Hey, remember music festivals? You know: Bands, wristbands, thousands of people in close proximity, breathing in the water droplets expelled by each other’s lungs? It seems like a quaint idea now, but once upon a time—i.e., 2019—they were all the rage, allowing people to safely transmit things like joy, a shared love of music, and not, say, a deadly pandemic.
Now, the organizers of the annual (ish) Pitchfork Music Festival are trying to get the figurative band back together, with The Chicago Tribune reporting on a Freedom Of Information Act request it recently filed, showing that Pitchfork’s founding director has gone forward with plans to apply for a permit to hold the event as usual this September. That permit application includes a notice that the Chicago festival will feature 200 bands and 19,000 daily attendees at the city’s Union Park, and yeah, whoops, we definitely just got the “That’s too many people in too small a space!” shakes. That’s going to take a while to clear itself out, huh?
The permit dates are set for September 10 through September 12, although none of this has been confirmed by Pitchfork’s organization. It’s also important to keep in mind that this is, presumably a placeholder: Certainly, organizers would rather have the option to hold the festival, on the chance that the COVID-19 pandemic is dealt with in sufficient force to allow it, rather than having August roll around, shrugging, and saying, “Hey, we just didn’t do the paperwork.” Other festivals like Lollapalooza and Riot Fest are presumably in a similar position, with the latter event having already gone so far as to make a called shot of announcing a September 17-19 date for the fest.