Whether you’re experiencing Pitchfork Music Festival for the first time or the fifth, we’ve got a handy guide to the annual Chicago festival.
Where it is: Union Park, Chicago, IL. The main gate for the event is located on Ashland Avenue, on the west side of Union Park. The secondary gate for all festival attendees is at Washington Blvd. and Ogden Ave., on the east side of Union Park.
When it is: Friday, July 20th-Sunday, July 22nd. Gates open at 12pm on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Who’s playing: Headliners include Tame Impala, Fleet Foxes, and Ms. Lauryn Hill. Our list of must-see artists are: Melkbelly, Tierra Whack, Saba, Syd, Tame Impala, Moses Sumney, Blood Orange, The War on Drugs, Ravyn Lenae, Japanese Breakfast, DRAM, Chaka Khan. You can view the full schedule on the festival website.
What you should bring: A refillable plastic water bottle, sunglasses, cash (so you can dine on the yummy, allergy-friendly food the festival offers), your ID (the booze at this festival is THEEEE BEST), and a rain poncho. This has come in handy many times, and it’s set to rain Friday. Don’t say I didn’t warn you! You can check the full list of what is not permitted to bring into the festival on the website.
How to maximize your fun: Download the festival app before you go! It’ll make your life much easier. You can download it through the iTunes Store or Google Play. Having gone to the fest for the past five years, here are some of our own Dos and Don’ts from Pitchfork Music Festival. You can read the full list of our PMF Dos and Don’ts here.
DO: Get outside of your comfort zone. There were several bands playing that I didn’t know as well as others, but their performances ended up being highlights of the day.
DO: Chat with the sponsors. Not only can you rack up the freebies, but you can take part in the fun non-fest activities too. At Pitchfork Music Festival 2016, I grabbed an assortment of snacks and gifts, and played “STD Roulette” – which was informative and not as scary as it sounds – at a Chicago-based sexual health education booth.
DO: Make friends with the security around the festival. For the most part, if you’re not a drunk nuisance or constantly asking your friend or stranger to get on their shoulders, the relationship between you and security practically is Facebook-worthy. For front-row stalwarts, security deals with unwanted and disruptive fans in the crowd you don’t want around, caters to your needs such as carry above the barrier for whenever and whatever you want out, and offers free water bottles to make ensure you’re at your well-hydrated best. Definitely the type you take back to your Mom and Pops.
DON’T: Be afraid to let loose and bust a move from wherever you’re enjoying the music. Even with dedicated fan bases fighting for closer views of their favorite artist and countless loungers with their portable chairs, blankets, and other belongings watching the acts in comfort, there’s still plenty of room to move about and dance however you want. Whether you’re a two-stepper, an arm-waver, or a fan of the mosh pit variety, all are welcome by the laid-back, fellow concertgoers.
DON’T: Overdo it on the first day of a festival. Pitchfork’s location in Union Park provided lots of shady areas to rest in, perfect for the many families (or tired old people like me) in attendance to take a break when you hit that pre-headliner slump.
Tickets are still available for Pitchfork Music Festival—grab them on the official website.