Pitchfork Music Festival took place in Union Park in Chicago, IL from July 13-15. All the festival- goers were surrounded with good music, cool fashion, and tasty food, not to the mention the other activities all around the park. Friday kicked off at 3pm with Outer Minds and Lower Dens. The first performance I attended was A$AP Rocky. This show was fun and he had great energy on stage but after a while it felt as though it was almost the same thing over and over again. After almost every song he prompted the crowd to cheer “A$AP, A$AP!” before beginning another. Halfway through, it began to pour and A$AP proclaimed “we are not afraid of a little rain!”
At this point I roamed around the festival grounds and the tents and found there was a lot more to do than just listen to music. There was a free photo booth provided by 93.1 XRT, along with the CHRIP record fair tents, the featherproof book fair, a plethora of artists’ tents, and a smorgasbord of other tables, many giving away free buttons and stickers.
I saw Purity Ring, an indie electronic band from Montreal, next and it was a nice, calm way to end the night and I walked out of the festival that day as a new fan.
Flying Lotus’s performance was one of the lesser enjoyable ones of the weekend. It started out really well when the crowd was obviously very excited but the transitions between songs were not smooth and the bass was just too much at some points. When he played “Pursuit of Happiness” (Originally by Kid Cudi), I was getting a little tired of hearing covers and mashups of this song, especially since A$AP Rocky did it the day before, however, Flying Lotus did come out and did a little meet & greet with some fans in the front after the show.
Sleigh Bells was definitely the highlight of all three days. With incredible stage presence and screaming guitars, they rocked the huge crowd and prompted continuous crowd-surfers. They played all of their hits including “Riot Rhythm,” “Infinity Guitars,” “Born to Lose,” “Rill Rill,” and “Comeback Kid.” Alexis even ventured into the crowd at one point, after telling security to let her go, and allowed her fans to hold her up.
Sunday, although I must admit I missed it, included a guest appearance from Lady Gaga. She arrived at the blue stage to watch Kendrick Lamar’s set. And although we were all lucky not to get rained on again, this turned out to be the hottest day of the festival. Sunday was the most laid-back day where I spent time relaxing and listening to the calm, flowing tunes of Real Estate and Beach House. Finally, the crowd did not disappoint for Vampire Weekend in which hundreds gathered for the performance.
Overall, this was an incredible weekend spent listening to bands I love and bands I had never heard of. I am happy to walk away from the festival with new friends as well as new fashion inspiration. It was definitely worth the price of the tickets (3 day pass, $110) because it’s an experience I’ll remember forever.