May 17, 2021
| Music function
This morning, the Pitchfork Music Festival announced its 2021 line-up, which includes most of the acts scheduled for 2020 – with a few notable exceptions. Erykah Badu will replace the National as headlining the festival’s closing night, St. Vincent will take over the Saturday night headlining slot previously held by Run the Jewels (who will instead play at this year’s Riot Fest), and Phoebe Bridgers will instead close on Friday night Yeah, yeah, yeahs. Exciting new acts include Drew Daniel’s Soft Pink Truth project, rapper Jay Electronica, and DC indie rock phenomenon Bartees Strange. The fest has booked six acts that could reasonably be considered locals, up from nine in 2020 – Femdot, Kaina, the Hecks, Twin Peaks and Dustin Laurenzis Snaketime have been dropped since last year, and R&B star Jamila Woods and most recently Matador signatories Horsegirl were added. DJ Nate, Divino Niño, KeiyaA and Dehd appear in both line-ups.
Pitchfork normally takes over Union Park on the third weekend of July, but this exceptional year it starts on Friday September 10th and runs through Sunday September 12th. Late summer promises to be a real festival pileup: Riot Fest announced its full line-up on Friday, and it is returning to the recently renamed Douglass Park, which is also home to the Summer Smash hip-hop festival, September 17-19 of Lyrical Lemonade (August 20-22). On the weekend before Pitchfork, the house-oriented ARC Music Festival (September 4th and 5th) is in Union Park with its inaugural edition, while the EDM-oriented North Shore (September 3rd through 5th) lands at Bridgeview’s Seatgeek Stadium.
It doesn’t really fall in the same category as these large commercial events, but the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events recently announced a month of late summer music program called Chicago in Tune, which includes four three-hour evening concerts at the Pritzker Pavilion, which hosts four of the usual festivals downtown will be: gospel on Friday 3rd September, jazz on Saturday 4th September, house on Saturday 11th September and blues on Saturday 18th September.
Last week, Variety reported that Lollapalooza would announce the return of its four-day Grant Park Festival – at its usual time in late July – as early as this week, with plans to work at full capacity (100,000 people per day) or near it . A spokesman for the mayor’s office then told Block Club Chicago that Lollapalooza was actually not finally lit green, but the city intended to reopen in full on July 4th. Scale events that are coming back in some form this summer.
After 15 months of the COVID-19 pandemic that has left many of us socially distant or completely isolated, the prospect of narrowing down a season’s festivals to a few weeks feels like stumbling on a treadmill that’s already open when you’re 20 Running miles per hour. The CDC’s guidelines remain confusing and ill-considered, leaving many Americans with little idea how great the threat the virus poses to them. Pandemic deaths are on the decline – last week Chicago was downgraded from « very high risk » to « high risk » for COVID-19 infection – but vaccination news is mixed. The Illinois Department of Health says 37.6 percent of the state is fully vaccinated, but the state’s daily vaccination rate has declined sharply in the past three weeks of April – a trend that could jeopardize the department’s forecast that 75 percent of Illinois will be at some will be vaccinated point this summer. And festivals can of course affect public health, as the Sturgis rally showed last summer. It’s often huge tourist magnets that encourage travel – according to a 2013 Mayor’s Office press release, 80 percent of people living in Lollapalooza in 2012 were from outside Chicago.
As of this morning, the Windy City Smokeout is the city’s first major festival in 2021 and doesn’t start until July 8th. As the public health guidelines continue to change, each festival will likely change the guidelines (if any) has already been announced. At Pitchfork, participants aged 12 and over must provide evidence of a COVID-19 vaccination or negative PCR test performed within 24 hours of the day they participate. However, the latter could be a real challenge for people who want to attend every three days. Participants must also wear masks on the festival site unless they are eating or drinking.
Three-day Pitchfork passes are $ 195 for general admission, $ 385 for Pitchfork Plus – and if the past few years are any signs of it, these fancier tickets include access to upscale porta potties. Day passes cost US $ 90 (GA) and US $ 185 (Pitchfork Plus). The full list is below, with links to previous Reader coverage when available.
St. VincentAngel OlsenKim GordonTy Segall & Freedom BandWaxahatcheeJay ElectronicaJamila WoodsGeorgia Anne Muldrow
AmaaraeMaxo KreamDivino Niño
Tags: Music Feature, Pitchfork Music Festival, Pitchfork, Lineup, Lineup Announcement, COVID-19, Pandemic, Vaccine, Vaccination, Erykah Badu, St. Vincent, Phoebe Bridgers, Jamila Woods, Horsegirl, DJ Nate, Divino Niño, KeiyaA, Dehd, Union Park, Pitchfork Plus, Tickets
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