Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

The show can't go on: Pitchfork Music Festival 2020 is canceled

Illustration for article titled The show cant go on: Pitchfork Music Festival 2020 is canceled
Photo: Roger Kisby (Getty Images)

What this year’s Pitchfork Music Festival lineup lacked in marquee reunions or unexpected bookings it made up for in sheer quality—Yeah Yeah Yeahs, SOPHIE, Run The Jewels, Cat Power, Sharon Van Etten, and Phoebe Bridgers were just the beginning of the bill’s killer roster. But, as we’ve come to expect in These Trying Times, it is not to be. Today, Pitchfork announced that COVID-19 has ensured the Chicago festival can’t unfold as planned. Ticketholders will be contacted directly with refund options.


The announcement comes the day after Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker announced the state’s plan for reopening the economy. Under the five-phase plan, festivals like Pitchfork and Lollapalooza won’t be able to operate until there’s “a vaccine or highly effective treatment widely available or the elimination of any new cases.” And, as of now, that’s a long way off.

“It can be pretty daunting to think about the future of live music right now, but know that we are fully committed to bringing Pitchfork Music Festival back in 2021, if the public health situation allows for it,” reads the announcement. “In the meantime, we urge everyone to follow local health department guidelines. We are in this together, and, if we all do our part, we’ll celebrate next year in person.”


They’re not wrong. Festivals around the country are cratering due to social distancing guidelines, while iconic venues like West Hollywood’s Troubadour are having to launch GoFundMe campaigns to help stay afloat.

Pitchfork notes that it has plans for livestream performances, as well as “ways to use the full weight of Pitchfork to support musicians and the community around our festival.”

Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.

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