, where they presented a 67 page comprehensive and customized presentation on finance, equipment, food safety, sanitation and much more for aspiring entrepreneurs. Twenty-nine local businesses participated, and ten of them earned a free booth at the festival. Winners include Alberta’s BBQ, Brunch n’ Burgers, Box Lunch Cafe, Yum Yum Lemonade, Bombon Cake Gallery & Cafe, Los Comales, 3 Kings Jerk and Soul LLC, Ida’s Ice Cream, Lindsay Italian Ice, Corgwell Catering and Taqueria Mi Lindo Mexico. Riot Fest’s app featured a GPS-based restaurants in North Lawndale and Little Village last year, which received over 12,000 searches, an expanded version will be available this year.
Keep checking back for more about Riot Fest and the Beyond the Fest initiative!