Is the Pitchfork Festival Cursed?

Unexpected illnesses, mental exhaustion and a relapse taint the indie fest's track record

Death Grips called off all touring plans, including a July 20 set at Chicago's Pitchfork Festival. Curiously, the annual event has seen a few unfortunate setbacks in its lineup.

On April 26, house pioneer DJ Rashad, 34, died from an apparent blood clot, leaving producer DJ Spinn to headline a July 20 set. On May 13, The Julie Ruin's Kathleen Hanna announced she had canceled her tour, including a Pitchfork bow, due to a relapse of Lyme disease. Earl Sweatshirt revealed that he, too, was pulling out from festivals to recover from exhaustion (though he was still expected in Chicago at press time).

With 19,000 set to flock to Union Park July 18-20 (headliners include Beck, Neutral Milk Hotel and Kendrick Lamar), Pitchfork Media president Chris Kaskie is taking the hiccups in stride: "Hopefully the point of the festival is that you're not there to see one thing - you're there to see everything."


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