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Pitchfork Music Fest Canceled Due To Coronavirus

Gov. JB Pritzker unveiled the state's plan to reopen on Tuesday, but he cautioned large events, including festivals, will not be allowed for some time.

A pre-pandemic Pitchfork Music Festival.
Pitchfork Music Festival/ Facebook
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CHICAGO — Pitchfork Music Festival has been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The outdoor fest had been scheduled for July 17-19 at Union Park, with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Run the Jewels and The National set to headline.

But the spread of COVID-19 forced organizers to cancel the fest this year — though they hope to return in 2021.

“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,” organizers said in an online statement. “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.”

Those who already bought tickets will be offered full refunds and will be contacted via email.

For now, organizers plan to live stream music and find other ways to “use the full weight of Pitchfork to support musicians and the community around our festival.”

Gov. JB Pritzker unveiled the state’s plan to reopen on Tuesday, but he cautioned large events, including festivals, will not be allowed until there’s a vaccine, widespread and effective treatment or no new coronavirus cases for a prolonged period. Experts have said a vaccine or treatment is likely months away.

Pritzker wouldn’t say yet if Lollapalooza, another major summer fest for Chicago, will be canceled.

“I’m saying that if you follow the data and you look at how fast things could happen — like I said, if there is an effective treatment that comes out and people can see really you won’t get that sick if you get COVID-19, then I think all bets are up,” Pritzker said. “Things could open up … .

“I think people will make their own projections going forward about the likelihood of it.”

Lollapalooza is currently scheduled for July 30-Aug. 2, though the festival tweeted last week it was still working “to determine our plans.”

Pritzker said he’s “hopeful” a treatment like Remdesivir could be proven to be effective and could become widespread, which would hasten efforts to reopen Illinois and would thereby mean large events could be held.

Block Club Chicago’s coronavirus coverage is free for all readers. Block Club is an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom.

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