Your Ultimate Fest Guide to Pitchfork 2018: Pop-Ups, After-Parties, & Everything In Between


Chicago’s annual summertime PItchfork Music Festival is set to occur the weekend of July 20th. The acts range in broad strokes, from headlining artists Fleet Foxes, who have reigned the indie rock scene since 2006, to Chicago’s most developing talent like Saba and Ravyn Lenae. In our next article, we’ll give you the rundown on some of the top acts we don’t think you should miss, but for now we’re going to focus on the extra fun that surrounds the 45+ performances.

Pitchfork is smaller in scope when compared to other festivals, but they do not fall short of extra activities to partake in. On the festival grounds will be local food and drink vendors, where you can probably spot one of the performing artists roaming about with their friends. Nearby, the CHIRP Record Fair will be hosting local record stores and independent dealers to bring you an immense vinyl-browsing experience. Attendees will have the ability to walk through the aisles and pick out records for purchase or to simply sit and listen to the rubber in the moment. The record fair will also host an artist signing table.

The Flatstock Poster Fair at Pitchfork will be showcasing and selling the printed works of poster artists from the around the country. Tucked in-between the record and poster fairs is the Renegade Craft Corner, a cool pop-up which will be displaying and selling the works of modern craft and design artists. Works range from jewelry to clothing to iPhone cases or kitchen accessories. You never know what unique gift you may find here! Also on the grounds is Book Fort, which is on the basketball court. Here, a curated lineup of readers will perform works by themselves and other authors.

The fun does not end outside of Pitchfork’s festival grounds. Circuit des Yeux will be playing prior to the festival July 19th at the Empty Bottle. And then there are the after-parties! Some late-night shows we suggest are Open Mike Eagle and Fess Grandiose at Lincoln Hall on Friday night, Kweku Collins and fellow label signee Ajani Jones at Schubas on Saturday night and Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith with Cool Maritime at Constellation. Here’s the full list of additional aftershows you can catch!  

Don’t forget to bring sunscreen and stay hydrated over the weekend. Our best advice for getting to the fest is to take the Metra line to avoid traffic, as it drops you off right in front of the gates. Tickets for Pitchfork are still available here!

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.