The Inside Scoop on Outside Lands

by and


Outside Lands 2013, a San Francisco music festival that focuses on art and entertainment, starts today and is gearing up to be one of the best weekends of the year. But with everything packed into three days, it’s hard deciding who to see. And you'll have more fun if you prepare. Never fear. We've got a bunch of music and festival tips for you.

We've attended the festival for the past four years, and Nick has put together this list of must-see shows for you:

Baauer — Best known for the “Harlem Shake,” a song which became a huge Internet hit. Although critics called it a novelty song, Bauer has done plenty of other work that proves his versatility and aptitude as a trap producer. Unfortunately his set directly rivals Jurassic 5’s — the biggest conflict of the festival. Whoever you decide to see, you won’t be disappointed.

Jurassic 5 — The hip-hop supergroup dominated the late 1990s with socially conscious rhymes and funky/jazz inspired beats.The groups broke up in 2007, leading standouts Chali 2na and Cut Chemist to establish mainstream solo success. Half a decade later members officially reunited for a 2013 tour. A rare performance you won’t want to miss.

GRiZ — GRiZ is the next big name in electronic music. The 21-year-old producer from Detroit blends Motown sound in his funk filled grimy beats. GRiZ is establishing himself alongside Gramatik, Big Gigantic and Pretty Lights as part of the new electronic music vanguard.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs — This art punk rock band has released four critically acclaimed albums and shows no sign of slowing down. Lead singer Karen O provides the signature seductive, high energy vocals that capture teenage angst with a clean adult sound. Her crisp piano complements Nick Zinner (guitar/keyboard), and Brian Chase (drums). If you miss the show, heads will roll.

Matt and Kim — This pop couple never had any intention of making it big, originally only performing live because friends insisted. After four years of growing popularity, their music still exudes pure happiness, and they are now well-known for their exhilarating live shows. Definitely expect Matt and Kim to put on one of the highest energy performances of the festival.

Others to Check Out
Gary Clark Jr. — Mix of blues, soul, funk and rock.
Fishbone — Your favorite band’s favorite band.
The National — Mellow alt rock.
A-Trak — If you like club music and bass, you’ll like this.
Rudimental — Youthful dance music from the UK.

— Nick Savage-Wright

And from Kaylee, here are tips to help you experience:

1. Of course, transportation is a huge part of Outside Lands; the website has a list of options ( If you're planning on taking a taxi, think about calling ahead of time instead of scrambling for one at the last minute and getting passed by. Check where bus stops are and when the buses are coming. Be at the stops a little bit ahead of time, and be aware that those buses will likely be stuffed with fellow festival goers (personal space doesn’t really matter at these times).

2. Then, there’s what to wear. Incorporate layers into your clothing. You may be kept warm from the muggy days and heat from the crowds, but when the sun goes down so does the temperature. Consider how far you have to walk in the San Francisco night air — maybe stuff a pair of leggings into your bag, or stash a jacket somewhere if you don’t want to hold it.

3. Now, who will you see? You can create a personal schedule here, Sometimes two artists you love will be at opposite ends of the park, and that’s where prioritizing comes in. Do you want to give up seeing one band to be close to another? Or do you not mind rushing from stage to stage to take it all in? Both ways have worked out for me, but think about yourself and what you’ll prefer. And get it done ahead of time!

4. Food. One of my favorite subjects. Outside Lands has a spectacular array of vendors like Precita Park Cafe, where you can gorge on coffee and gluten free mac and cheese, or Freshroll Vietnamese’s bahn mi sandwiches. Plan for about $10 meals and don’t miss the chance to sample some of San Francisco’s delicacies!

5. When you’re taking a break from the dancing and wandering around the park, there’s plenty of entertainment to fill the time. Stop by the market of local artisans or The Barbary, where you can see comedy acts of Craig Robinson and Maria Bamford. Between stalls heaped with clothing and jewelry, O.L. merchandise, and live artwork being created, you’ll never be bored.


— Kaylee Savage-Wright


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