Chicago might not need more three-day summer music festivals, but we keep getting them. The latest entry into the pool is Riverwest, an electronic music event that fills the void left by Wavefront, essentially bringing the same acts that appeared on Montrose Beach in 2013.
Well, most of them. Rusko, perhaps the biggest name on the bill, bailed. Erick Morillo, who was initially announced, seemingly had no plans to show up. He was in Brazil, on his way to Ibiza, which seems like the better option.
Perhaps that was the first sign something was not quite right. Riverwest was held along the west bank of the Chicago River at Division Street. Ticket-holders (three-day passes ran $100–$169.99, while single-day access cost $50–$69.99) reported of being denied access to the Belvedere Terrace Stage, one of the three main stages billed, set atop the roof of Estate nightclub. This Belvedere stage was 21+, unlike the rest of the event, which caters to a young EDM fanbase. Additional fees were charged for access as well. Naturally, some of the bigger names, and the late headliners, were booked there.
There is a Facebook group set up to demand refunds. Negative comments on the official Riverwest page have reportedly been erased (though not all of them). Some fans are crying scam. We've attempted to contact Riverwest's publicist; we'll keep you posted when/if we get a response.
That didn't stop a sizeable crowd of bros and girls from raging. In our photos you can see hundreds of ravers covered in neon and ink, plastic cup in hand. Hey, at least people showed up, unlike at Third Rail. But we might have reached our saturation point.