The full lineup for this year’s Pitchfork Music Festival came out this morning. Joining previously announced headliners LCD Soundsystem, A Tribe Called Quest, and Solange are alt-rock icon PJ Harvey, west-coast rap phenom Kamaiyah, Australian sample masters the Avalanches, and D.C. postpunks Priests, among dozens of others. A handful of the returning acts (Danny Brown, Angel Olsen, Dirty Projectors) might suggest that the festival’s taste in contemporary “indie” music ossified a few years ago, but that’d be reading too much into too little—Pitchfork also continues to step outside its comfort zone, making booking decisions that don’t slavishly toe the line about what’s supposedly hip on the summer festival circuit. This year those choices include underground punk stalwart Jeff Rosenstock, George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, and 90s emo touchstones American Football—and they’re just a sliver of what makes Pitchfork one of the most interesting multiday music gatherings going.
American Football are among just five Chicago acts on the bill (if you can call a band that formed downstate and only half lives here a Chicago act). Joining them are house veteran Derrick Carter, soul singer Jamila Woods, indie rockers Ne-Hi, and rapper Joey Purp. It’s a step back from last year’s count of eight Chicagoans, and frustratingly all five appear on the same day. (I’m not counting Angel Olsen, who plays Saturday, because although her career took off here, she moved to North Carolina nearly four years ago.)
Still, there’s a lot to admire about the festival—and I’m not just saying that because I’m among the Reader folks who’ve written for Pitchfork. I’m all about the fest continuing to dip its toes into fourth-wave emo (shout out to Pinegrove), and I love that so many of the best acts on the bill are fronted by women. Mitski’s Saturday set time (like everyone else’s) has yet to be announced, but I’d like to reserve a spot down in front of that stage right now.
Solange’s label, Saint Heron, will host film screenings, artist talks, and multidisciplinary performances throughout the city, two of which will take place on the south side—at the Stony Island Arts Bank and the Promontory, specifically. We’ll have more details about those when the information becomes available. The festival begins Friday, July 14. Tickets are $75 for a single day, $175 for all three days, and $365 for a three-day Pitchfork Plus pass—a new option this year that offers, among other things, access to shaded seating and air-conditioned bathrooms.
The full daily lineups below include links to Reader coverage of most of the acts: