photograph: Jeff callen

This weekend, Humboldt Park will become a punk rock fairground when the massively entertaining Riot Fest and Carnival heads back to its home turf. From party makers Andrew W.K. to the new Power Rangers (Japan’s Peelander-Z), there’s a little something for everyone.

Here’s a guide to the fun—from A to Z.


Attractions There’s more to the fest than music; take a set break on the Ferris Wheel or learn how to perfect your headlock from the Lucha Libre wrestling league.

Blondie No peroxide jokes here, Debbie Harry and crew still got it going on four decades later. (Saturday, 6:45 p.m., The Roots Stage)

Coats As in, bring one. Friday’s high is only 65.

Danzig & Doyle It’s double trouble as Misfits guitarist Doyle joins Danzig on the 25th anniversary tour of his first self-titled debut. (Friday, 9:30 p.m., Rise Stage)

Earworm What you’ll be suffering from after seeing Blink-182. (Saturday, 9:45 p.m., Riot Stage)

Fast Food Get in line for food trucks and stands or check out the festival’s picks for neighborhood spots. Note, there is NO re-entry so nosh on your own time.

GWAR Halloween comes early with these costumed crazies who stir things up with NSFW lyrics and stage props. (Friday, 7:30 p.m., Rise Stage)

Hot Tickets Three-day passes are now sold out, but you can still get single day admission for just under $60/day. Buy yours here.

Indie Giants Dinosaur, Jr., Guided By Voices, and Bob Mould provide the shade.

Jessie and the Rippers The surprise act of the weekend? Still no confirmation, but the team behind Riot Fest has been on a mission to get Uncle Jesse to make an appearance.

Kleptos Avoid them by locking up your stuff. Lockers are available for rent, and an upgrade includes unlimited cell phone charging.

Locals Chicago is well represented in Riot’s 2013 lineup, from headliners Fall Out Boy and legends such as Screeching Weasel and The Lawrence Arms and emo giants Smoking Popes. Newbies like Twin Peaks, Maps & Atlases, and White Mystery are just as noteworthy.

Motorhead We were sad to hear the legendary rockers had to cancel due to the ongoing health problems of frontman Lemmy Kilmister, but the Riot team has vowed to try to get him back next year.

Nine Lives This is the fest’s ninth year; and to think it all started out as a fan mission. Well done, Mike Petryshyn, well done.

Open Mic Saul Williams brings his own form of melodic slam poetry to the park. (Friday, 4:45 p.m., Riot Stage)

Post Shows If you can finagle tickets, Andrew W.K., Against Me!, and Quicksand are our picks each night. 

Quick Melting Hurry to see the John Stamos butter statue before it fades faster than his mullet.

Reunions Who else but Riot Fest would have gotten The Replacements to reunite? The fest has a history for bringing the bands back together, including The Jesus and Mary Chain, Screeching Weasel, and Naked Raygun.

Say Anything The band dropped out due to medical issues, so update your schedule accordingly.

Twitter Bored or need info? Riot Fest’s Twitter feed provides entertainment and updates. Follow @RiotFest.

Up and Comers We know, we know, The Replacements. But you’d be remiss to not see fresh faces like Kitten, Surfer Blood, The Interrupters, and Pet Symmetry.

Ventra It’s a great weekend to try out that new public trans card. What, did you think there’d be easy parking?

Women Roar Joan Jett and Dessa prove that ladies got something to get off their chest, too.

X As in the band, X. L.A. punk pioneers John Doe and Exene Cervenka show the young’uns how it’s done. (Saturday, 1:45 p.m., Roots Stage)

Your Fest Create your own custom schedule and share with friends, if you dare.

Zobots Peelander-Z are a new form of robots, Japanese comic action figures that also look uncannily like Power Rangers. (Sunday, 2:30 p.m., Rebel Stage)

Riot Fest runs Friday, September 13 through Sunday, September 15 at Humboldt Park.