Another Pitchfork Music Festival in the books and I am happy to say that, for the most part, it was everything I had hoped for. This year we decided to do day two and three of my favorite Chicago fest. Every year, the promoters bring the lineup and the attendees bring the fashion. Add in good beer and it’s like a perfect trifecta. Pitchfork is held at Union Park on Chicago’s near west side and has a much smaller layout than Lollapalooza. Thank goodness. Over the year’s, Lolla has grown so massive and packed with teeny boppers. It can take almost a half hour to get from one side of Lollapalooza to the other…at Pitchfork you can almost see every stage from anywhere in the park. It truly is a fest to kick back, relax and listen to some good tunes.
This is how our weekend unfolded:
We headed to the festival around 3pm, just in time for the sun to go away and the rain to set in. This was a bit of a surprise as we did check the weather and we definitely didn’t see a mini hurricane in our near future. It started as a light drizzle and eventually, it began to legitimately downpour. Our plan was to grab a beer and find some shelter. As I went up to the beer tent and said, “may I have a 312?” I heard someone yell, “No more beer sales, we’re shutting down!!! BEER TENTS ARE CLOSED!!!” This was very unexpected. We took a little walk to find out what was going on when out of nowhere a man with an extremely strong and fancy English accent – this confused me – got onto the speaker and announced that Pitchfork was closing until further notice and everyone must evacuate the park, immediately. The moment he got off the mic, mother nature created one of her most intense and earth-shattering thunder and lighting. Concert-goers began to scream and scattered for cover, chaos immediately ensued. We sought cover under a gigantic tree, which is clearly a terrible idea, but oh well, we survived. The rain was coming at us sideways and hard. There was absolutely nothing we could do to save us from the storm so we made the best of the situation and laughed so hard we almost peed in our already soaked pants. We eventually sought shelter at a bar, naturally. We had a few beers, watched the storm pass and freshened up. Shout out to all the bathroom hand dryers, thank you!
The storm eventually went away and out came the sun. Pitchfork was again open for business. At this point, we were quite eager for some tunes – we were most excited for Future Islands. I was very much looking forward to experiencing some of Samual Herring’s stellar dance moves in person. They sounded fantastic, Herring danced his ass off and the crowd absolutely loved them. Under the circumstances, the fest did an awesome job of doing what they had to do to get people out of the park safely and then using social media and emails to get people back to the fest to get the party started again. It was the perfect ending to a rainy and hilarious Day Two of Pitchfork.
I showed up during Viet Cong’s set (which I heard was excellent) but I wanted to hit up The Coterie Art Fair. As usual, they had a fab lineup of 40 jury-selected artists selling some seriously cool ass shit. For all of you little hippies out there, The Foxglove Studio had gorgeous flower halos for sale. Had I gone for a different fashion vibe, I would have bought one for the day. PS. If you’re into art fairs on a more unique, hipster level, you should definitely hit up the Renegade Art Fair in September. Prepare to have all of your Christmas shopping done that day.
Day Three’s music was off the charts. From beginning to end, each show seemed to only get better, if that was even possible. It was a full day packed with a killer lineup, easy navigation to and from the stages and each band sounded incredible. I am now officially obsessed with Perfume Genius. The moment I heard his song “Queen” on Spotify, I knew I was in love. However, when I saw the genius himself, Mike Hadreas, perform this past Sunday, I became utterly fascinated by him. He came on stage in these little clog-like loafers, a tight pair of jean shorts, a striped t-shirt and the most amazing shade of red lipstick I have ever seen on a man before. This genius gave it his all on stage. I am dying to see him again and again. Courtney Barnett and Caribou were equally as awesome. However, when it comes to music that completely gets me moving and in the perfect Pitchfork mood, I’d have to say Jamie xx and Todd Terje do it for me in that department. Unreal. Jamie xx was like the DJ/dance party portion of our Sunday, while the Norwegian import Todd Terje made me feel like I was teleported to an eclectic euro dance party in the middle of a magical forest. By far, this was one of the best music fest days I’ve experienced in a long time.
In regards to food and drinks, I mostly stuck to water and 312’s urban wheat beer. My friends and I have come to the conclusion that it is the best festival beer. It’s smooth, goes down easy and is super refreshing. Beer koozies are a must, by the way. Either bring one from home or buy one for three bucks from one of the cool artisans at the show. For lunch, I had a veggie Chicago Style hot dog from the Chubby Wieners’ stand and it was delicious! Highly recommended. TMy husband, Anthony, had a real hot dog and said he loved it more.
Now, with all of this being said, there was some disappointment. Typically, Pitchfork does very well in the fashion department. Often you can tell these festival folks put a bit of time and thought into their ensembles. That’s part of the fun of Pitchfork…the people watching and the fashion scouting. Yet this year, sadly, not so much. Although I did see a couple stellar outfits, but not nearly as many as I usually obsess over. I did, however, get some props for my HERBS t-shirt my friend Katie got me…so that’s a plus!
All in all, Pitchfork was a major success. When I leave a festival wanting more music and more dancing, that’s when I know the bands and the fest did something amazing. As a fan and music lover, I am super grateful for yet another amazing weekend spent with friends, incredible live music, great memories and tons of good vibes. Can’t wait for more to come this summer!
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