Enlarge Photo Credit: Christopher Andrew

Riot Fest Co-Founder Sean McKeough Has Passed Away


Riot Fest has made quite a name for itself over the past few years, with events in Chicago and Denver growing into some of the biggest music festivals in North America. Metal has been an important part of the Riot Fest equation of late: the Misfits made their much-heralded reunion with Glenn Danzig in Denver this year, and System of a Down played last year’s Chicago show (amidst controversy, unfortunately).

We’ve just gotten word that Riot Fest partner and producer Sean McKeough has passed away at the young age of 42. No cause of death has been revealed, which is usually an indicator that the family wishes to keep it private. Here’s a statement posted on the official Riot Fest website:

Last night, Riot Fest lost an irreplaceable part of its closely-knit family.  Sean P. McKeough, partner and producer, passed away at the age of 42.

Sean’s partner in Riot Fest, Michael Petryshyn (aka Riot Mike) has issued the following statement.

“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.”

Our thoughts go out to Sean’s family, friends and the entire Riot Fest family. Here’s to hoping they can find the strength to push through and continue on with future years of Riot Fest in Sean’s honor.

– Vince, Axl and the entire MetalSucks staff

[via Lambgoat]

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