Features | Festivals

CMG's Guide to Not Attending the Pitchfork Music Festival

By Dom Sinacola | 16 July 2010

Another vacation-less summer, another Pitchfork Music Festival without you in attendance. You: perhaps you’ve attended before; you know what BNM-ing something means and you wonder if that actually means anything anymore; you will probably see Kurt Vile over Titus Andronicus because you never really got that band anyway.

Funds, day job, infant, IBS; whatever the reason, you won’t be there, unable to observe a hoard of perilously cute early-20s scenesters, unable to disdain them by being older and thicker in the waist and, because you’ve started caring about your health, closer to death. Who will you stare at with thinly veiled contempt? Your cat? So, as the weekend commences and the festival overshadows all other things involving music and fun and intoxication you hoped you could devote brainpower to in the midst of yet another obnoxiously hot season, why not stay inside and celebrate one more year without your corporeal essence in Union Park?

Yet again, the festival is streaming, so let’s assume you’ve made it that far. What to do next is where you’ll need our help. Thus:

A Rival Website’s Guide to Not Attending the Pitchfork Music Festival, “Not Attending” Also Not Implying One Has Anything Better to Attend

1. Dress antithetically. Your living room isn’t Bucktown, nor is it Williamsburg: no one will give a shit about how you look, and neither should you. Unpack those moth-eaten sweatpants; wear socks with flip-flops; conspicuously scratch your nether regions; don an adult diaper; smell of hibernation. Wear jeans with an identically colored denim blouse—no belt. Wear nothing. Even better: wear nothing except for opaque pieces of cloth covering all your tattoos. You have those, right?

2. Poop in a real toilet. Though my uncle once told me that sitting over an uncovered john for too long could predicate some serious colon trouble (bacteria gets in there too easily?—he didn’t specify), now’s the chance to really enjoy the cold safety of well-cleaned porcelain against your unthreatened behind while the festival throngs stand in line waiting to make in a fetid pile. In fact, why not spend a whole set on the toilet? Bring the laptop in the bathroom with you; if Kevin Drew only knew you were laying cable while watching him sing…

3. Do something illegal. Or at least illegal if done at Union Park. This applies to drugs, yes, which are always illegal (at least the good ones), but what about masturbation? Pace yourself and you may just be able to make it through Modest Mouse’s new songs.

4. Sing! You know all the words. Fill in for Jamie Foxx. Hustle blood / All in me. As loud as you can. You won’t have some bearded nobody like me staring at you, hoping you’ll shut up but too much of a milquetoast to actually approach you.

5. Drink whatever you damn well please. A 7-11 has more beer choices than Pitchfork will, for probably half the price. And that’s fucking 7-11 we’re talking about here.

6. Catch up on the first season of Lie To Me. Everyone loves Tim Roth. Or pop over to Justin.tv and watch some streaming Star Trek: TNG. Like the LCD Soundsystem set, it doesn’t matter where you start. There…are…four…lights!

7. Abuse the thermostat. Reports for the weekend are starting to predict rain, aren’t they? Suckers. From the comfort of your own couch, make the weather your bitch.

8. Start early. Sharon Van Etten starts, like, now! You don’t need to hop on the CTA’s cattle box early and stand in line to see more than any schmuck there could hope for.

9. Apply to write for Cokemachineglow. Dream of being a cog in the music industry machine? Or, harried by the commercialized bloat of what you’re witnessing, want to headbutt the Man? Put together an application to write for us and next year maybe you too could join in on the snark. Shit, you could even write coverage of the festival without being there, potentially earning you a spot on our staff so you could go to the festival next year for free. Where else would the standards be so low that this could constitute acceptable journalism?

10. Sit in absolute silence.

See you never!