Pitchfork yellow

Pitchfork yellow (July 18, 2014)

Holy jorts, Batman, it's already time for Pitchfork. The indie music fest returns to Union Park this weekend with another three-day lineup of established and on-the-brink acts, not to mention some of the best fest fashion and people-watching of the summer. RedEye's Sound Board will Tweet and post live from Pitchfork, so follow along at @redeyechimusic and @redeyechicago for highlights and behind-the-scenes dispatches. Didn't score tickets? Plenty of smaller fests from Rogers Park to River North have you covered with beer, snacks and live music. Bring the SPF, charge your phones and get out there—it's shaping up to be another idyllic Chicago summer weekend. kbernot@tribune.com | @redeyeeatdrink

Each week, we've issued a mini-fest-related challenge to help you make the most of your time on the asphalt. Last week, we asked to see your best fest food photos—and we can't stop looking at these beauties from @heytrishy at Roscoe Village Burger Fest and @katheeusa22 at Taste of Chicago. Well done, ladies. This weekend, show us a beautiful crowd shot and tag it #GetFested on Instagram. We want clouds, people, stages—the whole shebang.

When: 3 p.m.-10 p.m. Friday; noon-10 p.m. Saturday-Sunday; will call opens at 1 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday
Where: Union Park, 1501 W. Randolph St.
How much: $60 for one-day Friday passes; other days sold out
Don't miss: With a manageable lineup spread across three stages, it's not as tough to see all the bands you want at Pitchfork as it would be at, say, Lolla. The experts of RedEye's Sound Board give us the breakdown—which bands you can't miss, which you can skip and which will get you dancing. When you need a break from the music, head to Goose Island's beer tent, where the brewery will pour new beers including Sofie, Rasselbock, Matilda and Endless IPA ($6) each hour or so. Keep an eye out for two Pitchfork-specific beers ($7), Pitchfork pils and SVE kolsch, made in collaboration with musician Sharon Van Etten. When hunger hits, head to the food vendor area and don't forget to browse the Chirp Record Fair, Flatstock poster area and Coterie Craft Fair. Bring what you need for the day, because Pitchfork doesn't allow re-entry.

Taste of River North
When: 5-10 p.m. Friday; noon-10 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday
Where: Ward Park, 630 N. Kingsbury St.
How much: $5 suggested donation
Don't miss: River North is a neighborhood known for its nightlife and restaurants, and there are some gems among the food vendors at this three-day fest. Overall, the options are a mixed bag, so save your dollars for snacks from Farmhouse, Kinzie Chophouse, Taco Joint, Stout Barrel House & Galley and The Motel Bar. Keep an eye out for live cooking demonstrations at the new Healthy Cooking Stage, and listen up for tribute bands covering Sublime, Led Zeppelin and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Ben Fest
When: 4-10 p.m. Friday; 1-10 p.m. Saturday; 1-7 p.m. Sunday
Where: 2215 W. Irving Park Road
How much: $5 suggested donation
Don't miss: This family-friendly fest hosted by St. Benedict Parish in North Center offers a three-day lineup of kids' activities, cover bands, food from local restaurants and a $10,000 grand prize raffle.

Celebrate Clark Street
When: 1-11 p.m. Saturday; 1-10 p.m. Sunday
Where: Clark Street between Montrose and Estes avenues
How much: $5 suggested donation
Don't miss: Like Rogers Park itself, Celebrate Clark Street is a diverse celebration of ethnic food, global music and all manner of art. Sound Culture Center for Global Arts curates two stages of music, while area restaurants serve up Senegalese, Greek and Latin American cuisine.

Chicago Craft Beer Festival and Sheffield Garden Walk
When: Noon-10 p.m. (Sheffield Garden Walk) and noon-4 p.m. (Chicago Craft Beer Festival tastings) Saturday and Sunday.
Where: 2200 N. Sheffield Ave.
How much: $7-$10 suggested donation for garden tours; $40-$45 tasting tickets for Chicago Craft Beer Festival
Don't miss: The two popular summer fests combine in one location this year. The Chicago Craft Beer Festival offers ticket holders the chance to sample up to 15 three-ounce pours from breweries including Flossmoor Station, Ale Syndicate, Solemn Oath, Tallgrass, Off Color, Virtue Cider, Penrose, One Trick Pony and more. Interested in the garden walks? Set off on a tour of some of the neighborhood's best landscaped gardens and yards. Both festivals include two stages of music from performers including ZZ Ward (8:45 p.m. Saturday), Freddy Jones Band (8:30 p.m. Sunday) and cover bands.