Sound issues, poor sight lines, and overstuffed schedules can make outdoor music festivals a drag. But the unexpected blast of rain that hit the Pitchfork Music Festival on Saturday afternoon added an extra layer of irritation, turning the fields into mud traps for the free gigantic carpet squares attendees dragged around Union Park all weekend.
Such setbacks proved minor and forgettable, however, in light of the fantastic lineup Pitchfork assembled for its tenth festival. After three days of idiosyncratic rap, wispy folk, hypnotic postpunk, and whatever you want to call A.G. Cook, it became easier to forget about the weather and remember the performances. I wish I could’ve spent a little more time watching Sleater-Kinney close out the night on Saturday, Ryley Walker kick off the fest on Friday, or Chance the Rapper bid the fest adieu on Sunday, and it often felt like the musicians wanted a little more time on the stage as well. If you missed one of the acts you really wanted to see or if you just couldn’t make it to park, we’ve got you covered: the Reader‘s ace photo staff swarmed the festival all weekend and captured the onstage magic and the spirit of the enthusiastic, colorful crowd. —Leor Galil