5 Takeaways From This Year’s Pitchfork Lineup

This year’s Pitchfork Music Festival lineup officially dropped this morning and I have a lot of thoughts on it. I have been spying on the Pitchfork Reddit Thread over the past couple weeks watching people contemplate who they thought were this year’s headliners. Though there were lots of names being thrown out, I was definitely convinced that a couple artists would be there over others – some who did and did not actually make the lineup.

Late last night, around 10:30PM, I decided to pop in on the Reddit thread once more to see if anyone had any last minute news and boy I was in for a shock. Basically whoever is behind the Pitchfork website design accidentally revealed the lineup for 5 minutes or so at some point yesterday afternoon and of course, people grabbed screenshots. The lineup was revealing the incorrect dates (July 20-22 rather than the actual dates of July 19-21), so people were quick to think it was a fake lineup, but it ended up being 100% real.

Screen Shot 2019-03-06 at 12.18.52 PM

Here are a few things to takeaway from the lineup. I’ve also included a few of the undercards I would recommend checking out and will probably do a post elaborating on them later this year.

Five Takeaways:

  • I can’t get over the massive absence that is MITSKI. Not only did she get the publication’s pick for Album of The Year in 2018 for Be The Cowboy, but she also is playing a show in Seattle the same weekend on Friday – which to me, meant she would be flying to Chicago for a Saturday or Sunday performance (it’s pretty easy to get to Chicago on a 4 hour flight). She also is touring more cities this spring and Chicago was not on the list of cities – she did play here in October, but I don’t see it being too out of the question. Basically, I was dead set on her being on this lineup and was planning to attend whichever day she would be performing. This loss is probably the reason I won’t be going to Pitchfork this year, which is a bummer. I hope she’s back in Chicago soon.
  • Lots of females are on the lineup this year! Female identifying musicians have been notably left off of festival lineups for the past few years and fans have been addressing this as a big issue for awhile now. But it’s nice to see that there are lots of females slated to perform at Pitchfork this summer – and two out of the three headliners! I’ll take it.
  • Performances from HAIM and Sky Ferreira must mean that they are both releasing new music soon. HAIM’s last album was in 2017 and Sky Ferreira has been on a break for YEARS since her debut way back in 2013 (and she did tweet this morning that new music is coming THIS MONTH). I still think a HAIM headlining slot seems really random and sort of lame – even if they ARE releasing new music, but I don’t make the Pitchfork lineups! I like them enough, but they are just not what is current in music IMO and seems like a strange choice. If I wasn’t seeing Robyn TONIGHT (March 6) I would definitely be going on Sunday – obviously if I knew she was playing this festival before I bought tickets to see her at The Aragon, I would have gone to see her here. Hindsight is 20/20!
  • Two interesting things I picked up on: local acts and hip-hop acts. P4k usually has a decent amount of Chicago based bands on their lineups but it seems even more prevalent this year. Whitney, LaLa LaLa, Tasha, Dreezy, Ric Wilson, Valee, Grapetooth are all Chicago artists (I probably missed a few – let me know). I like this aspect of the festival a lot. This year’s lineup also seems incredibly hip-hop heavy! I personally feel like last year it was not as evident on the lineup – basically everyone I saw on Saturday of Pitchfork last year (review here) were not hip-hop at all. Artists like Earl Sweatshirt, Jeremiah, Pusha-T, Freddie Gibbs, JPEGmafia, Rico Nasty, Valee are just a few of the rap artists on the lineup. This isn’t particularly surprising to me, just an interesting point to notice.
  • Notable absences from Mitski, Janelle Monáe and Kacey Musgraves means the they are even more likely to be playing Lollapalooza this year. I wouldn’t have guessed Mitski to be there since P4k loves her so much but I think this is definitely a possibility. I’d say Janelle and Kacey are more likely, though.

Undercards I would recommend checking out (that happen to all be female-led acts)

Friday: 

  • Rico Nasty
  • Julia Holter – her name didn’t look familiar to me right away but I realized I’ve heard a few songs. Definitely an acquired sound but I think she’s interesting.
  • Soccer Mommy
  • Sky Ferreira

Saturday: 

  • LaLa LaLa
  • Jay Som
  • Amber Mark

Sunday: 

  • Tasha
  • Snail Mail
  • Clairo

What are your thoughts on this year’s Pitchfork lineup? I’m personally just more excited to see what Lollapalooza brings us.

Thanks for reading.

  • Kristin
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