The Chicago Park District told Extra News it estimated 159,000 went to Chicago’s Riot Fest last weekend. Heavy rain on Friday created a mud field that only began to dry on Sunday. In 2013 the festival paid $54,300 to restore the park but this year’s Riot Fest took up twice as much of the park compared to last year’s festival. The park district expects to have an estimate of damages to Humboldt Park on Thursday.
Michael “Riot Mike” Petryshyn, Riot Fest’s founder and managing partner, shared this statement with Extra News about restoring Humboldt Park:
Riot Fest is grateful to the City of Chicago and, specifically, the residents and businesses of Humboldt Park. The park is really the star of Riot Fest and we know it is the key reason why it makes the community one of the best in the city. And I speak from experience; I live just steps away from the park and enjoy it almost daily.
Because the park is as important to me as it is to the city, we will make certain that the park be restored as soon as possible. Indeed, not only do we want the park restored, we want it improved. I have directed our staff to initiate meetings with the [Chicago] Park District on how we can partner with them to make permanent infrastructure improvements over the coming months. We want to improve the park because we want to make it the permanent home of Riot Fest. We don’t take our commitment to the community and the park for granted.
If Riot Fest, alongside the Chicago Park District, can rehabilitate the park to the needed standards (beyond reseeding and aeration), the entirety of the 26th and surrounding wards — its residents and
businesses — only stand to benefit. And, that’s what we want. Make no doubt about it: as a resident of Humboldt Park, I want to be the leader in making Humboldt Park Chicago’s best and most modern natural resource. And, I know I can.