5 Must-See Artists at Pitchfork Music Festival

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Photo by Matt Lief Anderson

As we head deeper into the summer, Chicago starts to move from the fabulous street festivals to the music festivals. Pitchfork Music Festival starts the outdoor music season with their impressive lineup of indie and best-selling musicians.

Compared other music festivals like Lollapalooza, North Coast Music Festival, and Riot Fest, the Pitchfork Music Festival has set itself apart from the others by presenting more up-and-coming bands. Those who attend this festival will usually see some of these artists the following year at Lollapalooza. However, with only three days and over 40 bands to see you’ll definitely miss some artists. Here are five artists and bands you can’t miss this year.

1. Broken Social Scene

Friday, July 15
Red Stage 7:20 p.m.

Broken Social Scene is a musical collective that’s been around since 1999 that features a rotating alumni of as many as 19 artists. Those members include Feist and Justin Peroff along with founding members Kevin Drew and Brendan Canning. What started as a mostly instrumental group has grown to a baroque band with wonderful orchestrations and surprising song structures.

2. Blood Orange

Saturday, July 16
Red Stage, 5:15 p.m.
Devonté Hynes, also known as Blood Orange, is probably behind some of your favorite songs from bands like FKA Twigs, Solange Knowles, and Florence and the Machine. With Blood Orange, Hynes brings back that early-’90s R&B that’s reminiscent of Sade.

3. Brian Wilson

Saturday, July 16
Red Stage, 7:25 p.m.
Yes, Brian Wilson is not an emerging artist, but that in no way means you shouldn’t catch him performing all of “Pet Sounds.” This iconic album celebrates it’s 50th anniversary this year. It’s hard to get into how important this album is to the history of music, but to put it simply The Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” doesn’t exist without “Pet Sounds.”

4. Sufjan Stevens

Saturday, July 16
Green Stage, 8:30 p.m.
Sufjan Stevens is another artist you wouldn’t consider up-and-coming but is still unknown to many. He’s probably most recognized for his “Illinois” album that was centered on stories related to the state. Stevens’s hypnotizing voice feels like a breeze in a wheat field that you never want to stop.

5. Miguel

Sunday, July 17
Red Stage, 7:25 p.m.
With the passing of Prince, the world is yearning for a transcendental artist in that vein, and Miguel does show flashes of that artistry and voice so much so that the Purple One once asked Miguel to sing “Purple Rain.” His high register and sensual lyrics will definitely have you feeling some kind of way.

Pitchfork Music Festival takes place July 15–17 at Union Park, 1501 W. Randolph St. For tickets and more information visit pitchforkmusicfestival.com.


Written By Joel Mora

Joel Mora is editor at Concierge Preferred. Born and raised in Miami, Fl., Joel has slowly ate, drank, and explored his way up north refining all his senses to prepare for the stampede of delicious dining, notorious nightlife, stellar shopping, and captivating culture that calls Chicago home. In the wild he’ll be the red-bearded Cuban with a Lagunitas IPA in his hand.

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