In the words of AC/DC, “for those about to rock, we salute you.” As cheesy, and maybe even played out as those words can and have been in the past, they have never been truer today; in light of recent news. As yet another major player in the music industry lays to rest, the world must say good-bye to perhaps one of the “punkest” of the punks— Riot Fest cofounder Ian McKeough.
The 42 year-old authority in punk and metal-core festivalage indulged fans and festival-goers in some of the most sought-after musical reunions, ever (i.e. Misfits with Glen Danzig— 2016, for just one example), as well as unified the stereotyped outcasts, headbangers, and freaks for over ten years of pure musical bliss in Chicago and beyond.
According to Loudwire, Riot Fest’s website offered a statement, which included insight on the late hero from his festival business partner, Michael Petryshyn on the recent tragedy,
“Sean was Riot Fest’s pillar of strength. I loved him. I admired him. And to lose him is a lonely and barren feeling. I miss my friend immensely. Without Sean and his belief that a little fest could make a positive impact on people’s lives by doing things differently and left of the dial, Riot Fest would have never become such an intimate family. His Herculean-sized heart and volition made that all possible. Anyone lucky enough to have witnessed his kindness and compassion knows Sean’s muddy work boots will never be filled. It’s impossible… he cared when no one else did. He worked when no one else did. And, he believed in Riot Fest when no one else did.
Our thoughts are with the entire McKeough family and his beloved partner Erin. You were the closest people to him and without your constant love and support for Sean, his unimaginable impact on thousands of lives may have never been realized.
Sean, I will forever be indebted to you. I love you, brother and I’ll make sure that Riot Fest never loses its purpose or vision… the one you saw before any of us.”
May there be many, many punk bands playing just for you up there too, Ian.