It’s rare that you ever feel completely at home at a music festival. The trend for large scale events in the music world now is to book a little of this and a little of that to try to offer an event that has something for everyone. We love when that works well, but when it doesn’t, the festival loses a lot of the magic that makes it unique and just becomes so generic, they don’t have anything particularly good for all the mediocre vendors, bands or art present at the festival. That’s why Pitchfork really excels at curating and bringing together the perfect crowds, acts, and merch for an experience that feels so tailored, it’s like the fest we’ve been waiting for our whole lives.

From the moment you stepped into Pitchfork Music Fest, you knew you were into something unique. The festival and company encouraged attendees to wear orange to support their Beats > Bullets campaign so right away we knew we were in for some bright colors, energetic festivities, and some progressive friends. We didn’t know how blown away we’d be.

Many of the attendees at the event wore their politics on their sleeves, their shirts, or in their hair. Political movements, ideologies and personal opinions mingled with band logos or style to intertwine a deep connection with music, the roots of a city, and a mentality that we just loved.

The overall feel of Pitchfork Music Festival was that of an invigorated youth, an energy of inclusiveness, and the feeling that the event was for us, weather it be the citizens of Chicago, the fans of all the performers, minorities, the progressive, just anyone who supported good talent, art or happenings in general. It’s rare you feel so at home and so apart of something, especially at a music festival. We were hooked from the moment we stepped on the grounds.

The bands wore orange wristbands, talked about how important supporting gun safety was and emphasized that this was music for the people, the fans, the progressive, the supporters. The feeling of unity was amazing and you never felt so connected with bands or talent at such a large event.

Many local record stores present helped to solidify the fact that this was a communal and international gathering of DIY, grass roots, and worldwide companies on the forefront of hip, young, progress. Pitchfork really knew how to curate the right stuff.

In summarizing why we liked the crowd, fans and vendors so much, we realize a lot of what makes Pitchfork Music Festival great has to do with the fact that the company is so rooted in the city it was founded in. Pitchfork fans are fans of the city, they’re young, hip, progressive, and want their city to grow and do well, supporting the businesses, music and companies that are a part of it and making sure they receive the fame they deserve.

Words (and some photos) by Phillip Gutgesell, majority photos by Katherine Wilburn