Written by Ariana Assaf
Ladies and gentleman, your favorite Nor Cal festival has done it again. Earlier today Outside Lands released the first phase of its fabulously genre-crossing lineup, and I swear its like they reached inside my soul and pulled out exactly who I’ve been wanting to see. The weekend of August 5 will be the weekend a lot of my dreams will come true. Allow me to explain…
This year will not be my first at Outside Lands. When I think about what sets it apart from other festivals, I think that it comes down to the fact that it continues to stay true to its laid back, super San Francisco vibe while appealing to an incredibly wide audience. Many festivals today are riding the EDM train straight to $400+ tickets, bans on kandi and glovers, and media scrutiny and intrigue: what is this “EDM” that has risen up from the underground? Why has it become such a sensation?
Outside Lands doesn’t care. Outside Lands may have booked Zedd, Major Lazer, and Miike Snow, but that’s because Outside Lands understands what its people want. Some of them want to jump around to big room sounds and watch Diplo dab the hell out of his set (go for it dude), and some of them want the masses to flock to the main stage to leave more dancing room for acts like Griz, Grimes, St. Lucia, Oh Wonder, Third Eye Blind (bless), etc.
“But Griz is technically electronic,” you might say. “But Third Eye Blind hasn’t been relevant in years,” you might say. And you wouldn’t necessarily be wrong (except for Third Eye Blind was one of my first loves so watch yourself). But again, Outside Lands doesn’t care. Outside Lands knows better. In an incredible display of music industry knowledge and insight, this festival has managed to book a lineup that literally anyone can look at with approval.
My 50 year old aunt with 2 kids will look at many of the headliners and sigh with memories; my hipster friends will see Vulfpeck and Sufjan Stevens and think maybe they should check out the bay area this summer; my trap heads will look at Jauz and swoon. I looked at the whole thing, and I got really excited for the weekend of August 5.