Pitchfork Fest’s ‘Beats > Bullets’

The Chicago festival hopes to “energize the community and create a platform that will spotlight individuals and organizations working to reduce gun violence, amplify their voices, and empower fans to join their ranks.”   

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Everytown for Gun Safety and MASK are two such organizations. Everytown is the largest gun violence prevention organization in the U.S., working to help close the loopholes on background checks, support laws that keep guns away from domestic abusers, educate parents about preventable deaths, and support gun trafficking laws. MASK’s mission is to build stronger communities with a focus on violence prevention, food insecurity and housing.  

“The Pitchfork Music Festival is proud to return to Chicago for its 13th year, but it comes with a deep and growing concern about gun violence in our community,” Pitchfork President Chris Kaskie said. “Chicago has always been our home, and we strive to make a positive impact on its culture, using the three days in the park as a way to honor and support the diverse communities that compose our vast city. This year we further that commitment by partnering with Everytown and MASK to bring people together to celebrate art, peace, and love alongside a goal of furthering awareness of this very real issue.“

As part of the initiative Pitchfork is joining in on the Wear Orange movement, which was started by the friends and family of Hadiya Pendleton, who was shot and killed in Chicago at age 15. To honor Pendleton and the lives of other gun violence victims, fans and artists are encouraged to wear orange – the color that hunters wear in the woods to protect themselves – on June 2, which was Pendleton’s birthday and now marks National Gun Violence Awareness Day.

Everytown points to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that 93 Americans are killed with guns on an average day. Hundreds per day are injured.

Along with Pitchfork Music Festival staff and the event’s partners, other Chicago-based events joining the Wear Orange coalition’s social media campaign include North Coast Music Festival, Spring Awakening, Mamby On the Beach, Riot Fest, Rudio Fest, West Fest, Food Truck Social, Wicker Park Fest, Green Music Fest, and ChillFest.

An online toolkit has been set by Pitchfork and Everytown for Gun Safety for additional Chicago-based organizations looking to join the Beats > Bullets initiative.

Pitchfork Music Festival takes place July 14-16 at Chicago’s Union Park, featuring performances from LCD Soundsystem, A Tribe Called Quest, Solange and many more.

Visit WearOrange.org for more information.