Looking Ahead • Pitchfork Music Festival
It's fucking Pitchfork weekend! One of our favorite weekends of the year is here and you can already feel a city full of energy and anticipation for this weekend's festival and accompanying activities. Celebrating their 12th year, Pitchfork is an old soul when compared to all these young festivals taking over Chicago from May to the new year. Being a veteran in the scene isn't a bad thing. Pitchfork has aged well over the years and continues to stack lineups and fill its festival grounds at Union Park to the brim.
Some things have remained the same, but there are some changes this year that may have people more eager to go than years past. There are still over 40 bands on three stages over the course of three days. That's a given. When you're not listening to music there are plenty of food vendors, art and pop up shops to enjoy around the grounds. Newly added for 2017, the Saint Heron House is an onsite art installation that will feature everything from poetry, to film screenings, artist talks and more. There's truly so much going on at Pitchfork this year, we encourage you to dive into their festival site if you're planning on going this weekend, but we'll give you the essentials below.
If you don't have tickets yet there are two options left for you. You can purchase GA daily tickets for $75 a day. Not a bad option if you can't spend your entire weekend out in elements drinking Goose Islands. For the pitchfork veteran and true music fan, Pitchfork has introduced the +Plus 3 day pass this year. +Plus will run you $365 ($195 if you're upgrading your existing 3 day pass), but it also gets you some special perks. You'll be able to enjoy a premium bar selection, air conditioned bathrooms, lockers, phone charging stations and other home base essentials with the power of +Plus. One of the biggest perks in my opinion is the ability to leave the festival and come back. This is a clutch feature for the older and out of shape patrons like myself.
Once you're through the gate you just have to figure out who you're going to see! While we suggest adhering closely to the guidelines provided for you below, but we understand that you have a mind of your own and are free to make bad decisions if that's your prerogative, so check out the full schedule if you haven't already. If you're reading this text, you're here for a reason and hopefully that's for insight on the acts you can't miss at the 2017 Pitchfork Music Festival. Dive into a These Days curated lineup below and be sure to explore the afterparties as well.
It's Friday, but it's also Day 1 at Pitchfork Music Festival, so if you do have a 9 to 5 I hope you made arrangements to cut out early. The gates open fairly early for a Friday, and you'll want to get there and invest in your day early on. First up is Madame Ghandi, an electronic act out of L.A. From there we head over to the Blue Stage to catch former Danity Kane star Dawn Richard to find out how her solo career has been treating her following the release of REDEMPTION late last year. After Dawn, we're making our way to see the Big Fish himself, Vince Staples. Never a bad show from Vince and a must see at this time slot. Something tells me you're going to need Vince's high energy to get you out of that work week funk and introduce you to the weekend. Shortly after Vince we switch gears and plan to check out Thurston Moore, former front man for Sonic Youth. Truly a rock legend and someone you can't afford to miss in a setting like this. Danny Brown, a Pitchfork veteran, and Kamaiyah, a XXL freshman, fill out the better part of the evening ahead of headliner LCD Soundsystem. Pitchfork went crazy with their headliner selections this year and even as predominant hip hop fan, I'm pretty excited to catch this Brooklyn based band do their thing.
1:00-1:40pm - Madame Ghandi - Red Stage
2:30-3:15pm - Dawn Richard - Blue Stage
4:00-4:50pm - Vince Staples - Green Stage
5:00-5:50pm - Thurston Moore Group - Red Stage
6:00-6:50pm - Danny Brown - Green Stage
6:30-7:15pm - Kamaiyah - Blue Stage
8:10-9:50pm - LCD Soundsystem - Green Stage
Cherry Glazerr - Schubas Tavern
Madame Gandhi presented with Slo ‘Mo - Ace Hotel
Nancy Whang of LCD Soundsystem DJ Set - Virgin Hotel
Frankie Cosmos, Hoops, and Divino Nino - Virgin Hotel
Joey Purp and Knox Fortune DJ Sets - Virgin Hotel
Congratulations, you made it to day two. There's no rest for the wicked though, so shake off Friday night, eat a good meal and hydrate. Then get your ass back on that field. New York band Vegabond kicks off Saturday at 1:00pm and this is an early set you don't want to miss. Caught them at SXSW this year and they're incredible. From there its over to the Red Stage for singer / songwriter Jeff Rosenstock followed by L.A. rock band Cherry Glazerr. The legendary George Clinton and the Parliament Funkadelic round out the afternoon hours and we transition into the evening with Chance The Rapper collaborator and These Days favorite Francis and the Lights. Pitchfork decided to wrap Saturday up with some hip hop! Madlib's production heavy set will almost certainly be packed with classics, and I wouldn't be surprised if he had a surprise guest or two for festival goers. Rounding out Saturday is A Tribe Called Quest. Following the loss of founding member Phife Dawg last year, Tribe released We Got It From Here... Thank You 4 Your Service and has been touring to support the project ever since.
1:00-1:40pm - Vagabon - Green Stage
1:45-2:25pm - Jeff Rosenstock - Red Stage
2:45-3:30pm - Cherry Glazer - Blue Stage
4:15-5:10pm - George Clinton and the Parliament Funkadelic - Green Stage
5:15-6:00pm - Francis and the Lights - Blue Stage
6:30-7:15pm - Madlib - Blue Stage
8:30-9:50pm - A Tribe Called Quest - Green Stage
Sunday of Pitchfork is a beautiful, Chicago centric day. It wasn’t easy to pick these choices, and there are some conflicts, but if you are attending Sunday just know that you’re in for a day of good music. First, start with Ne-Hi. They’re one of the best hometown rock bands on the come up right now and a group you want to see live. Unfortunately, this is where your first choice needs to be made, because Derrick Carter is playing 15 minutes into Ne-hi’s set. Derrick Carter is a Chicago House legend – if you’ve never seen Chicago house, or are from out of town, strongly consider going to this. If you are a fan already, then you’ll already be there. From there, it’s Isaiah Rashad at the Red Stage and bounce back to Blue for Joey Purp right after that. Joey Purp is always, always, always a good live show – ‘nuff said. Don't miss New Jersey's Pingrove at 5:15pm. We've been hearing about them a lot and really enjoy their recently released Elsewhere EP. But now it’s complicated again. During Jamila Woods’ set are The Avalanches, an Aussie electronic group hailing back to the 90’s. If you like production but hate drops, The Avalanches will appeal to you. Finally, there’s Solange to close out the festival. Another easy choice. After that – go home, you’re done (unless there’s an after party you want to hit, but that’s on you).
2:30-3:15 - NE-HI - Green Stage
2:45-3:30pm - Derrick Carter - Blue Stage
3:20-4:10pm - Isaiah Rashad - Red Stage
4:00-4:45pm - Joey Purp - Blue Stage
5:15-6:00pm - Pingrove - Blue Stage
6:30-7:15pm - Jamila Woods - Blue Stage
8:30-9:50 - Solange - Green Stage