Every festival sells stuff, but things work a little differently at Pitchfork. The typical stands at music festivals sell band T-shirts, CDs, and overpriced stickers and pins. At Pitchfork, the merch tents had all of that, but they were also stocked with hand-made jewelry, artist-designed band posters, and loads of records. Between sets it wasn't uncommon to see die-hard music enthusiasts hit the tent and walk away with a backpack full of rare vinyl.

The abundance of vinyl was a testament to Pitchfork's understanding of their audience. Plenty of the people who went were probably casual music fans who live in Chicago or happened to be in the city for the weekend, but Pitchfork's core fan base is a group who isn't just looking for the same stuff you can buy at a band's website.