Riot Fest Denver | Sports Authority Field at Mile High | September 19-21

The Riot Fest crowd catching 3OH3! (Photo Credit: Robert Castro)

Ahh, Riot Fest. A weekend filled with punk mutants, vomiting girls, carnies and "under-butt". For those of you that don’t follow us on Instagram and Twitter, "under butt" is what happens when girls wear high wasted shorts and half their butt hangs out. Why do we mention this? we love it. With asses and beer galore, we were able to sit back, relax (with Slayer blaring) and take in yet another beautiful Riot Fest. This weekend officially marked the end of festival season for the year, and we certainly made the most of our final hours with funnel cake and turkey legs.

This was Denver's second year hosting Chicago's rowdy punk festival, and despite the change of scenery, some may argue that this year got it right. 

Radkey one of the days surprise sets. (Photo Credit: Robert Castro)

The biggest change to the festival this year was the location. After a bout of petitions and protests from a few unhappy members of the Byers community, the city voted to not allow the punk rock festival back within county boundaries. Riot Mike and the rest of the festival's team decided to take this the only way they know how, with salt on the rim, and fire in their loins. Determined to win back the heart of Byers, Riot Fest themed this year's festival around the little country town. Offering discounted tickets to the residents of Byers, filling the venue with tractors and hay bails, and naming all the stages after Byers city landmarks (Country Feed Store, May Farms, etc), it was apparent the festival wished it was out east at its inaugural location instead. 

Matt Berninger of The National closing out the final night of a cold, rainy Riot Fest (Photo Credit: Matt Smith)

Despite the forced change of scenery, we were pleasantly surprised by the use of Mile High's parking lot. Denver is used to seeing this as the Warped Tour venue, so it was hard imaging the layout being able to differ greatly, but what a pleasant surprise this weekend was. The venue's traffic flow was fantastic, the lines for bathrooms nominal, and bands promptly started one after another, avoiding the much dreaded festival "lag time" all have come to expect. There is something magical about being out in a corn field miles from civilization, but the layout at Mile High just....worked. The decision is up to Riot Fest (after they win in court against Arapahoe County), but we're very curious to see what venue is used in 2015. 

We’ve summed the entire weekend up into a few different categories:

Riot Fest 2014 (Photo Credit: Robert Castro)

The Crowd:
From air fisting cowboys to cape-wearing WuTang super fans and green mohawks, the crowd at Riot Fest did not disappoint. We believe that people watching at Riot Fest should be considered as an Olympic sport. Is there a way to vote that into existence? When we weren’t busy ogling our childhood heroes, we were taking in the wonderful scenery. We saw a woman eat a sword, a man dance around on his torso, and a girl barf something bright red all over the grass and then proceed to lay in it. It was perfect. 

TV on The Radio (Photo Credit: Robert Castro)

Our Favorite Acts:
City and Colour, TV On The Radio, Weezer, NFG, Taking Back Sunday, In The Whale, Manchester Orchestra, 3OH3!, Radkey, Dum Dum Girls, Descendants, Me First and The Gimme Gimme's.

By the Numbers:
$1 - the amount of money made at the “Watch This Video for a Dollar Truck!” - Somethings you can’t unsee. 
4 - the number of times we watched someone puke after The Zipper Ride
6 - trench coats
2 - nours amount of time Robert cried at The Cure
12 - the number of people we saw get dropped after crowd surfing
1 - the amount that the Broncos lost to the Seahawks :(
24 - cans of Red Bull we drank collectively as a team
1.1 Miles - the length that you would have to walk around Mile High if you missed the entrance and proceeded to walk aimlessly around Invesco

Check out our Riot Fest photos courtesy of Matthew Smith and Robert Castro