P4K Fest returned on July 19-21: See the gallery

Centralized in Chicago’s Union Park lies Pitchfork Music Festival — a  celebration of indie, pop, and alternative music for the avid Pitchfork audience. Though it’s not known to draw hundreds of thousands of fans, it’s energetic fanbase has carried the operation for years, making Pitchfork a household name for creators across the world. We attended Pitchfork Festival 2019 to give you the inside scoop on what you cannot miss during #P4K.
Charli XCX @ P4K Fest (Cassidy Kotyla/Soundazed)

The Vendors
While some festivals might treat vendors as secondary to the musical lineup, Pitchfork does an amazing job emphasizing the importance of local businesses, individual artists and their creative drive. Here, you’ll witness several creatives selling their handcrafted goods – from hand-painted jean jackets with Lizzo lyrics printed on the back to customized jewelry refurbished from old car parts.

In addition, there’s no shortage of record companies looking to resurface old records, highlighting some of the best beats that Chicago has to offer. If unique and amazing items are what you’re after, you’re most definitely going to find it here.
Jeremih @ P4K Fest (Cassidy Kotyla/Soundazed)


The Music

Pitchfork is all about thinking outside the box and disturbing the status quo, and that’s pretty evident as you go throughout the several acts in the day.  While the music is quite eclectic for the average music listener, you’re bound to find a new artist you’ll adore at Pitchfork Fest, regardless of your taste.

Clairo @ P4K Fest (Cassidy Kotyla/Soundazed)


At the Blue Stage, we found industry leaders like Jeremih, who just finished his nation-wide tour with R&B artist Teyana Taylor, as well as underground artists like Tasha and Neneh Cherry. The Green Stage housed acts like Japanese punk band CHAI, Parquet Courts, and rising star Clairo as she captivated the audience with charm and sass. It also gave a home to Sky Ferreira‘s highly-anticipated set and sister trio HAIM. The Red Stage gave us an exciting blend that included the awe-inspiring voice of Cate le Bon, a Welsh musician with the lightest sound you’ll probably expect at a festival, and the literal musical opposite, JPEGMAFIA. So amazing watching him dominate the crowd with his flare and dramatic moves.
The Isley Brothers @ P4K Fest (Cassidy Kotyla/Soundazed)

Of course, we can’t forget The Isley Brothers, who dominated the hits right after golden hour on Day 2. While these artists range in genre, they all have one thing in common—they’re powerhouses of their generations and their fans know it.
(Fun Fact: Listen to The Isley Brothers a few times. Notice anything strange? Their music has been sampled by dozens across the industry, including by The Notorious B.I.G., Mac Miller, Logic, and Joey Bada$$. Go figure, huh?)

The Food

While festival food is always the bomb.com, Pitchfork brings a new spin to Chicago cuisine. You can elect for the traditional deep-dish pizza from Connie’s, a favorite amongst Chicago dwellers, or sample some of the vegan cuisine offered by several different vendors. Regardless, you’re bound to find whatever your heart desires here at Pitchfork.
Besides the food, the drinks are another highlight of the festival. Within the VIP section (it costs extra but totally worth it), you can enjoy free (yes, we said free) drinks catered by Svedka Vodka, Bulleit Rye Whiskey, and even Don Julio. Try drinks like 12-year aged scotch paired with watermelon juice, or a fresh glass of Goose Island Brewery’s Pale Ale.

The Fans
An exciting crowd at P4K Fest (Cassidy Kotyla/Soundazed)
Every year, Pitchfork continues to foster a diverse environment that invites an array of fans to its festival. You can count on rave babies turned indie for the weekend or just a casual family lounging around with their three little children. The best part about Pitchfork is the resounding cheers from the audience, no matter the genre or time of day.

It seems like this audience is especially receptive to multi-genre festivals, or at least a festival where artistry is a higher focus than topping the charts. Instead of listening to the arena-fillers like Taylor Swift, The Chainsmokers or Zedd, the Pitchfork crowd consistently comes back to experiment with new artists, rather than (pitch)fork over a pretty penny to see the “hot” artists of our time.
Make sure to check out the full album by photographer Cassidy Kotyla on the official Soundazed website!

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