Features Festivals

Five Takeaways From This Year’s Pitchfork Lineup – 2020

Festival season is coming?! I present this as a question because as I type this, it’s 10 degrees outside in Chicago and it’s also only February. Pitchfork Music Festival’s 2020 lineup came early this year, and at least to me, it felt like it came out of nowhere. In year’s past, the lineup has come out in early March.

I had seen an image of a supposed leak lineup on Tuesday, February 18 and it seemed to be pretty legitimate. That morning, The National had released tour dates that did not include a Chicago stop, as well as a significant gap in their schedule for Pitchfork weekend. Phoebe Bridgers was also slated to support the tour, another artist that was likely to end up on this lineup or Lollapalooza’s.

Here are a few things to take away 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.

TAKEAWAYS:

  • Pitchfork seemed to take notice on the controversy surrounding festivals booking primarily male artists, because this lineup is pretty gender-balanced. Heck, the top four artists on Friday’s lineup alone are women or have women in the band! Artists like Angel Olsen, Sharon Van Etten, and Caroline Polachek had very massive years in 2019.
  • Pitchfork tends to get a lot of Chicago-based artists on their lineup every year, and 2020 is no exception. Artists like Dehd, KAINA, Femdot, Twin Peaks, Divino Niño, and The Hecks are all Chicago born.
  • Last year’s lineup featured artists like HAIM and Sky Ferriera, two artists who have been quietly sharing info about their upcoming album releases—both in which I expected to definitely be out by now. They performed new music in 2019 and still have not announced release dates for new albums. Artists on this year’s lineup like Tierra Whack and Phoebe Bridgers are both two others who haven’t released solo albums since 2018: what does that mean for them?
  • A few artists that were a toss-up between landing on this lineup and Lolla’s are notably absent, including The 1975, Lana Del Rey, and FKA Twigs. If I know anything, I would put money on all three showing up on Lolla’s lineup this year.
  • Whatever you may think about Pitchfork and the way the publication is viewed culturally, they know their readers damn well. According to this 2019 poll, where readers submitted their favorite albums of the year, five out of the top 20 were booked to perform at the festival this year.

1. Lana Del Rey: Norman Fucking Rockwell!
2. FKA twigs: MAGDALENE
3. Tyler, the Creator: IGOR
4. Weyes Blood: Titanic Rising
5. Angel Olsen: All Mirrors
6. Big Thief: U.F.O.F.
7. Vampire Weekend: Father of the Bride
8. Bon Iver: i,i
9. Big Thief: Two Hands
10. Solange: When I Get Home
11. Purple Mountains: Purple Mountains
12. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds: Ghosteen
13. Charli XCX: Charli
14. Sharon Van Etten: Remind Me Tomorrow
15. Thom Yorke: ANIMA
16. (Sandy) Alex G: House of Sugar
17. Billie Eilish: When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?
18. The National: I Am Easy to Find
19. black midi: Schlagenheim
20. JPEGMAFIA: All My Heroes Are Cornballs

UNDERCARDS TO CHECK OUT

Friday: 

  • Waxahatchee
  • SOPHIE
  • Hop Along
  • KAINA

Saturday: 

  • Tierra Whack
  • Oso Oso
  • Divino Niño

Sunday: 

  • Phoebe Bridgers (does she count as an undercard?)
  • Caroline Polachek
  • Faye Webster

What are your thoughts on this year’s Pitchfork lineup?

  • Kristin

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