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Everything you need to know about Pitchfork Music Festival

Pitchfork Music Festival 2017, Neal O'Bryan
Photograph: Neal O'Bryan

There's a lot going on in Chicago this weekend, but music fans will be flocking to Pitchfork Music Festival, where some of the most exciting rock, hip-hop and electronic acts are slated to perform over the course of the three-day event. Organized by taste-making online publication Pitchfork, the festival is marking its 13th year in the city, bringing together a characteristically eclectic lineup of performers that range from legendary R&B singers to up-and-coming DIY rockers. Before you make your way over to Union Park, check out this handy primer that should impart everything you need to know about this year's Pitchfork Music Festival.

RECOMMENDED: Our complete guide to Pitchfork Music Festival

When is Pitchfork Music Festival?

This year's festival begins on Friday, July 20 and runs through Sunday, July 22. Gates open at noon on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and the festival shuts down at 10pm each night.

Where is Pitchfork Music Festival?

The festival takes place in Union Park, which is located at 1501 W Randolph Street on the West Side of the city. The main gates for the festival are located on Ashland Avenue, just south of Lake Street. A second gate is located at Washington Boulevard and Ogden Avenue on the east side of Union Park. 

What's the best way to get to Pitchfork Music Festival?

Thankfully, it's extremely easy to reach Union Park via public transportation. If you're coming from the north or south, catch the Ashland (9) bus and hop off at Lake Street. If you're headed to the park from the Loop, jump on the CTA Green Line toward Harlem or the Pink Line toward Cermak and get off at the Ashland Station, which is located next to Union Park. You can also ride your bike and lock it up in a dedicated parking lot at 325 N Ashland Avenue. If you're driving your car, there aren't many options except for street parking and a few nearby businesses that sell spaces in their lots.

Who is playing at Pitchfork Music Festival?

Headliners at this year's fest include Aussie psych-rockers (and everyone's go-to aux cord pick) Tame Impala, indie-folk veterans Fleet Foxes and R&B superstar Ms. Lauryn Hill, performing her 1998 solo album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Take a look at the complete Pitchfork Music Festival schedule, and if you need some recommendations, we've picked out 12 Pitchfork acts you shouldn't miss.

What else is there to do at Pitchfork Music Festival?

Plenty! When you're not watching performances, you can shop for LPs from local record stores and labels at the CHIRP Record Fair, check out gig posters by local and national artists at the Flatstock Poster Fair, peruse a selection of handmade items curated by Renegade Craft Fair and hang out at the Book Fort, where Chicago publishers will be selling reading material and hosting performances and interviews with artists playing the fest. There's also food from the likes of DönerMen, Chicago Diner, Leghorn Chicken and Bang Bang Pie as well as Goose Island beer (including a festival-exclusive pale ale inspired by the Japandroids) and Virtue Cider for sale.

How much are tickets to Pitchfork Music Festival?

You can still snag a single-day ticket to Pitchfork for $75 per day. If you want to attend all three days of the festival, a three-day pass will cost you $175. This year, Pitchfork Music Festival is also offering three-day +PLUS tickets for $375—they give you faster entry to the festival, access to bathrooms with AC, the ability to leave and re-renter the fest, the ability to purchase food and drinks from local restaurant Fat Rice and a swag bag filled with festival goodies. All tickets are available via Pitchfork's website and at the festival's on-site box office on Ashland Avenue, which is open from 11am to 9pm daily.

What's the weather going to be like?

Right now, it's looking like it's going to be a wet weekend in Union Park. According to Accuweather, we can expect thunderstorms throughout the day on Friday, a rainy afternoon on Saturday and cloudy conditions on Sunday. The only consolation is that the precipitation should keep temperatures hovering in the mid–70s, though the humidity could be rough. We recommend bringing a raincoat (umbrellas are prohibited), wearing an old pair of shoes and keeping your fingers crossed that the stormy conditions don't lead to an evacuation.

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