Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Run The Jewels, The National Headlining Pitchfork For 15th Anniversary

Kena Betancur / AFP via Getty Images
– Chi Your Bones
Yeah Yeah Yeahs singer Karen O performs at New York’s Governors Ball on June 1, 2018. The band will headline Chicago’s Pitchfork Music Festival in July.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Run The Jewels and The National will headline Pitchfork Music Festival as it celebrates its 15th anniversary, the event announced Wednesday.

Scheduled for July 17 through July 19, the festival will once again take place in Chicago’s Union Park.

The rest of Pitchfork’s 2020 lineup is a familiarly eclectic blend of indie rock, hip-hop, electronic and experimental music that includes Angel Olsen, Sharon Van Etten, Big Thief, The Fiery Furnaces, Twin Peaks, Kim Gordon, Danny Brown, Phoebe Bridgers, Deafheaven, Thundercat, Yaeji, Waxahatchee, Cat Power, SOPHIE, Tierra Whack and more.

This year’s headlining trio is a stark contrast with last year’s, which was comprised of Haim, The Isley Brothers and Robyn. With Yeah Yeah Yeahs and The National, Pitchfork seems to be returning to its rock roots, and the careers of all three artists sit squarely in the 21st century.

In fact, outside of Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon, Pitchfork has largely foregone the legacy element that had become common for it, with recent bookings including Brian Wilson, George Clinton and Giorgio Moroder.

All three headlining acts, however, have plenty of box office clout – although perhaps less than other recent headliners such as Tame Impala or Chance the Rapper.

The National appeared on Pollstar‘s Year End Top 200 North American Tours chart in 2010, 2013, 2014 and 2018, with grosses of $2.9 million, $3.7 million, $5.1 million and $7 million, respectively. The Cincinnati band tours consistently, and announced a summer trek Tuesday that will hit smaller markets such as Missoula, Mont., and Bethlehem, Pa.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs toured infrequently for much of the ’10s, abstaining from the road entirely from December 2013 to September 2017. The band launched a tour in fall 2017 paying homage to the 15th anniversary of its groundbreaking 2003 debut Fever To Tell, and enjoyed high billing at festivals including Governors Ball, Ohama, and Osheaga in 2018.

The band’s recent box office highlights include a sold-out May 2018 date at Chicago’s Aragon Ballroom, where the band moved 4,790 tickets and grossed $201,180, and a sold-out May 2019 gig at The Moody Theater in Austin, Texas, where it sold 2,521 tickets and grossed $158,477.

Run The Jewels’ booking makes sense for keen observers, who likely realized that one of the few dates the incendiary hip-hop duo won’t open on this summer’s Rage Against The Machine tour, announced last week, is its stop at Chicago’s United Center on May 19.

With its eagerly awaited fourth album on the way, Run The Jewels already has several festival plays on the books, including Coachella, Bonnaroo and Boston Calling; the duo last played Pitchfork in 2015. Run The Jewels’ largest box office report is a sold-out four-night stand at New York’s Terminal 5 in February 2017, where the band moved 11,200 tickets and grossed $336,030.

“For the 15th anniversary of Pitchfork Music Festival, we’re excited to showcase musicians who have been formative to our readers and pivotal to their respective communities,” Pitchfork editor-in-chief Puja Patel said in a statement. “It’s in Pitchfork’s DNA to seek out rising talent and the best new music out there, and this year’s lineup exemplifies that across all three days. We always hope that fans will come to see their favorite band and leave the weekend having found a new one as well.”

Last July, Adam Krefman, Pitchfork’s senior director of festivals & activations, discussed what makes Pitchfork Music Festival special with Pollstar.

“Pitchfork came up from a spirit of a Chicago summer block party and a deep music fan’s festival,” he said. “A lot of that stems from the team that we have producing the festival. … You can’t buy that. You would lose the spirit of the thing.”

Single-day and three-day passes for Pitchfork Music Festival are on sale now, for $75 and $185, respectively. Find the full lineup below.

Friday, July 17
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Angel Olsen
The Fiery Furnaces
Jehnny Beth
Tim Hecker & The Konoyo Ensemble
Hop Along
Saturday, July 18
Run the Jewels
Sharon Van Etten
Twin Peaks
Danny Brown
Cat Power
Tierra Whack
Oso Oso
Divino Niño
Boy Scouts
Ezra Collective
Sunday, July 19
The National
Big Thief
Kim Gordon
Phoebe Bridgers
Caroline Polachek
DJ Nate
Maxo Kream
Faye Webster
Mariah the Scientist
The Hecks
Dustin Laurenzi’s Snaketime