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In case you're wondering what to see and do today, our guide to the festival gives you plenty of options. There's Miles Raymer's overview, as well as reviews of each of Friday's acts by our staff and freelancers. But though the reviews will help you decide what you want to see, if you're new to this you might need help taking into account the aspects of the fest that aren't the bands: Crowds, lines, heat, record fairs, et cetera. That's why we've provided itineraries from staff and other contributors detailing how they plan on filling their days. For today, we've got staff writer Peter Margasak ("I imagine I'll spend the next couple of hours browsing through a bunch of music-related crap I don't want to buy, and most likely eating something"), contributing writer Leor Galil ("Line up before the gates open to explore the side attractions—CHIRP Record Fair, Flatstock, Soundplay arcade—before the surging crowds make it difficult to enjoy, well, anything"), and Sonnenzimmer co-owner Nadine Nakanishi ("Anything remotely hippie sounding is off the list").
Two of the Friday itineraries stand out for me: The one from Dan Massoglia, one of the winners of our contest ("Skip Purity Ring because it sounds like Christian birth control, then sort of lazily half-listen to Feist and maybe remember that time I defused a Thanksgiving crisis at my house by playing Feist for my mom and aunt from a laptop in the kitchen"), and probably my favorite of all, the one from contributor J.R. Nelson. The whole thing is great, but I think my favorite line is, "Do you know how soul crushing it is to wear a paper hat and serve ice cream bars to 'festivalgoers' like Shellac's Todd Trainer and the spawn of indie yuppies? I did this at P4K once, and wanted to cut out my windpipe and play it like a flute."
And for all the people who'll still have energy after listening to loud music in the hot sun all day, we've got a handy roundup of all the afterparties going on once the show gets out.
But our coverage doesn't stop there. We'll be retweeting staff and contributors' Pitchfork musings, reports, and observations (both real and fake) on our Twitter feed. We'll also be posting stuff on our Facebook and Instagram pages, and look out on the Bleader for photo updates.
Finally, stop by our Family Portrait Pop Up Tent on the festival grounds. We'll be taking portraits—joining us will be Glitterguts, winner of Best Photo Booth to Make Out In from this year's Best of Chicago Music & Nightlife Readers' Poll—and giving away prizes to the subjects of our favorite photos. Items to be featured: A talking Darth Vader helmet, a stuffed rooster, muumuus, track suits, and high fives.
Make sure to stay safe and hydrated, and we'll be seeing you all weekend long, here on the Bleader, all over social media, and at the festival itself.