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The Complete Pitchfork 2015 Survival Guide

Festivals are hard. Lighten the logistical load with this handy guide.

Having a great time at Pitchfork 2014.   Photo: Clayton Hauck

Pitchfork is nigh, and as anybody who’s been before can attest, festivals are hard. Should you bike or train? Is it going to storm? Will Death Grips show up? Are you bringing your backpack?

Chances are something’s going to throw a wrench in your plans this weekend; dodge the avoidable ones with this handy survival guide.

So. Where is Pitchfork?

Pitchfork Fest takes place in Union Park, 1501 W. Randolph, with the main gate at Ashland and Maypole. Note that there’s no longer a smaller gate at Randolph and Ogden (bummer), so you may want to leave yourself some extra line-time.

When is Pitchfork?

This Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Gates open at 3 p.m. on Friday and noon on Saturday and Sunday, with music starting at 3:20 p.m. Friday (Ryley Walker—go!) and 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday (Jimmy Whispers and Bitchin’ Bajas). Headliners take the stage at 8:30 p.m. nightly, so expect to be out and cruising the after-parties by 10 p.m.

How should I get there?

Take the pink or green line to Ashland and Lake (both lines run until 1 a.m.) or the #9 or #20 busses to Ashland/Lake and Ashland/Madison respectively (both busses run all night).

For cyclists, there’s ample bike parking at the southeast corner of Ashland and Lake and a Divvy dock at the northwest corner.

There’s also a promo for first-time Uber users, of course. Download the app and enter code PITCHFORK2015 for a free ride up to $20. Drive your own car if you want, but we’re not endorsing it. Parking will be the worst.

What can I bring to the festival?

A winning attitude, of course. Also, all of these:

  • A medium-sized backpack, satchel, or fanny pack
  • Two sealed bottles of water
  • Non-professional cameras (nothing with a detachable lens)
  • Hats and sunglasses
  • Sun block
  • Cigs
  • Children, for free, if they’re younger then 10.
  • Folding chairs (not lounge chairs)

Wow! What can’t I bring?

Plenty:

  • A tent
  • Flags
  • Professional cameras (nothing with detachable lenses)
  • Video or audio recording equipment (your phone is fine)
  • Lounge chairs
  • An instrument
  • Weapons
  • Pets
  • Food
  • Drinks (other than your sealed bottles of water)
  • Drugs and drug paraphernalia
  • New this year: Selfie sticks

Will there be lockers?

Yes, and you can pre-order one for $20 a day or $50 for the weekend here.

What if I lose something?

It might just get found. The fest’s lost and found is in the will call trailer on Ashland, and you can pick up your stuff for a week after the festival.

Got any pro tips?

Of course:

  • Do drink a lot of water. It’s going to be 90° all weekend.
  • Don’t leave the festival for a sandwich/beer/romp/whatever—there’s no re-entry.
  • Do eat before and during the festival. Again, 90°.
  • Don’t be obnoxious on your way to or from the festival.
  • Do bring your own TP (some stalls have run out of it before).
  • Don’t litter.
  • Do bring a raincoat. On top of the 90° weather, thunderstorms are likely. Oh, and do stick your phone in a Ziploc baggie.
  • Don’t lock your bike to anybody’s property. The festival will have rows of metal barricades for bike-parking at the southeast corner of Ashland and Lake.
  • Do hit an ATM before the festival. Cash is king in festie land.
  • Don’t post flyers around Union Park. The Department of Streets and Sanitation will be ticketing perps at $250 a flyer.
  • Do follow Chicago magazine staffers on Twitter for updates and witticisms: @carrieschedler @ChicagoMag, @mattypollock, @TomiObaro.
  • That said, don’t rely on your phone. Data will clog, and you will be lost. Set a meeting spot with your friends.
  • Do take a cell screenshot of the schedule and save it as your lock screen.
  • Don’t set-jump too much. You’ll end up seeing a whole lot of bands from a whole lot of yards away.
  • Do have fun, yah rascals.

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