Riot Fest Co-Founder Sean McKeough Dead at 42
There’s sad news to report as Sean McKeough, one of the co-founders of the popular Riot Fest festival, has passed away at the age of 42.
The festival was founded in 2005 and started as a multi-venue event in Chicago focusing on punk and metal. Over the years, Riot Fest grew in size and stature, expanding to other cities and pulling in some of the top names in rock. The Riot Fest also earned a reputation for pulling off band reunions like those that occurred with the Replacements and the Misfits featuring Glenn Danzig.
McKeough died on Tuesday (Nov. 29), according to a statement on the Riot Fest website. The statement also included commentary from Michael Petryshyn, who partnered with McKeough to put the festival on. Read his posting below:
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.
In addition to Riot Fest, McKeough owned Chicago’s Cobra Lounge and recently launched the All Rise Brewing brewery. Our condolences to the family of Sean McKeough and his extended Riot Fest family.
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