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Heading to Riot Fest this September? Well, Chicago is a big city with great public transportation options! (You know what we’re getting at here.) Along with the organizers of Riot Fest, we would strongly urge you to use those public transit options to get to the festival. You’ll save time, money, and the headache of finding a parking spot close to the festival, plus it’s more environmentally friendly! Of course, for whatever reason, we know that some of you will still need to drive. So here’s a briefing on Riot Fest parking and alternative transportation options, as well as how to use Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) services to get to Douglas Park!

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Riot Fest Parking

There’s no overnight parking, no camping, and no open fires allowed! (So definitely don’t plan on leaving your car there.) And don’t park on the residential streets around Douglas Park either!

Keep checking the Riot Fest site for more parking updates for 2019.

So if you must park, that’s it. But don’t say we didn’t warn you about Chicago traffic. Or finding a designated driver. Or the fact that there’s limited parking available on site…

How to use Public Transportation to get to Riot Fest

Riot Fest is conveniently located near several CTA stops, so there’s no reason not to use public transportation! Also, it’s cheap! Douglas Park is next to a blue CTA bus line ($2.25 per ride), the pink rail line ($2.50), and the Metra rail ($4.00 – $8.25). You can also get a three-day CTA Pass for $20 if you plan on sightseeing a little while you’re in Chicago. Riot Fest works with CTA to increase services and frequency to and from Douglas Park during the festival so you can get there quickly and easily.

We’d also like to remind you to consider staying near these public transit lines when booking accommodation for Riot Fest to make life a little simpler. You’re welcome!

If you want the most convenient transportation to Riot Fest, take the train. The pink line’s California Avenue stop is located just around the corner from Douglas Park at the intersection of West Ogden Avenue and South Sacramento Drive. Once you exit the train, walk north on California, take a left on 19th Street and then a right on Albany Avenue to reach the festival entrance. Head north and make a right on Sacramento Drive. (Or you know, just use your phone’s GPS and maps, guys.) It’s less than three quarters of a mile walking.

There will also be several CTA buses available. There’s a bus stop right by Douglas Park at California and Ogden. (You can check out the CTA map and bus tracker here!) We don’t have all the details, but Google Maps does. The buses stop all along 16th Street between Kedzie, Albany, Ogden, and California. Try the 157 Bus from the Magnificent Mile and Little Italy, the 18 Bus from the South Loop, or Bus 21 from Chinatown. Seriously, Google Maps is your friend…

If you’re taking the BNSF Metra Line, be sure to get off at Western Avenue. Check out the schedule ahead of time as there may be additional stops added during Riot Fest.

 

Other ways to get to Riot Fest

Take a cab. Duh.

There are obviously ride sharing options available too. If you want to arrive (or depart) in style with friends, grab an Uber or a Lyft. There will be designated drop-off points at Douglas Park during Riot Fest so this is probably the easiest transportation option if you’re being lazy and just don’t want to think or plan.

Chicago also offers a bikeshare program called Divvy and there will be plenty of bike racks at Riot Fest! Last year, there was bike parking available at Albany and 19th Street and a valet service by Working Bikes (for a small donation). Do be careful biking home though! If you decide to ride a bike to Riot Fest, check out the map above for bike routes and bike parking. And don’t forget your helmet!

For the past two years, Chicago live music venue Reggies has offered a free Rock Bus shuttle to Riot Fest for fans, departing multiple times each day from their locale at 2109 State Street and returning after the festival each night. It’s only for the 21+ crowd, but hey, it’s FREE! And particularly convenient if you’re staying anywhere in Chinatown, the Prairie District, or Near South Side. They might do it again this year – stay tuned for details! We’ll keep you posted on the free stuff.


The festival is over by 10PM each night. Just have some kind of plan for how you’ll get home, guys!

For more transportation and parking information (and handy maps!), be sure to check out Riot Fest’s location guide with steps for how to use CTA, Metra, and Taxis/Ride Share, as well as a guide to biking and parking at Riot Fest. Be sure to keep checking their site for more 2019 updates in case things change!

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