Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails return to Chicago to headline Riot Fest, set for Sept. 17-19 at Douglass Park. // Associated Press

Riot Fest adds Nine Inch Nails to headliners; three-day passes sold out

Riot Fest organizers announced Nine Inch Nails will be headlining the fest as three-day passes fly out of the box office.

Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails just won an Oscar. Now he will headline Riot Fest.

Fest organizers put the icing on the cake Friday when they announced the final headliners for the 2021 festival, including Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees Nine Inch Nails at the top of the list.

A month ago, fest fans were hit with the news My Chemical Romance — which was originally scheduled to headline in 2020 before COVID-19 pushed the fest to 2021 — was further postponing its long-awaited reunion until Riot Fest 2022, leaving organizers with a lot of question marks on this year’s lineup poster.

Today many of those gaps were filled in as a huge wave of lineup additions was posted and three-day passes went on sale for not only 2021, but next year’s fest, too.

Nine Inch Nails, Run The Jewels and The Smashing Pumpkins head up the fest’s hallmark eclectic roster — a healthy mix of punk, pop, rock, rap, folk, electronica and more — set for Sept. 17-19, 2021, at Douglass Park, at Ogden Avenue and Sacramento Drive in Chicago. Plus GWAR is back. And local talent is on board with Vic Mensa, Beach Bunny and The Lawrence Arms on the roster.

While passes for the 2021 festival flew out of the box office, single-day passes and even more bands will be announced next week. Find details at

Three-day passes for the Sept. 16-18, 2022, Riot Fest are also on sale now, starting at $155. So far, only My Chemical Romance has been announced for next year’s festival.

Riot Fest is allowing 2021 ticketholders to transfer passes to 2022. Visit for more information.

The rest of the lineup (at least what we know of until next week’s announcement) includes:

• Nine Inch Nails

• The Smashing Pumpkins

• Run The Jewels

• Pixies

• Faith No More


• Mr. Bungle

• Coheed And Cambria

• Taking Back Sunday

• Dirty Heads

• Sublime With Rome

• Lupe Fiasco (performing The Cool)

• Vic Mensa


• New Found Glory

• Circle Jerks

• Simple Plan

• Dinosaur Jr.

• The Ghost Inside

• Gogol Bordello

• Motion City Soundtrack

• Thrice

• Circa Survive

• State Champs

• The Mighty Mighty Bosstones

• K.Flay

• Best Coast

• Bayside

• The Lawrence Arms

• Les Savy Fav

• Meg Myers

• Mayday Parade

• Hospital Bracelet

• Beach Bunny

• Big Freedia

• Andrew W.K.

• The Bled


• Fever 333

• Living Colour

• Saves The Day

• Thursday

• The Sounds

• Mother Mother

• Hepcat

• Alex G

• Anti-Flag

• Joywave

• Fishbone

• Kennyhoopla

• Health

• The Gories

• Amigo The Devil

• White Lung

• Ratboys

• Beach Goons

• Eyedress

• Meet Me @ The Altar

• Night Moves

• Seratones

• Just Friends

• Radkey

• Holy Fawn

• Melkbelly

• Ganser

• Pup

COVID-19 precautions

• Sanitation and hand-washing stations will be located across festival grounds.

• Local and state regulations regarding health screenings and masks will be followed.

• Cleaning and sanitation measures for bathrooms, water stations and other public areas will be in place.

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