As summer festivals go, Pitchfork is one of the less egregious overbookers. With only three stages and a 20,000 capacity, the festival's manageability has become its chief asset—especially as other festivals balloon to four-day, ten-stage affairs.
Still, there are choices to make. Sets on opposite ends of Union Park inevitably overlap, and trying to scurry between them mid-set yields little more than bad visibility. Here's how I'm handling five particularly irritating set conflicts.
Friday: Carly Rae Jepsen vs. Mick Jenkins
CRJ: 6:25 to 7:15 on the Green Stage
Mick Jenkins: 6:15 to 7 on the Blue Stage
What I'm doing: Mick Jenkins. Carly Rae's new album is really, actually pretty good, but Mick Jenkins has a new one on the way, and I'm gunning for new material.
Friday: Beach House vs. Shamir
Beach House: 8:30 to 9:50 on the Green Stage
Shamir: 8:15 to 9:15 on the Blue Stage
What I'm doing: Shamir. The Las Vegas synth-pop singer killed it last year, and Beach House is for Sundays anyway. Zzz.
Saturday: BJ the Chicago Kid vs. Blood Orange
BJ: 5:45 to 6:30 on the Blue Stage
Blood Orange: 5:15 to 6:10 on the Red Stage
What I'm doing: Blood Orange wins the battle of the croon, but only because BJ plays Soho House on Sunday night. Do both.
Saturday: Anderson .Paak vs. Brian Wilson
Anderson .Paak: 7:45 to 8:30 on the Blue Stage
Brian Wilson: 7:25 to 8:25 on the Red Stage
What I'm doing: As the dummy who skipped half of Paul McCartney's set at Lolla last year—only to show up and be blown away by the second half—I'm not gonna get cute with this one. BriWil wins.
Sunday: Jeremih vs. The Hotelier
The Hotelier: 5:45 to 6:30 on the Blue Stage
Jeremih: 6:15 to 7:15 on the Red Stage
What I'm doing: Breaking my own rule: Watching all of the Hotelier—a personal fave and Pitchfork's first (and probably last) emo billing—then scurrying over to whatever's left of Jeremih's homecoming.