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Wait, Who’s Headlining Pitchfork Fest?

Pitchfork’s egalitarian lineup has everybody confused about who’s headlining.

FKA Twigs will (maybe) headline Pitchfork this summer.   Photo: Kristan Lieb

When Pitchfork announced its 2016 lineup this morning, three things became immediately clear:

  1. It’s very good.
  2. It’s very local.
  3. Nobody knows who’s headlining.

The festival, which for more than a decade has served as a showcase for cutting-edge music, announced this year’s roster in alphabetical order, ostensibly to short-circuit the headliner-centric mania that follows major festival announcements.

But this year’s lineup is also significantly more egalitarian than those in the past, to the degree that multiple acts could headline on any given night. A Pitchfork spokesperson told Chicago the closers are Carly Rae Jepsen/Beach House/Broken Social Scene on Friday, Brian Wilson/Sufjan Stevens on Saturday, and Miguel/Jeremih/FKA Twigs on Sunday. But given Pitchfork’s triangular setup, only two acts can play at any given moment, and one will be confined to the festival’s small, acoustically problematic Blue Stage.

It’s anybody’s guess who’ll close out Pitchfork’s behemoth Green Stage this year. RedEye and the Tribune are calling Beach House, Broken Social Scene, and FKA Twigs the headliners—but that leaves out Saturday. Greg Kot is highlighting Miguel, Brian Wilson, and the Sun Ra Arkestra. FKA Twigs tweeted that she’s headlining, but that could mean any stage. 

My guess? Carly Rae Jepsen, Brian Wilson, and Jeremih will get top billing. Sure, it would be great to see FKA Twigs’s bonkers live show get the production value it deserves; but Pitchfork is a moneymaking venture, and anybody who saw the crowds double before Wilco’s set last year knows that holding the big guns for last has the potential to draw a whole new demographic of concertgoer to the park. 

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