Riot Fest, the annual three-day musical festival that brings alternative, punk, metal and hip-hop artists to Chicago’s Douglass Park, is getting involved in the Russia-Ukraine conflict. The festival organizers announced the creation of an emergency fundraiser on Friday (March 11) and shared that two shirt designs will be sold to benefit Ukrainian soldiers and citizens.
“Riot Fest stands with the people of Ukraine, and against the unjust war and suffering that Russia has brought upon the country. In light of the escalating situation overseas, the festival is starting an urgent fundraiser with 100% of the proceeds donated to two organizations supporting life-saving measures in Ukraine,” an official statement from the festival reads. “Two new shirt designs are now available at RiotBrand.org, benefiting Razom for Ukraine and Revived Soldiers Ukraine.”
Riot Fest founder Mike Petryshyn (who is Ukrainian-American) shared that he will match proceeds up to $15,000 to help the population under siege. He also explained his family’s history with the Russian conflict and urged people to help if they have the means to.
“Eighty years ago, Ukrainians like my grandparents left everything they knew and loved to escape Stalinism,” he said. “It appears history may be repeating itself. With mortars exploding behind them, Ukrainians are beginning to flee their homeland as their sovereignty and independence begin to crumble.”
He continued, “As the world watches innocent lives being lost, I humbly ask—as a proud Ukrainian-American—to not sit idly.”
The shirts retail for $25 each and are currently available for pre-order. Find the shirts here.