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Photograph: Neal O'Bryan

14 acts you might find on the 2019 Pitchfork Music Festival lineup

Zach Long
Written by
Zach Long

Last week, Pitchfork Music Festival put tickets on sale for its latest edition in Union Park this summer, which means that the lineup for the annual fest can't be too far behind. According to the event's website, the price of a three-day pass will rise and single-day tickets will become available on Wednesday, March 6—a pretty good indication that organizers plan on releasing at least a portion of the lineup that day (hopefully not via an arduous mural-painting session).

RECOMMENDED: Check out photos from previous editions of Pitchfork Music Festival

We can't wait to find out who will be on this year's lineup, so we combed through touring schedules to find out which acts are likely to be available during July 19–21. While it's possible that a few acts that performed at Pitchfork's recent Midwinter festival at the Art Institute of Chicago may return for an afternoon in Union Park, we decided to focus on artists who have yet to play an event curated by the publication this year. Here are 14 of our best guesses at who will take the stage 

1. St. Vincent

After shredding at Lollapalooza last year and sharing a steamy duet with Dua Lipa at the Grammys, it seems like the right time for Annie Clark to headline Pitchfork. St. Vincent doesn't have much of a summer touring schedule or a new album to promote, but she's played the Union Park fest twice before and has the kind of following that would allow here to command top-billing this time around.

2. Pusha-T

Every edition of Pitchfork needs a huge hip-hop headliner, and with Anderson .Paak out of the running (he's playing Northerly Island in June), it's looking like festival alum Pusha-T could be the man for the job. He's popular enough to close out the fest on Sunday night; his Kanye West-produced album, Daytona, got a Best New Music nod from the publication; and his touring schedule in mid-July looks pretty sparse.

3. Robyn

Swedish electro-pop superstar Robyn has only played a handful shows in the U.S. since 2012, so a headlining set at Pitchfork (where she last performed in 2010) would be a pretty big deal. Yes, she already has a sold-out Chicago gig scheduled for March 6, but that's far enough away from mid-July that it shouldn't really matter. The sticking point is her summer touring schedule, which is exclusively European dates, though the weekend of July 19–21 is wide open.

4. Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Karen O and her band once filled in for the Beastie Boys and closed out a night of Lollapalooza, but the art-punk trio has never taken the stage in Union Park. The band doesn't seem to have a new record on the horizon, but its recent gigs celebrating the 15th anniversary of its debut album Fever to Tell make it a pretty good candidate for the "nostalgic indie-rock headliner" slot that Fleet Foxes filled at last year's fest.

5. Stereolab

A Chicago stop was notably absent from the list of tour dates that the newly reunited kraut-pop act recently unveiled, which is pretty strange given that Stereolab recorded some of its most seminal albums (Dots and Loops, Sound-Dust) in our fair city. Thankfully, the band's July schedule is wide open and we're sure that plenty of people would snag a ticket for the fest solely to hear "French Disko."

6. Bikini Kill

It wasn't so long ago that O.G. riot grrrl Kathleen Hannah brought her current band the Julie Ruin to Union Park. Now that she's reassembled punk outfit Bikini Kill for a handful of shows in New York and Los Angeles, there's a chance that the group could show up on the Pitchfork lineup—unless Riot Fest has already booked 'em.

7. Mitski

Pitchfork named Mitski Miyawaki's Be the Cowboy the best album of 2018, so her presence at this year's festival is almost guaranteed, especially because she likely has to skip last year's fest due to her tour with Lorde.

8. Jeff Tweedy

It's a pretty short trip to Union Park for Wilco's Chicago-native frontman Jeff Tweedy, but don't expect a solo set like his annual charity shows at the Vic—if Tweedy plays Pitchfork, he'll likely bring along the band that backed his tour in support of his debut solo album, WARM.

9. Parquet Courts

When they played the main stage at Lollapalooza last year, Parquet Courts seemed a little out of place sandwiched between sets from lo-fi pop singer Clairo and R&B queen Lizzo. In Union Park, the Brooklyn art-punk act will feel right at home among similarly genre-averse acts and attendees that know all of the words to "Master of my Craft."

10. Valee

After making an appearance at Lollapalooza last year, GOOD Music-signed trap emcee Valee could give Pitchfork a go this summer. Here's hoping that he embraces the subdued bars of his debut EP and nixes the hype men who joined him at Lolla.

11. Soccer Mommy

Young Tennessee singer-songwriter Sophie Allison recently announced a short run of Midwest tour dates that ends in Columbus, Ohio, just a few days before Pitchfork weekend. All signs point to "she'll definitely be there."

12. Cupcakke

A set at Pitchfork would be among local rapper Cupcakke's biggest shows to date, though she'll likely be relegated to the smaller Blue Stage—out of earshot of families who might not want their kids to hear 50 different euphemisms for genitalia.

13. Low

A sprawling field is never the ideal venue for the resolute, delicate compositions that Low favors, but it's been six years since the Minneapolis trio last played in Union Park and more people deserve a chance to hear the fractured arrangements of the band's latest album, Double Negative, in-person.

14. Freddie Gibbs + Madlib

The last collaboration between Indiana rapper Freddie Gibbs and California producer Madlib resulted in a raucous Pitchfork set in 2015, so it seems likely that the pair's forthcoming sophomore LP, Bandana, will yield another set at the fest.

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