Today Pitchfork and the Art Institute of Chicago announce the debut of Midwinter, a three-night event that will fill the museum’s galleries with live music from February 15 through 17. Among the acts slated to appear are Kamasi Washington, Slowdive, Laurie Anderson, Panda Bear, Mykki Blanco, and Tortoise, who’ll play all of TNT to celebrate the album’s 21st anniversary. In its size and diversity, Midwinter’s lineup looks like it belongs to an outdoor festival, but many of these acts don’t make the kind of music that goes over well with thousands of sun-baked, half-drunk young people who’ve been on their feet all day. I’d prefer to watch William Basinski perform The Disintegration Loops in a museum, where there’s at least a nonzero chance that the atmosphere will be appropriately meditative.
Midwinter is as much about the setting as the sets—it will also feature areas where fans can listen to recordings inspired by pieces in the Art Institute’s collection. Who knows how crowded it’ll be, but at least in theory you’ll be able to look at artwork that influenced Nico Muhly, Tashi Wada & Julia Holter, Stars of the Lid, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Midori Takada, Visible Cloaks, Helado Negro, and Ilyas Ahmed while soaking up the music they made in response to it. Pitchfork Radio will be on the premises too, so attendees can watch the same musician interviews and performances that go out on the webcast.
Tickets for Midwinter go on sale at 10 AM CST on Friday, November 16, priced at $50 per night and $127.50 for a three-night pass. Those tickets give you access to the museum and to performances by the five artists who play every night. To see any of the other acts (appearing in Griffin Court, Rubloff Auditorium, the Stock Exchange room, and Fullerton Hall), you’ll need to buy “add-on tickets.” Those range from $15 to $30, though in cases where an opener is listed, the add-on ticket covers both. Even assuming that set overlap will make it impossible to see everyone on a given day, this is a potentially expensive arrangement—but at least the quality of the bookings is top-notch! The Midwinter site should have more details very soon. The full lineup is below, broken down by night where applicable and linked to relevant Reader stories: