If there’s one thing that Chicagoans know well, it’s that summer season in Chicago is outdoor festival season. Whether you’re passion is music, food, art, or just plain fun, Chicago has a festival for you. With so many festivals to choose from, only a handful stand out among the rest. One of those is, in my opinion, the Pitchfork Music Festival.
Held annually in Union Park, Pitchfork is Chicago’s premiere indie music festival. It showcases acts whose musical styling span from rock to hip-hop, electronic to jazz. Some of those acts are local unknowns, while others have claimed international success. Just completing its 6th official incarnation, this year’s festival ran from Friday July 15th to Sunday July 17th. I was lucky enough to have Planned Property send me to attend on Saturday the 16th, the second day of this three day event.
Pitchfork’s Saturday lineup boasted quality acts, including the dance-rock group Dismemberment Plan, punk quartet OFF!, and hip-hop phenomenon DJ Shadow, just to name a few. Because of this, I could tell even before walking through the gate that Pitchfork had promise. Music is the driving force of the festival, but a besides music, an equally important thing I look at when attending any outdoor festival is the quality of FMB.
FMB stands for Food, Merchandise, and Bathrooms. Pitchfork did not disappoint in the F, the M, or the B. Food choices came from reputable vendors such as Goose Island, Wishbone, and Connie’s Pizza; there was even a booth of fresh fruits from Whole Foods Market. Merchandise vendors included local clothing and jewelry boutiques, the Flatstock rock poster project, and a festival within the festival, the Chicago Independent Radio Project’s yearly record fair. Bathrooms – Well, they were portable sanitation units. I anticipated this. But what set these apart from other festivals is that they were ample and accessible, and as clean as one could reasonably expect.
Overall, this year’s Pitchfork Music Festival, in my opinion, went off without a hitch. The music was great, the sun was shining, and the FMB was tip-top. Hats off to Pitchfork Media for putting together a great festival, and thank you to Planned Property Management for giving me the opportunity to attend.