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Pitchfork Music Festival 2020 and Its Stale Headliners

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Pitchfork Music Festival announced its 2020 lineup with a myriad of genres, names, and throwbacks for its 15th anniversary. Headlining the three-day festival starting Friday, July 17 are the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, followed by Run the Jewels on Saturday, July 18, and leaving The National to close out on Sunday, July 19.

The trio of headliners presented doesn’t represent the state of music today. Pitchfork usually fulfills its role as the pretentious older cousin you always aspire to be, but this year has gone too far—it feels disingenuous to who is actually at the forefront. The combination of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Run the Jewels, and The Nationals, points to a homage of the bands that epitomize Pitchfork, but circa 2014. For the 15th anniversary, the headliners fail to pack a punch.

Run the Jewels haven’t released an album since 2016, begging the question, did Pitchfork bring them in to drive up the 2020 election voter turnout?

Each of the headliners prove to be defiant of genre, age, and time, yet they feel tone-deaf of newer, more relevant artists making waves. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs fill the role of a powerful throwback—truly unexpected, but Run the Jewels haven’t released an album since 2016, begging the question, did Pitchfork bring them in to drive up the 2020 election voter turnout? The National is the only headliner to release new music in the past year, yet their appearance at neighboring festival Lollaplaooza in 2018 feels like yesterday.

Despite the tame nostalgia of the headliner trio, the rest of the lineup presents a spotlight on the current talent expected to headline future festivals. Genre-benders SOPHIE, SPELLING, BADBADNOTGOOD, and Caroline Polachek make an appearance; 2019 chart toppers such as Angel Olsen, Big Thief, Danny Brown, and Sharon Van Etten will also be in attendance.

Pitchfork 2020 lineup by Pitchfork.
carolinepejcinovic
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