09/15/2014 02:50 pm ET

15 Things That Make Riot Fest The Freakiest Music Festival In America

Large-scale music festivals have become a staple of summertime fun, but none of them get quite as weird or wonderful as Riot Fest.

Among the marquee events for Riot Fest's 10-year-anniversary in Chicago over the weekend was a panel that featured the Russian activist band Pussy Riot, whose members Nadya Tolokonnikova and Masha Alekhina were jailed for nearly two years after criticizing the Russian government.

Though Pussy Riot didn't perform, there were ample activist messages laced in performances from the likes of NOFX and Patti Smith. Acts like Andrew WK and The Flaming Lips made weirdo fun the focus point of their shows, while bands like Gwar just made sure the crowd got good and (fake) bloody.

The mix of activism, entertainment and sheer oddity has become Riot Fest's hallmark. Now a three city-strong summer event, Riot Fest has remained stubbornly unique, complete with a carnival, a sideshow and 13 more strange sights that you definitely won't find combined at any other music fest. Check them out:

Riot Fest 2014

Riot Fest continues on Sept. 19-21 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium in Denver.