Bartees Strange, Horsegirl and more local acts kick off sweltering Day 2 of PitchforkMatt Mooreon September 11, 2021 at 10:12 pm

Day Two of Pitchfork Music Festival came with unrelenting sunshine and high temperatures, as some festival-goers laid out blankets in the shade and others opted to stand in the sun while watching the day’s first performances at Union Park.

Scorching sets from Bartees Strange and local act Horsegirl made the afternoon feel even hotter, with both groups performing their own high-energy interpretations of indie rock.

Near the intersection of Ashland and Washington, two public transportation vessels sat repurposed — a CTA bus parked as a cooling station in anticipation of the day’s heat, and an L car converted into a Goose Island Beer stand, where a collaboration beer with Saturday act Faye Webster was being poured, exclusive to this year’s festival.

By mid-afternoon, a slow trickle of fans made their way through the festival’s two entrances, as security contracted by Pitchfork continued to briefly check for proof of vaccination or testing.

Just as it had Friday, Pitchfork about an hour before the gates opened pushed a mobile notification reminding fans of COVID-19 protocols, including recommendation for masks — which were present on attendees, but far from ubiquitous.

The festival also announced via its app that hip-hop heavyweight Jay Electronica had been dropped from the bill, without explanation. Scheduled to perform in his time slot was producer RP Boo, adding another local Chicago act to this year’s lineup.

Festival-goers sit in the grass and listen as Waxahatchee performs on the Green Stage at Pitchfork music festival at Union Park, Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021.Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Indie pop-rock band Divino Nino was also among Saturday’s local acts, with lead singer Camilo Medina describing the band’s slot on the Green Stage as a “dream come true.”

Saturday at Pitchfork saw fans continuing to explore non-music attractions set up for the weekend, like the Renegade Craft Show popup — where clothes, jewelry and vinyl from record labels like New York-based Fire Talk Records — who represent Chicago’s-own DEHD– could be bought in the shade of a covered area in the park’s southern tip. A line of tents selling art prints also greeted festival-goers entering through the Ogden gates.

But when fans weren’t packed in to see acts like Maxo Kream (who went shirtless in response to the sweltering heat), chilling in the shade or exploring the park, they were waiting in line. Lines for the water refill station and stands selling alcohol, food and merchandise could be seen stretching far back. During the dinner rush Friday night, wait times were long for a taste of local vendors like Cevapcici Chicago and Beat Kitchen.

For Autumn Morrow, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, waiting in the line was just part of the experience. The 23-year-old had just hopped in the merch line with hopes of buying a Divino Nino T-shirt, after being wowed by the band’s set

“That’s the best thing about festivals. You kind of don’t know all of the music and then you’re surprised with what you do like,” Morrow said. “Initially I was most excited to see Ty Segall, but that I think is gonna be the highlight of my weekend.”

Check back soon for more from Saturday’s Pitchfork sets.

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