by Rose Blanton
Lately there have been many pieces written about how to survive festivals.
People write these survival guides because all these behemoth sized festivals blow. The crowd size is anxiety inducing, the acts aren’t usually stacked, and the crowd itself is made up of drug addled seventeen year olds in tutus.
Pitchfork does not require a guide because it is not in the same class as these money machines that hide behind the moniker of music festival. Pitchfork, just like you my dear reader, is special.
Pitchfork is held in Union Park, which only allows for a crowd size in the thirty thousands. This is humble compared to the 180 thousand that attend Lollapalooza. Also, every single act on the bill is wildly talented and brings something unique to the table.
And while the majority of the crowd may be what some refer to as grumpy hipsters, at least we’re not puking all over your Chuck Taylor’s because we’ve just discovered wine coolers.
The founder of Pitchfork festival, Ryan Schreiber, has commented on the fact that they are a niche festival trying to appeal to a select group of people. Pitchfork pays massive attention to the roster, the artists performing have to be relevant and talented. The reason why relevance is so important is because a festival is a zeitgeist in motion. Years later we’ll look back and remember 2010 with great fervor. Sitting around exchanging exclamations over LCD’s set. In the world of music it’s an honor to be chosen to perform. There are only three stages and due to Chicago law, the festival must be done by 10pm each evening. Space is limited, and thank God.
In this critic’s opinion, 2014 is the best line up since 2010. With a bill just a few shy of fifty they are able to hit multiple genres, giving nods to new comers (Twin Peaks, Hundred Waters) and to veterans (Beck, Neutral Milk Hotel).
Pitchfork is for the music heads. It’s for the kids that make dream set lists and fantasy bands. It is for dedicated, intelligent people that see music as more than just background noise. That’s why you don’t need a guide to Pitchfork. You’ve probably already made a color-coded outline and are trying to decide between conflicts.
I would, however, recommend checking out the Record tent on Friday before the aforementioned wax heads pick it over.
In the words of Mac Demarco, God Bless.
Cover image: Odd Future by NolanWells, courtesy of Pitchfork