Zola Jesus, Perfume Genius, Laurie Anderson to Head Up ‘Midwinter’ – A New Cultural Experience at The Art Institute of Chicago

Zola Jesus


The endless, worldwide proliferation of mostly arbitrary music festivals has arguably reached an absolute saturation point. But Pitchfork, amazingly, seems to have just come up with something refreshingly uncommon – at least in regards to the spectacular setting.

Indeed, the new Midwinter, launching in February of 2019, brings together a fairly fascinating lineup of artists at the exalted Art Institute of Chicago. Leaning, naturally, the artier end of the musical spectrum, it will run the gamut from jazz (Kamasi Washington) to classic shoegaze (Slowdive) to post-rock (Tortoise) to, um, chamber pop (Perfume Genius) to nu-goth (Zola Jesus) to her musical majesty, the one and only Laurie Anderson.

“Midwinter is an ambitious new concept,”enthuses Pitchfork festival director Adam Krefman, “and with it we’re intentionally trying to push the boundaries of live music. Placing forward-thinking musicians in the context of the Art Institute, we’re opening a dialogue between mediums, and creating a unique cultural event.”


Perfume Genius


All in all, more then 30 performers have been selected to appear over three nights, February 15-17 of next year.

Of course, within the hallowed walls of the AIC, it wouldn’t seem right if a bit conceptual haught wasn’t on the bill. And to be sure, “original pre-recorded compositions, unearthed recordings, and soundscapes” from the likes of Nico Muhly, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Midori Takada and Visible Cloaks which are inspired by and “converse” with iconic works from the museum’s collection, will be part of the programming.

With any luck, you’ll find that the music affords you a whole new way of understanding art. And honestly, what more could one possibly wish for than that?

Tickets (which can be purchased here) are a very reasonable $50 for one night, and just $127.50 for all three evenings – including the chance to actually sit in on artist interviews, which will be broadcast live, along with select other moments from the festival, on Pitchfork Radio.


The Art Institute of Chicago
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