Pitchfork is one of my favorite parts of a Chicago summer. I've been every year since I moved to the city and it never disappoints. I go for the headliners and end up discovering other artists that I love. I definitely go for the music, but there's so much more to this festival.
If you're going the rest of the weekend, here's some tips to make your Pitchfork 2014 a good one:
1. If people are waiting in a line to get in the gates on Ashland from the CTA station, go around them. I'm usually all about waiting in lines if needed- no butts, no cuts, no coconuts- but we saw a massive line yesterday that was completely unnecessary and once people started using all the gate entrances it was all good.
2. Get a program. It's really good this year. It's got the basic lineup info and unhelpful artist descriptions, but then there's Mad Libs, MASH and lots of other activities. My favorite would have to be a very tongue-in-cheek Pitchfork Bingo. And a Beck coloring page for the kids. Who probably have no idea who Beck is. Sigh.
3. If you're drinking alcohol, get your drink tickets early. Those lines are massive, although tended to be shorter by the Blue Stage versus the ones by the Green Stage. Goose Island Collaboration Bar beers are $7, regular ones are $6. Plan accordingly, kids.
4. If you like the Goose Island or beer in general, the collaboration bar is a must. If you're not familiar- the brewery taps a new keg every 30-60 minutes and pour it 'till it runs out. There's classics like Sofie, but new ones like the Devon Ave., which is brewed with chai spices and delicious for those who like an IPA.
5. Enjoy the local food vendors. If you really want to buy overpriced strawberries from the Whole Foods tent (weird), go for it, but I've always thought Pitchfork does a great job with food. This year I loved Puffs of Doom, which basically puts lots of different sweet or savory yummies on flaky pastry. The pulled pork sold out early yesterday- you've been warned. The kiwi-honeydew gelato at Black Dog was also fabulous.
6. Savor the people watching. I love to plan my festival outfits (a crazy skirt with crazy earrings-I live large) and love that others seem to as well. From cat print shirts to super loud leggings, there's a little bit of everything. I did see a lot of tights this year though. Tights in July? Who does that? Also paired with TOMS. Still can't wrap my head around it.
7. Don't be a douche. Okay- you were smart and brought a blanket and chairs. Good for you. But you know what? When the headliner comes on, you may have to relinquish some of your space or move to the back. Or at least don't throw stink eye when people step on your blanket. Also, why would you pay $60 to talk through an entire set? Go talk about your minor in communist feminist marine biology studies somewhere else. Thank you.
8. Plan how you're getting home before the night is over. This gets me every year. Take the train down and get stuck trying to get home. The train station is jammed, the buses are jammed, and there's not a taxi in sight. Bike if you can, get a friend to pick you up, or book a cab, whatever. Don't spend an hour walking north on Ashland. What a buzzkill.
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Filed under: Around Town