Festivals

Who We’re Excited to See at Pitchfork Music Festival 2019!

Pitchfork Music Festival is this weekend and of course we’re excited to see their curated lineup across three days at Union Park.  The fest has always placed an emphasis on local acts, sonic and cultural diversity, and just good ole fashioned jams and this year is no exception. For their 14th outing, PMF have essentially mastered the festival atmosphere and delivered a great lineup!

With 42 artists performing throughout the three-day festival, it might be a little difficult to plan out your weekend. Luckily we’re here to help. In addition to our mixtape featuring one track from each of this year’s artists, we’ve rounded up some of our favorites on the lineup that we think you should see this weekend! (And don’t forget about the great after shows, which you can check out here!)

FRIDAY, JULY 19th

Great Black Music Ensemble
Green Stage – 1:00pm
If there is one thing I would recommend for Pitchfork is to get there early and see the fantastic groups opening up the festival. Friday will feature the Great Black Music Ensemble. The ensemble features an incredibly talented set of musicians making interesting creative music together. Elements of jazz, funk, reggae, swing, and African and Caribbean musical styles can be felt throughout their complex and varied performances. Take a trip around the world and Chicago musical history to kick off you Pitchfork Music Festival journey!
– Julian Ramirez

Grapetooth
Blue Stage – 4:00pm
A Grapetooth show is an experience like no other. Their sound is full of catchy synth tunes that blur the line between genres. A little bt of rock, a helping of folk lean, tons of soulful styling, and enough synths to make everything pop. The duo of Clay Frankel (Twin Peaks) and Chris Bailoni have an insanely intense stage presence that is only rivaled by the audience’s enthusiasm for them. Seriously, I expect this early crowd to get rowdy and rightfully so.
– Julian Ramirez

Photo by Julian Ramirez

Pusha T
Green Stage – 6:15pm
The New York–based rapper and record impresario has enjoyed almost a decade of solo success, after splitting from Clipse, the ’90s powerhouse group formed with brother Malice. 2018 saw the release of Daytona, garnering critical acclaim (The A.V. Club called it “bracing” and “brilliant”) and earning Pusha-T a Grammy nomination for best rap album. Expect an energetic show from one of rap’s most reliable hit-makers—Drake fans beware though, the beef is still real.
– Matthew Nerber

HAIM
Green Stage – 8:30pm
The indie trio and Stevie Nicks devotees have been folk/rock/pop mainstays since the release of 2013’s Days are Gone, the debut record that announced HAIM as a band to watch. Since then, the sisters have toured extensively with the likes of Taylor Swift and Rihanna, recorded a follow-up with 2017’s Something to Tell You. Middle sister Danielle has toured with Jenny Lewis and The Strokes; she continued the vocal-lending tradition with this year’s “Father of the Bride,” dueting with Ezra Koenig on the Vampire Weekend chart topper. Keep your fingers crossed for some Pitchfork guest appearance love when HAIM takes the stage.
– Matthew Nerber

SATURDAY, JULY 20th

Lala Lala
Green Stage – 1:00pm
Lillie West’s musical project Lala Lala is opening up the middle day of the fest and I can’t think of a better way to get the day going. West’s music hides a deep and complex core under her songs’ sonic simplicity, making for an incredibly fulfilling live experience. Likely some of the most introspective and sharp lyrics you’ll hear all weekend.
– Julian Ramirez

Photo by Jo McCaughey

Kurt Vile
Red Stage – 5:15pm
The former War on Drugs frontman has made a name for himself as a solo act, with contemplative guitar rock, drawing comparisons to Neil Young, Bob Dylan, and Sonic Youth. In 2018 Vile released Bottle It In, his 8th studio album, which included the single “Bassackwards”—Pitchfork called it “10 minutes of warped, psychedelic folk-rock.” Check him out as an  indie lo-fi alternative to some of the festival’s more mainstream acts
– Matthew Nerber

Freddie Gibbs
Blue Stage – 6:30pm
Fresh off Bandana, his follow up to Pinata collaboration with Madlib, Freddie Gibbs is ready to tear Pitchfork apart. His previous appearance at the festival was a no filler affair, diving straight into his and Madlib’s tracks. While this appearance isn’t billed as a duo affair, Gibbs’ work outside of the collaboration is just as good thanks to his impeccable flow and showmanship. If you’re looking for a party atmosphere this weekend, I highly suggest this set.
– Julian Ramirez

Photo by Cheryl Dunn

Belle and Sebastian
Green Stage – 7:25pm
The Scottish band that launched a thousand twee-indie knockoffs, Belle and Sebastian have turned their unique brand of lush instrumentation and coy poetry into 25 years of success. This year’s Pitchfork appearance will include a full performance of their classic second LP If You’re Feeling Sinister— with songs like the cheerfully depressive Smiths-like “Get Me Away Here, I’m Dying,” this is a set you won’t want to miss.
– Matthew Nerber

SUNDAY, JULY 21st

JPEGMAFIA
Red Stage – 3:20pm
Probably one of the most outspoken rappers out there right now, JPEGMAFIA has the talent and stage presence to back up his incredibly intense and aggressive tracks. Be warned, the musical project of Barrington DeVaughn Hendricks is not everyone’s cup of tea. I distinctly remember him opening for a free Action Bronson show where his extreme sound didn’t go over well, but I have no doubt that Pitchfork’s Red Stage crowds will welcome it with open arms. Peggy’s songs may come off as abrasive and an assault to the senses, but it’s all in service of their message.
– Julian Ramirez

Photo by David Uzochukwu

Ibeyi
Blue Stage – 4:00pm
The twin sister duo of Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi Diaz make some of the most ethereal and soul songs you’ll get to hear this weekend. They blend the musical styles for their wide and distinct heritages together so well, delivering sounds that will captivate you in an instant. Elements of Yoruba, French and Afro-Cuban are embedded in their music, underlined with jazzy qualities and a variety of unique instruments.
– Julian Ramirez

Photo by Julian Ramirez

Whitney
Green Stage – 6:15pm
The last time Whitney played Pitchfork Music Festival, it was an early set at the Blue Stage. Now, they’re the penultimate band on the Green stage and have more than enough room to fill the stage with their impressive lineup of local musicians. Their presentation of soulful songs lined with country nuances is endlessly enjoyable and perfect for a warm summer evening.
– Julian Ramirez

Charli XCX
Red Stage – 7:25pm
The British songwriter is best known for “I Love It,” her 2013 collab with Swedish duo Icona Pop, but Charli XCX has been putting out a steady stream of solo material in addition to producing and writing for heavy hitters like Selana Gomez and Iggy Izeala. In 2019 she released “Blame It On Your Love” with Lizzo—her set should be pure pop bliss, with hits like “Boom Clap” and “Need Ur Luv.”
– Matthew Nerber

Photo by Julian Ramirez

Snail Mail
Blue Stage – 7:45pm
The solo project of 20 year old Lindsey Jordan, Snail Mail has already enjoyed serious critical acclaim despite releasing debut Lush only last year. Fans of emo-folk-pop singers like Lucy Dacas, Julien Baker and fellow Pitchfork act Soccer Mommy will find Snail Mail’s youthful musings and indie stylings worth seeking out.
– Matthew Nerber


Hopefully our picks can help you get your schedule nice and tight for this weekend! If you still haven’t gotten your tickets, you still have time to snag them before prices go up tomorrow, July 16. Regular three-day passes ($190), single day tickets ($85), and Pitchfork Plus tickets ($390 for three-day, $170 for single day) are still available! You can purchase them over at Eventbrite!

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