The best of Riot Fest Denver

Categories: Music Festivals


Riot Fest Denver was very well put together. The good things far outweighed the bad. In fact, any complaints we might have are incidental and barely worth mentioning, or they're inherent to the location or simply beyond organizers control. The lineup was obviously the best thing about Riot Fest Denver, but there was plenty else to love. Continue on for the best of Riot Fest Denver.

See also: Iggy and the Stooges and The Replacements at Riot Fest Denver


Completely easy to navigate with vendors on the north end of the grounds and a trio of stages set up parallel to each other on the south end, divided by carnival rides and games sprinkled throughout, it was surprisingly easy to make your way around Riot Fest.


Outdoor mixes are hit or miss, mostly miss. Sound is often marred by phasing generated by wind gusts or the mix just isn't very satisfying; the lows are too low, or the guitars are thin, or the mixes are muddy. While the mix was a little shrill and piercing during Airborne Toxic Event's set on the Rock Stage and there was some slapback happening here and there, to our ears, the sound was otherwise pretty solid, better than a lot of outdoor shows of this scale that we've seen. Word has it that organizers trucked in their own gear from Chicago, and if true, the added expense was worth it.

Hydrate if you're going to celebrate.

Being cognizant of the dangers of dehydration, particularly among countless consumers imbibing, the first-aid tent took active steps to mitigate cases of heat exhaustion by handing out free bottles of water. Although the supply ran out sometime around five or six o'clock, the gesture in itself was noteworthy and appreciated.


From the Dear Hunter giving props to KTCL for being the first station to play them ("I never thought I'd be saying this, but this next song you might've heard on the radio"), to the Dismemberment Plan talking about the time it played the Climax Lounge, to the Replacements talking about buying their shirts at Rockmont to then taking a poke at a perennially popular local jam-band ("My time here...I hope I get some quality time with the String Cheese Incident"), Riot Fest Denver didn't feel like just another tour stop.

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