The Pitchfork Music Festival is hosted every summer in July at Union Park in Chicago. Ramp up your energy and get ready to immerse yourself in unadulterated fun. The artists featured are as eclectic as the genres they represent; whether you’re a rock fanatic or hip-hop virtuoso, this is right up your alley. With more than 40 bands to rock your summer over three days, you will be spoiled with choices and will have quite a lot to write home about. A distinct factor about the Pitchfork festivals is their mission to promote up-and-coming artists. For you as a festival-goer, it is refreshing to listen to new, never-heard-before music.
Union Park is predominantly grass terrain with a few buildings on the peripheries of the park. To help you get the most out of your experience, the festival offers a myriad of activities for the course of the weekend that are not just about the music. For guests with tots hot on their heels, there is a kid’s zone that will get the kids playing in merriment. Other activities include craft and book fairs.
Tickets for Pitchfork Music Festival are grouped into two categories; GA Tickets and Plus Tickets. The respective categories have tickets as either a single day pass or a three-day pass. GA Tickets single-day pass ranges between $70 - $100, whereas the three-day pass is $150-200. The Plus Tickets single-day pass ranges between $160 and $190, and the three-day pass has been known to range between $300 and $400. Get yours and be part of the fun. Note that ticket prices go up as the festival approaches. Be an early bird, and get yours sooner.
A recommended route to use is the I-55 via I-290 W highway. The venue, 1501 Randolph Street (Union Park), is situated in the near west and to the south of Ashland station. Patrons can use transport options such as their private cars or public transportation to get to the venue. A navigation GPS is a trusted way to get to your desired location.
There are ample parking locations in the surrounding areas within a five-minute walking distance to and from Union Park. Streets such as Madison, Adams, and Monroe offer facilities for parking. For those using bikes, designated parking lots are provided at the festival. Be on the lookout for a precise location closer to the festival date for parking your bike.
The most accessible and reliable form of public transport is the CTA system. You can choose between using a train or bus. If you prefer using a train, the Green Line drops you off at Ashland stop which is a stone's throw away from the park. If using a bus is your preferred mode of transport, a stop near the festival site is usually available.
Unfortunately, Union Park does not cater to RV camping or parking on site. There are various campgrounds about an hour away from the venue. Area campgrounds offer amenities such as electrical amps up to a maximum of 50 amps, sewer line hookups, a pet-friendly environment, and some even offer drop-off laundry facilities. Getting to and from the campgrounds is more convenient when using major highway routes in the Chicago area.
Navigating Chicago for the nearest campgrounds from to Union Park can be a bit tricky, but if you are not particularly fussy about full-hookups and are content with "boondocking" or dry camping, you can find a campground site within a ten-minute drive. Other campgrounds which offer full hookup options (electric, sewer, water) can be found about an hour's drive and provide a myriad of additional activities that you can enjoy throughout your stay.
Accessibility is a goal that the Pitchfork folks take seriously; ramps and ADA restrooms provisions are made. For exploration further afield, Chicago offers an assortment of fun activities to explore. Randolph Street is a hive of activity; you will be spoiled for choice with the options in that vicinity, from taste bud tours to museums, yours will be a tour worth writing home about from this festival.
Since this is a summer event, lightweight clothes are recommended. Whether you want to don your super cool shorts or ripped jeans, the look will go with the hot weather. The rule of thumb when it comes to shoes is comfort; the more comfortable they are, the better your feet will be (think of how much you’ll be jumping up and down to your favorite tunes). Are hats your thing? Bring one for the festival; you’ll thank yourself for this.
There are specific gear and general restrictions for items you can and cannot bring to the festival. Some of the items permitted are small fanny packs, factory sealed water bottles (only two per person), and a disposable camera; if you are either a professional photographer or an amateur but with state-of-the-art camera equipment, unfortunately, you'll have to leave your treasured tripod camera at home. For an awesome camping experience, bring blankets, towels, and sheets so you can have a "picnic" setup for your shindig.
It is said that water is the elixir of life. Hydrating as much as possible is imperative. Bring water sealed containers and refill these or buy water at the festival. Sunscreen is highly recommended. Another essential is sunscreen, but it must be factory sealed upon entry. Along with this, bug spray is advisable. Vis-à-vis safety, the festival has storage lockers which you can use to store your valuables. These should be reserved in advance to get an advantage.
If you want to get food elsewhere to either eat before or after the festivities, there are stores a stone throw away from the venue where you can purchase food for cooking at your campsite. No outside food or drinks is permitted when entering Union Park, but you can look forward to food provided by food vendors.
There are a myriad of restaurants a mere walking distance from Union Park. Whether you’re looking to start your day pre-festival with a hearty breakfast or burgers that make your mouth water, your palate will be catered to with care. Have a particular dietary preference? No problem, don’t fret. There are numerous restaurants to satiate your desired favorite dishes.
What is a festival without food delicacies and beverage options to guzzle down during the festivities? You will find a vast array of licensed vendors who are at your beck and call for your food and drink preferences. Whether you are a craft beer fan or if ciders are more up your alley, the choice is there for you. If you fancy a souvenir and keepsake for your fabulous weekend, you will be spoiled by choices with the assortment of vendors selling various types of keepsakes.
Pitchfork has a designated security company appointed to take care of security needs. They have a zero tolerance policy on harassment and violence. For your own benefit, look to take advantage of what the event offers without wreaking havoc in your wake. Festival officials ask that guests be ready to help one another out as needed.
“Hot” defines the weather in July throughout Chicago. Come prepared with the necessary accessories to bear the weather conditions so that all you’re thinking about is enjoying your festivities in sheer abandon. Of course, it is always best to carry an extra item of clothing for a more chilly evening (a just-in-case scenario). Want to know the best part? This festival will take place rain or shine.
For any medical condition that you might have that may require you to bring a prescription or equipment, upon entrance to the festival, inform the security staff. Pitchfork has strict rules about not bringing medication that is not prescribed to each guest. Guests are encouraged to ask for assistance if a situation arises while at the event.