CHICAGO (WLS) -- Riot Fest 2023 will go on in September at Douglass Park in North Lawndale as planned, after getting park district approval Wednesday.
Some members of the community had held passionate protests demanding the popular music festival be moved.
"I'm sick of our richest whitest communities getting all of the resources, and they don't have to have festivals to get their resources but our Black and brown working class communities have to fight and take crumbs," said Warren Williams.
The largest of the events considered was Riot Fest, which is expected to bring 50,000 people to Douglass Park over three days in September. The Chicago Park District Board of Commissioners approved the festival for the 11th year.
"Douglass Park is not a suitable venue, and no matter what happens, or what promises are made, or what Riot Fest is doing, it does not change the fact that there are two festivals adjacent to Douglass Park," said resident Florina Florea.
There was also vocal support for the music festival, especially after organizers added more support and programming for the community.
"It really is a celebration of community and we are really looking to raise the bar and create a new model on how festivals actually engage with communities," said George Herrera, director of community relations for Riot Fest.
"It give us an opportunity to really show off our community and show the positive aspects of our community, to show that we can attract visitors to our community and be known for something other than some of the negative things," said North Lawndale resident Marcus Betts.
Park District General Superintendent and CEO Rosa Escareno acknowledged Riot Fest had not initially been a good neighbor, but is encouraged by the changes and possibilities moving forward.
"We want Riot Fest to be part of the community. If they are going to have a life in Douglass Park and into the future they need to make sure they are working with community," she said.