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What Were People Willing to Riot for at Riot Fest?

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When you think of a festival, especially a very sizable one (40-50k fans a day), you don’t usually expect the progressiveness – or for them to be a community-involved non-profit – that we see from Riot Fest. With that said, plus all of that is going on in this world, it’s understandable that artists and fans alike all had something they were willing to riot about.

We didn’t even get to ask Karen O. what she was willing to riot about, the second we mentioned rioting, she colorfully agreed with a “YEAH! YEAH! YEAH!”

When we asked the band Destroy Boys if their name had anything to do with their cause, they happily and maniacally laughed!

“Don’t let anyone hold you back from what makes you glow your brightest!” sang these colorful and contemplative fans.

Alexa, play “Think Locally, Fuck Globally” by Gogol Bordello (a ‘gypsy’ punk band who has rallied for so many human rights causes)

“Whatever you’re ready to riot for, surround yourself with those who will lift you up!” screamed this smiling surfer.

Mannequin Pussy’s bassist was all about body (and hair) positivity for everyone!

“There’s always a devil behind this smile, ready to riot whenever necessary!”

“Representation and equality in all sports!” was the backside backstory for this shred queen.

“Don’t ask me, ask them!” referring to the growing crowd reflecting off the glasses of No Trigger’s frontperson. Then they added, “Fuck Nazis!”.

We might not know a lot of ASL but we do know that Riot Fest understands accessibility for ALL communities! (And that we’re all pushing for more festivals to do the same.)

“Sometimes even just showing what gives you joy is the perfect way to riot against those who are trying to take it away!”

The Lunachicks were all about “be the fucking princess you deserve to be and not letting anyone, especially the government, tell you anything otherwise”.

The frontperson of supergroup L.S. Dunes joined the Lunachicks in solidarity with a princess tiara of their own (and passed the crown the likeminded crowd).

Coolio channeled his inner Malcolm and rapped about “protecting a gangster’s paradise by any means necessary”. Huey P. would be proud!

Seriously just read the NPR article about Zola Jesus titled, “Zola Jesus finds purpose in the process”.

Fronthuman of the currently diverse band, Foxy Shazam, belted “Whatever you’re willing to riot for, do it glam!”.

Congrats to this couple – who not only got married at Riot Fest but 100% support all marriage equality and those who never plan on getting hitched!

Out of all the things, the OG Legend Ice Cube could’ve rapped to us to riot about, it always comes down to that one N.W.A. anthem, ‘Fuck tha Police’!

“Regardless of the reason to fight, I’m always going to bring a little kiss of riot to the cause!” as poutily proclaimed by his beautiful being of a bartender.

Bridge City Sinners weren’t fiddling (bro, we know it’s a banjo) around any of the causes they satanically conjured up – including how you could always friend their fronthuman supporting other female-facing artists because, “empowered women, empower women”.

If you’ve never listened to Bad Religion just check out their discography and you get the gist of it.

Ryan Key would definitely give AT LEAST a yellow card to anyone committing a prejudice or racist foul toward anyone else.

What this guy’s shirt says. Seriously, females in leadership positions in cannabis have dropped from 37% to 22%.

The look of disbelief from Surfbort’s fronthuman as if to say, “What the fuck are we NOT willing to riot for?”

War on Women’s fronthuman howled, “It’s time go above being pissed-off ladies and conjure up some really witchy shit!”

Sleater-Kinney’s Carrie Brownstein just gave us a stare like, “You’re asking me this right NOW/where do I start?”. Author note – read her book, ‘Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl’.

When you get so excited about being seen in a zine, “Everyone should check out, ‘WEIRDO: The zine uniting the South Asian alternative community’.”

Bob Vylan could give a bloody fuck less about the queen and launched himself into the crowd during borderline political rap protest song, “England’s Ending”.

THICK were the fully-female-fronted punk protestresses who are done with ‘Mansplaining’ (the condescending thing, not their raw defiant track of the same name… ah shit I think I just mansplained, that’s truly my bad).

“Puppets are people too but not all people need to be puppets!”

Her shirt, his nails. Pro-choice is for healthcare and nail flare.

Wargasm was another set of feisty Brits who were down with smashing the m/patriacrhy, ending ethnocentricism, and irradicating the imperial.

“More responsibility on social media! For all those to enjoy the joy of others enjoying joy with no judgment.”

cumgirl8 didn’t hop around the fact that the internet was a much safer place when we just had annoyed away messages on AIM.

“Curls are for boys AND girls (and nonbinary)!”

Put your hands in the air if you’d like consent and comfort everywhere!

The sweet ska-ster, Jeff Rosenstock, said “Don’t ask me, it’s everyone else above me whose voices matters more right now!” – we’re still not sure how he knew where he’d be positioned in this photo essay but we do believe his voice matters a lot as well!

For all of the charitable happenings, upcoming events, shows, and lineups (plus a hella hilarious and sassy social media presence) head to and check them out on Instagram and Twitter. For 80+ more photos of Riot Fest 2022, march your way here!

Tune in next year where we’ll (try) and bring you exclusive BTS coverage – behind the scenes, not K-Pop legends… although, Riot Fest has always surprised us!

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Curtis Schabath

Curtis Schabath

Detroiter, dog dad, and down-to-earth dude. Living the creative lifestyle and crusading for quality causes all while adoring alliterations. You can trust 95% of what Curtis says and 100% of what he does (he's vegan and a volunteer after all). He can often be heard misquoting common idioms, his favorite; "Better safe than safari" - but he'll never misquote a rap lyric or movie quote from the 80s-00s.