Nostalgia acts have become a money-making, ticket selling staple at major music festivals in recent years. From the return of Guns N' Roses and Outkast, to LCD Soundsystem and The Misfits each making their own return to the stage in 2016, promoters of mainstream music festivals have been able to swing even the most unlikeliest of musical circumstances over the past few years. After all, bringing back some of the biggest and most marketable names in their respective genres can certainly help a lineup poster stand out in what has become quite the oversaturated U.S. festival market.
Chicago’s annual Riot Fest got close to achieving another big reunion in 2017, having offered the legendary American punk band, the Dead Kennedys, what was probably a pretty nice payday to reunite this year, but unfortunately for 80s punk rockers like Dave Grohl, it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen. Although Riot Fest has become a pretty legitimate multi-market punk and alt-rock annual music event, it wasn’t enough to sway the band’s original frontman, Jello Biafra.
According to a statement on co-founding member East Bay Ray’s Facebook page, Biafra is the main reason the band won’t be getting back together for the first time in over 30 years at the Chicago festival this September.
“Dead Kennedys had a sincere invitation to play a reunion show at Riot Fest in Chicago this fall,” it read in the short post. “Jello Biafra turned it down. Klaus Flouride, DH Peligro and I were looking forward to doing it.”
It looks like Riot Fest attendees will have to settle for seeing some of today’s punk bands at this year’s event. Members of the band haven’t been too close with each other since their 1986 initial breakup and the inner legal disputes that have followed. With the country in the middle of some pretty punk-inspiring political turmoil, it would have been nice to see the original lineup back together again for what one rock fan can only assume would have been an epic show of punk rock protest and resistance.