Breaking Down Chicago’s Summer Festival Lineups

Being from the Chicago area, I greatly anticipate the release of the Lollapalooza and Pitchfork Music Festival lineups each year. Some years are certainly weaker than others, but, this year, I think that both festivals put together strong lineups.

Lollapalooza will be held August 2nd through the 5th in its usual setting, Grant Park, where the skyline of the city towers over performers. The lineup typically spans genres including alternative, hip-hop, pop, and EDM, among others. Approximately 400,000 people will attend the festival over the course of its four days, and for good reason. This year, the festival will be headlined by The Weeknd, Bruno Mars, Jack White, Arctic Monkeys, Travis Scott, The National, Vampire Weekend, and Odesza, a very comprehensive list. The festival also features other huge artists such as Post Malone, Khalid, Lil Uzi Vert, Tyler, The Creator, Portugal. The Man, Zedd, Dua Lipa, Gucci Mane, and Camila Cabello.

The artists I’m looking forward to the most, however, are BROCKHAMPTON, Daniel Caesar, Rex Orange County, and Sabrina Claudio. In the past year, BROCKHAMPTON has released a huge collection of music in the SATURATION trilogy, and have just announced their next release, PUPPY, which will drop some time this summer. Their energy is infectious, and I can’t wait to finally see them live. My favorite album of 2017 was decidedly Daniel Caesar’s Freudian, an absolute masterpiece. I missed out on his performance at Reggie’s Rock Club this past November, and I certainly won’t be passing him up again. Rex Orange County also put out some great music last year with his album Apricot Princess, a combination of indie and hip-hop, making for easy listening. Sabrina Claudio’s About Time, including standout track “Unravel Me”, was also a good album to come out of 2017, and I’m sure her performance will also be highly enjoyable. Beyond that, don’t miss out on Tycho, Blackbear, Kali Uchis, Cigarettes After Sex, Parquet Courts, Knox Fortune, or Post Animal, which are all sure to be fantastic performances, as well.

If you’re interested in a smaller, more laid-back festival, Pitchfork Music Festival also has an exciting lineup that will purely attract music lovers. Held July 20th through the 22nd in Chicago’s Union Park, Pitchfork features artists spanning hip-hop, alternative, and experimental music. This year, Pitchfork will be headlined by Tame Impala, Fleet Foxes, and Lauryn Hill. Tame Impala has yet to follow up 2015’s Currents, so I hope their Pitchfork performance will feature new tunes, though their existing discography would never be disappointing.

Other than Tame Impala, I’m most excited for Big Thief, Julien Baker, Noname, (Sandy) Alex G, Kweku Collins, Ravyn Lenae, and Kelela. Big Thief, Julien Baker, (Sandy) Alex G, and Kelela each released albums last year, all of which I really enjoyed. Kweku Collins opened for Whitney on their tour this past fall, and though I was not very familiar with him at the time, he was extremely entertaining, and I’m looking forward to seeing him again. Ravyn Lenae has been an exciting artist to watch over the last couple years, and was featured on Noname’s Telefone, another great album. Along with them, be sure to catch Courtney Barnett, Earl Sweatshirt, Blood Orange, Moses Sumney, Girlpool, and Japanese Breakfast.

If you find yourself in Chicago this summer, be sure to check out Lollapalooza and Pitchfork. Each festival offers a unique experience, but both are packed with great artists.