Pitchfork Music Festival Announces Beats > Bullets: An Initiative That Brings Together Summer Festivals To Take A Stand Against Gun Violence

For the last 12 years, the Pitchfork Music Festival has been honored to contribute to the cultural life of Chicago, one of the greatest cities in the world. The Festival takes their commitment to this community seriously—not just for three days every July, but throughout the entire year. And like all Chicagoans, the Pitchfork Music Festival is deeply troubled by the city’s tragic gun violence. This year, the Pitchfork Music Festival is proud to partner with Everytown for Gun Safety and Mothers Against Senseless Killings (MASK) on a new initiative, Beats > Bullets.

Everytown is the largest gun violence prevention organization in the country, fighting for public safety measures that help to save lives while respecting the Second Amendment. MASK is a community group that works block by block in Chicago’s neighborhoods. This summer the Pitchfork Music Festival hopes to energize the community and create a platform that will spotlight individuals and organizations working to reduce gun violence, amplify their voices, and empower fans to join their ranks.


Hadiya Pendleton was 15 years old when she was shot and killed in Chicago, just days after performing in President Obama’s second inaugural parade. To honor her life, Hadiya’s friends and family began wearing orange, the color that hunters wear to protect themselves in the woods. That simple act has become the cornerstone of a movement. Now, Hadiya’s birthday, June 2nd, is National Gun Violence Awareness Day. On that day, along with the Festival’s partners, the Pitchfork Music Festival will Wear Orange to celebrate Hadiya’s birthday and honor the 93 Americans who die every day from gun violence and the hundreds more who are injured. The Festival will join the Wear Orange coalition’s social media campaign and invite fans and the artists playing the event to do the same. In the spirit of unity and community, the Festival is proud to be joined in this effort by other major events that help define summer in Chicago, including North Coast Music Festival, Spring Awakening, Mamby On the Beach, Riot Fest, Rudio Fest, West Fest, Food Truck Social, Wicker Park Fest, Green Music Fest, ChillFest, and growing.

Together with Everytown for Gun Safety, the Pitchfork Music Festival has established an online toolkit for any Chicago event or organization to join the Beats > Bullets initiative, adding their support and representation in furthering the Wear Orange movement. Additionally, the Festival encourages all of those attending and enjoying the events to wear orange and represent your love and concern for the Chicago community.

“We’re incredibly grateful to Pitchfork for partnering with us on Wear Orange to elevate the issue of gun violence to festival attendees in Chicago and music fans across the nation,” said Taylor Maxwell, Press Secretary for Everytown for Gun Safety. “Musicians have always been leaders in the fight for social justice. It only makes sense that musicians, along with the organizations that work with them, would also work to end gun violence. The devastating effects of gun violence are felt by far too many Americans and we all must raise our voices to end it.”

“MASK is thrilled to partner with Pitchfork for the 2017 Festival. Chicago needs both corporate and local communities coming together to combat the gun violence that plagues our city. We are grateful to Pitchfork for standing up with MASK to further the goal of protecting Chicago’s children,” said MASK founder Tamar Manasseh.

“The Pitchfork Music Festival is proud to return to Chicago for its 13th year, but it comes with a deep and growing concern about gun violence in our community. Chicago has always been our home, and we strive to make a positive impact on its culture, using the three days in the park as a way to honor and support the diverse communities that compose our vast city,” commented Pitchfork President Chris Kaskie. “This year we further that commitment by partnering with Everytown and MASK to bring people together to celebrate art, peace, and love alongside a goal of furthering awareness of this very real issue.“

Pitchfork Music Festival Director Mike Reed commented, “We’re lucky to live in a city with so many summer events that bring people together. Hopefully, we can also focus the energy to bring attention to the gun violence issue that also ramps up in the summer time. We hope Beats > Bullets can help all Chicagoans to engage with, support, and join the struggle against gun violence. Let’s join together and make this summer safe.”

Supporters should visit wearorange.org for more information, including access to tools to orange your photo, save the date reminders for calendars, and a sign up form to receive more information. Further information is available here. Text ORANGE to 644-33 to learn more about events near you.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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