115 Degrees of Music Festival

All morning I thought to myself, “Why wouldn’t I hand over twenty bucks to see music that I adore?”. So I did just that. Like 70,000 other people.

The Pitchfork Music Festival. Snobby shits that wrote reviews for snobby shits booked snobby shows for the snobby shits. Cheap tickets, unmissable lineup. It is wonderful being a snobby shit.

The train ride there was packed with halitosis-addled young music fans. One boy asked a girl, ‘What’s with the key hanging around your neck?”

“It went to my diary I had as a kid.”

Dear god, fuck you. I knew what I was going to be subjected to but when you face it there’s no preparation. I was an idiot once.

Once? Yes, I still am.

I didn’t know how easy it would be to find a ticket. It was sold out two weeks ago. I called a friend to tell him of my delima as I stood at the gates. I looked to my right and saw a guy holding a ticket in the air. He wasn’t saying anything. Maybe he was listening to my worries on the phone. How am I gonna get in? “Hold on a sec…excuse me are you selling that?”


“Is it just for today?”

“Yeah. My friend backed out because of the heat.”

“Face value? Isn’t that twenty bucks?”

“Yep. Sounds good to me.”

“Alright. Here you go. Thank you.”

“Enjoy your day.”

“Thank you.” What a nice man. “Hey,” I said back into the phone, “I’ll see you when you get here.”

Destroyer, my main reason for coming, weren’t going on until two-something. I people-watched and then made my way to the beer tent. There’s a line for ID checking. Then the line for beer tickets. Then the line for beer. Step by step, question after question, and I had my drink. The sweat drying me and the beer filling my head with cloudy ponderings. I sat underneath a tree and took it all in.

A film crew asking people questions. Big, furry mic reminding me of the collar of a winter coat I had on when I met Patrick for the first time. He had on the same coat. I was with a girl named Kirsten. He was with Kristen.

Bikinis on strange bodies. T-shirts with slogans. Merchants selling wares. Juice-infused energy drinks with a misting shower. Food, porto-potties. Heavens, heavens.

Friends from many cities showed up. I left all of them behind to watch Dan Bejar imitate and yelp about paint and trains. Two hands, two beers. Johnny doing the same thing next to me.

The heat blistered and burned but we were numb so smiles showed our moods instead of words. Walking, smoking, talking, threatening, passing time.

Hours and comfortable hours, silently unwinding my inner clock, passed like a mute aunt playing euchre. Oblivious to nearly everything.

7:00pm and in my ears I heard my favorite song this year, “All Hands and the Cook.” The funeral beat charged the air and a distant, loud note tangled in the trees and brought me closer to my fellow heat stroke victims. The fabric was comfort and the basket that it made up was holding me in a natural state sleeping it all in.

The rhythmic gourd pounding the sound in your ears with sandpaper.

The drums pounding through the Earth’s mantle.

And stars. I saw stars in a city that I rarely see them in.

That girl from the train…is she seeing this? And does she have her diary. I want to write over the pages with marker a true dream and a formula for how everything will, actually, work out.

4 Responses to “115 Degrees of Music Festival”
  1. RJ says:

    “Dear god fuck you”


    You know — last year’s pitchfork(intonation) was the genesis of my blog name.

    Just so you know

  2. kate says:

    my favorite thing about pitchfork fest is the overwhelmingly embarrassing clulsterfuck of missed connections on craigslist.

  3. lucianop19 says:

    Here are some links that I believe will be interested

  4. Um, those links were in German, dear.

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