Venue Spotlight: Pitchfork Music Festival

Union Park, Chicago
July 15-17


A mini-Lollapalooza featuring lesser-known, up-and-coming bands, Pitchfork Music Festival is just as fun. Whether your kids are begging you to let them go, or you yourself want to go, here are some fest tips that bridge the gap.

Get your tickets soon. Three-day passes are already sold out. But there’s always Craigslist—I usually have luck for last-minute ticket buying or selling, so keep trying!

Bring the right gear. Sunscreen, hat, water, backpack or knapsack for keys, wallet, umbrella, poncho, sunglasses, bandanna, camera, phone, binoculars (if you’re a real fan), earplugs, band schedule, etc.

Pace yourself. Make sure you eat. And drink water. Parents: Have a talk with your kids before they go. They may have plans to party, so warn them that fun (like that) and sun don’t mix. Bad idea. They won’t go next year if they’re not smart this year. I go to these fests. There are tons of kids having a great time and enjoying the music. There are a few who miss it all because they made a bad choice with the partying. Make sure you see your kid before they leave for the fest (no sleepovers) and have them check in midday. And make sure you see them after the fest. It’s usually the first-timers who make the worst mistakes.

Bridge the gap … If you’re a music lover parent, why don’t you consider taking your kids to their first music fest? Go for a day together and see the scene for yourself. I’m a boomer, and I go to the fests. I love the music, and I go to discover the new emerging acts. I look at the lineup for each day, listen to the bands on iTunes and make my personal schedule. Then I put on my sunscreen and hat and go. It’s really fun. And I hate crowds!

Valslist’s Favorite Bands at Pitchfork:
1.    Neko Case (Friday, July 15)
2.    Fleet Foxes (Saturday, July 16)
3.    TV on the Radio (Sunday, July 17)
4.    Toro Y Moi (Sunday, July 17)

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