The next stop on the summer music festival train is Pitchfork, hosted at Chicago's Union Park on July 19-21. While the 3-Day Passes are sold out, individual tickets are still on sale, and there are plenty of enticing reasons why Pitchfork should be your destination whether you decide to make a day or a weekend out of it.
Reason 1: Value
If you're looking to save money, Pitchfork is the festival for you. Day passes are only $50 (versus festivals like Coachella, Sasquatch, Austin City Limits, Lollapalooza, and Glastonbury which are all upwards of $200 for a weekend), and you still get to hear a lot of the big names that play at the other festivals, too.
Reason 2: Music (duh!)
The Pitchfork music blog is one of the most trusted resources for hearing new music and reading reviews. It has a lot of clout in the music industry, and its knowledgeable staff is in charge of booking the festival lineup. Festival attendees get to experience some seasoned musicians (think R. Kelly) as well as emerging artists (like Waxahatchee, who not too long ago toured with Ann Arbor bands)-- familiar sounds and new ones. And since Pitchfork's lineup is smaller than many of the big festivals, attendees will be able to hear a bigger portion of the whole lineup.
Reason 3: Location
Pitchfork may be a little further under the festival radar but it isn't in a no man's land! The festival takes over Union Park in Chicago, a central location surrounded by the rest of the city's attractions. And since the shows don't typically start until 1 pm (with the headliners starting at around 8:30 pm) there is plenty of time in the day to explore Chicago before and after the festival's day.
Reason 4: Special Features
If there is ever a time when you feel tuckered out from all of the music, there are plenty of things to do while you relax and rest up for the next show! As stated on their website, Pitchfork Music Festival has some exciting features this year, including a record swapping/donating site, a poster shop, a book and magazine shop that features independent publishers and music journalism, art installations, an interactive art station, a site where local clothing/jewelry/craft makers can sell their unique pieces, and food trucks.
Reason 5: The Afterparties
A unique attraction to Pitchfork Music Fest is its four official afterparties (plus a pre-party on Thursday night). All of the details are already laid out on their website, and two of the shows are free with RSVP. This means more fun, more music, a more intimate setting, and an after-hours mentality.
Besides all of the aforementioned reasons, coming to a smaller, independently-run music festival means you can have more access to the things you want to see, whether it's a spot nearer to the music stage, getting to the poster booth and having your favorite design not be sold-out, or having a more relaxed and welcoming experience. Of course each and every musical festival has its merits, but if you're simply looking for a weekend of good music and authentic fun, Pitchfork Music Festival can take care of it.
photos courtesy of Pitchfork; featured photo by Erez Avissar