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Morrissey performing at RIot Fest
Photograph: Neal O'Bryan

Riot Fest adds new headliners as Nine Inch Nails cancels its tour

Metal act Slipknot and singer-songwriter Morrissey are joining the party in Douglass Park.

Zach Long
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Zach Long
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Riot Fest is less than a month away, but the festival's lineup is once again in flux due to Nine Inch Nails' decision to cancel all of the band's remaining 2021 performances. "When originally planned, these shows were intended to be a cathartic return to live music. However, with each passing day it’s becoming more apparent we’re not at that place yet," the band said in a statement.

Nine Inch Nails was originally scheduled to close out this year's Riot Fest, headlining Douglass Park on Sunday, September 19. Today, organizers announced that costumed heavy metal act Slipknot will serve as the new Sunday night headliner, while Riot Fest-alum Morrissey will top the bill at the festival's previously-announced "preview party" on Thursday, September 16. Refunds for Sunday ticket holders who no longer want to attend the event will be available through Monday, August 23 at 11:59pm.

While access to the "preview party" was previously limited to anyone who purchased Riot Fest 2021 tickets last year, but now anyone with a three-day pass or a Sunday ticket. Anyone else will be able to purchase a ticket to the Thursday show for $45, with all proceeds benefitting the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless.

According to a release, Morrissey "will curate a selection of special guests to perform exclusively on Thursday." Adhering to Morrissey's requirement that no meat products be served at his performances, Riot Fest will offer an exclusively vegetarian menu to attendees for the entire day on Thursday.

"So we wanted to open the gates to everyone in a fair way, while still respecting our loyal fans who received free Thursday passes for keeping their tickets through thick and thin," Riot Fest co-founder Michael Petryshyn said about the decision to increase access to the Thursday night lineup. "Giving Thursday’s ticket proceeds back to our Chicago community feels like the perfect win-win scenario. It makes our Thursday Preview Party feel extra special: it’s now a gift to our whole community, whether you’re there or not."

Take a look at the updated Riot Fest 2021 lineup below and stay tuned for daily schedules for the festival, which should be revealed sometime before gates open in September.

Riot Fest 2021 lineup poster
Courtesy Riot Fest

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