Pitchfork festival to disappoint concert goers


Pitchfork’s Midwinter music festival will take place at the Art Institute of Chicago and will house a variety of artists.

By Peter Zemeske

Online music publication Pitchfork, has put on many fan-favorite music festivals every year in Chicago and Paris. The music festivals feature indie artists from a wide span of genres, including indie rock, rap and electronic. This year, they’re putting together a miniature music festival in Chicago’s very own Art Institute of Chicago, called Midwinter.

The festival lasts from Feb. 15 through 17, with the lineup including rappers Joey Purp and JPEGMAFIA, rock acts Deerhunter and Slowdive and electronic artists Oneohtrix Point Never and Zola Jesus. This all sounds great, but the pricing structure for the three-day fest is enough to drive any music fan away. Pitchfork is charging $50 per day just for admission and an additional ticket charge for almost every individual artist. If attendees want to see experimental artist Oneohtrix Point Never, the price comes out to $83.75, which is way more than a ticket would be at a solo show. A ticket to his solo show in London in early March comes out to $38.64, less than half the cost at Midwinter.

What makes the ticket price at Midwinter even more unreasonable is the set length. Oneohtrix Point Never takes the stage at the Art Institute at 9:00 p.m. and goes until 10:20 p.m., which is only one hour and 20 minutes. An artist will be on stage at a regular show for at least two hours, maybe more. At Midwinter, festival goers will be paying over twice as much for nearly half the set length of a normal show.

Midwinter’s venue is equally disappointing. While the Art Institute of Chicago is a wonderful celebration of art and is a beautiful building, the Institute wasn’t designed as a music venue. The Art Institute has halls meant for speakers, but not much beyond that. Panda Bear’s warbly synths and low singing voice will almost surely sound subpar in the Institute’s Griffin Court compared to an actual venue like The Riviera Theatre in Chicago for example. The acoustics are not designed for modern concerts at the Institute and seeing an artist at a real venue will be a better overall experience for fans hoping to see them this winter.