Ms. Lauren Hill, Fleet Foxes, Tame Impala Top Pitchfork Music Festival 2018 Lineup

On the weekend of July 20-22, Chicago’s Union Park will host the thirteenth annual Pitchfork Music Festival. is widely recognized as the definitive voice of indie music, so if you like to read reviews of the latest esoteric bands out of Bushwick, Brooklyn through spectacles so high-end that they require no prescription at all, this is the festival for you. And in keeping with the indie aesthetic, Pitchfork is compatible with the starving artist lifestyle. It stands out among the countless other festivals because of its affordability. A single day ticket will run you a very modest $75, a three-day pass $175, and a ”Plus Pass” $375.

Psychedelics, folk, and protest music are a few things that come to mind when one thinks of the archetypal music festival, and this year’s list of headliners offers a little of all those. Friday features Australian psychedelic rock outfit Tame Impala, sure to bring the first packed day of performances to a colorful climax. Saturday’s festivities will culminate with the rustic stylings of Seattle indie folk band Fleet Foxes, whose first release in six years last year will make for a highly anticipated set. On Sunday, Ms. Lauren Hill will celebrate the twentieth anniversary of her classic, era-defining album, “The Miseducation of Lauren Hill.” Having always been fiercely feminist and afrocentric, Hill is a welcome voice in the current socio-political landscape. On the topic of social causes, Pitchfork Music Festival is partnering this year with the country’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network.) A portion of the festival’s proceeds will be donated to the organization.     

The diverse roster of artists performing also includes Courtney Barnett, Mount Kimbie, Big THief, Earl Sweatshirt, Syd, Julien Baker, Saba, Open Mike Eagle, Julie Byrne, Joshua Abrams & Natural Information Society, Lucy Dacus, Melkbelly, The CUrls, The War On Drugs, Blood Orange, Raphael Saddiq, This Is Not THis Heat, Moses Sumney, Kelela, Girlpool, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Circuit des Yeux, Nilufer Yanya, Zola Jesus, berhana, Paul Cherry, Chaka Khan, DRAM, Noname, Japandroids, (Sandy) Alex G, ALex Cameron, Smino, Japanese Breakfast, Kelly Lee Owens, Ravyn Lenae, Kweku Collins, Irresistible Entanglements, and Nnamdi Ogbonnaya. Another attribute that sets Pitchfork apart is the refreshingly elegant simplicity of its organization, which will make your weekend planning an ease, for once. Instead of a confounding labyrinths of stages, tents, and booths with Byzantine titles and descriptions, there are merely three stages, simply titled “red,” green,” and “blue.”

Along with all the music, there will be specialty fairs and fifty individual vendors, with plenty on display from Chicago’s arts and food communities. Crate diggers can pick up vinyls from over forty tables of indie labels at the CHIRP Record Fair. You can pick up souvenirs to decorate your dwelling at the Flatstock Poster Fair. A curated collection of handmade crafts will be on display at the Renegade Craft Fair, and one of independent publishers, presses, and literary organizations will be at the Book Fort.

Of course, music festivals have their drawbacks: heat strokes, forty-five minute porter potty odysseys, having stage divers part the crowd like Moses and estrange you from your friends just as you kill your phone battery documenting a performance of your all-time favorite song. For smooth sailing this time around, a “Plus Pass” will give you access to shaded seating areas, air conditioned restrooms,  phone charging stations, expedited entry, express lines at bars, bank-connected wristbands for cashless transactions, and access to food and drinks from James Beard award-winning restaurant Fat Rice.

So mark your calendars this July for a weekend of a festival of the more practical and manageable kind, with plenty of the biggest names in Indie, and all of the other festivities on display.

Pitchfork Music Festival” takes place July 20-22 at Union Park in Chicago, IL. Tickets are available here.