It’s the most wonderful time of the year. With the music for festing and everyone telling you have a cold beer. It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Yes friends, it’s time once again for Christmas in July, aka the start of music festival season in Chicago. I’m thrilled to once again to spend the week providing wall-to-wall coverage of this year’s Pitchfork Music Festival. The next seven (or so) days will be jam packed with previews, reviews, highlights, and music direct from Chicago’s Union Park. The 2018 Pitchfork Music Festival officially begins this Friday, July 20th, and runs all weekend with 40+ performances from a diverse set of artists and bands from the (figurative) past, present, and future. So whether you’re already planning to attend, are thinking about attending, or are simply wishing that you could go, my hope is there’s something for everybody with this extensive guide to one of the best and most unique music festivals on the planet.

Before attending a smaller, more boutique festival like the Pitchfork Music Festival, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the lineup. Pitchfork historically has one of the most well-rounded lineups every year, and often includes smaller, up-and-coming artists you’ll be hearing much more about in the coming years. Not every band is a household name, so if you’re not up on, say, Irreversible Entanglements, you might want to know what they sound like before choosing to include them as you plan out your schedule for the weekend. This is where a playlist comes in handy. Below you’ll find a variety of ways to learn a bit more about the artists performing at this year’s Pitchfork Music Festival, including tracks to stream on YouTube and Soundcloud. If Spotify is your preferred streaming service, I’ve also assembled a playlist (ordered by day and set time) at the very bottom of this post featuring two songs from just about everyone on the lineup. Click around, explore a bit, listen to some tracks, and get your bearings before this weekend!

If you’re thinking about attending this year’s Pitchfork Music Festival but don’t have your passes yet, here’s where you can go to find out more information and purchase tickets. The official preview guide starts tomorrow, with an hour-by-hour breakdown of the best acts to see on Friday. Join me, won’t you?

Alex Cameron [Website]
Runnin’ Outta Luck
Stranger’s Kiss (ft. Angel Olsen)

berhana [Website]
Grey Luh
Whole Wide World

Big Thief [Website]
Shark Smile
Mythological Beauty

Blood Orange [Website]
Better Than Me
Christopher & 6th

Chaka Khan [Website]
I’m Every Woman
Like Sugar

Circuit des Yeux [Website]
Fantasize the Scene

Courtney Barnett [Website]
Pedestrian at Best
Avant Gardener

The Curls [Website]
Tidal Wave

DRAM [Website]
BROCCOLI (ft. Lil Yachty)
I Have A Dream

Fleet Foxes [Website]
Fool’s Errand
Helplessness Blues

Girlpool [Website]

Irreversible Entanglements [More Info]
Chicago to Texas

Japandroids [Website]
The House That Heaven Built
No Known Drink or Drug

Japanese Breakfast [Website]
Everybody Wants to Love You
Road Head

Joshua Abrams & Natural Information Society [Website]
Simultonality 1
Simultonality 2

Julie Byrne [Website]
Natural Blue
Follow My Voice

Julien Baker [Website]
Turn Out the Lights

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith [Website]
An Intention

Kelela [Website]
Blue Light

Kelly Lee Owens [Website]
Anxi. (ft. Jenny Hval)

Kweku Collins [Website]
Stupid Rose
Sisko and Kasidy (ft. Ajani Jones)

Ms. Lauryn Hill [Website]
Everything Is Everything
Doo-Wop (That Thing)

Lucy Dacus [Website]
I Don’t Wanna Be Funny Anymore

Melkbelly [Bandcamp]
Kid Kreative
Elk Mountain

Moses Sumney [Website]
Everlasting Sigh

Mount Kimbie [Website]
You Took Your Time (ft. King Krule)
Made to Stray

Nilufer Yanya [Website]
Baby Luv
Thanks 4 Nothing

Nnamdi Ogbonnaya [More Info]
Think That Way (ft. Julia Steiner)
Love to See

Noname [Website]
Diddy Bop (ft. Raury & Cam O’bi)
Forever (ft. Ravyn Lenae & Joseph Chilliams)

Open Mike Eagle [Website]
Brick Body Complex
(How Could Anybody) Feel at Home

Paul Cherry [Website]
So Easy
Hey Girl

Raphael Saadiq [Facebook]
Let’s Take A Walk

Ravyn Lenae [Website]
Computer Luv (ft. Steve Lacy)

Saba [Website]
LOGOUT (ft. Chance the Rapper)

(Sandy) Alex G [Website]

Smino [Website]
Father Son Holy Smoke

Syd [Website]
All About Me
Treading Water

Tama Impala [Website]
The Less I Know the Better
Mind Mischief

This Is Not This Heat [Facebook]
Horizontal Hold

Tierra Whack [Twitter]
Hungry Hippo
Fruit Salad

The War on Drugs [Website]
Under the Pressure

Zola Jesus [Website]
Dangerous Days