Riot Fest Chicago is set to take place this weekend from September 11-13 in Douglas Park, but a lawsuit filed earlier this week from St. Anthony Hospital, in an attempt to stop the festival altogether, has put the event in a tough spot (following the previous move from Humboldt Park due to community opposition). The hospital claims that the three-day event's “extreme noise” would be detrimental to its patients' health. The lawsuit allegedly stated, “The bottom line is that Saint Anthony's patients will not be able to peacefully heal when being forced to listen to heavy metal, rap and rock music blaring from stacked amplifiers just a few hundred feet away.” Riot Fest organizers claimed that the hospital threatened to sue if they weren't paid $158,000, which the hospital's chief spokesperson, Kathryn Grosso, denied. “We are not going to resort to name-calling and mudslinging. However, Riot Fest is lying, plain and simple,” she said (via Chicago Tribune).
Riot Fest and St. Anthony Hospital have since agreed on some terms in the 11th hour, so to speak, as the hospital has dropped its lawsuit. In a joint statement from Riot Fest partner Sean McKeough and St. Anthony CEO Guy Medaglia, they admit, “Unfortunately, passions ran high on both sides and motivations were questioned. Both sides regret their aggressive statements. Saint Anthony Hospital acknowledges that Riot Fest was not lying and Riot Fest acknowledges that Saint Anthony Hospital was not motivated by financial gain. Thankfully, calmer heads prevailed when we met today with city and police officials to work out the compromise for the benefit of the community.”
The compromises that have been agreed upon are as follows (via Chicagoist):
– Restoring parking on 19th Street in front of Saint Anthony Hospital
– Erection of pedestrian barricades on the west side of California Avenue
– Continual monitoring of traffic flow with a promise that should pedestrian and vehicular congestion make it difficult for emergency vehicles to access the hospital, traffic will be closed
– Sound monitoring within the hospital to protect patients