The best of Outside Lands 2014

1.OutsideLands2014_postPhotos by Pedro Paredes, Benjamin Wallen and Marc Fong // Written by Molly Kish //

Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival //
Golden Gate Park – San Francisco
August 8th-10th, 2014 //

With so much to offer this seventh year of Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival, the celebration of music, food, art and everything in between was at an all-time high! Boasting a packed lineup of diverse performers, culinary innovators and artists, Golden Gate Park hosted a wonderland of possibilities. Here are our favorite features from this year’s extravaganza.

Read our daily recaps from Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
View artist photography by Pedro Paredes below.

2.Kanye West


With a lineup of more than 70 diverse performers, naming the best shows of the weekend is at best an exercise in personal point of view. With opinions running rampant on headliners, under cards and buzz-worthy acts, we instead choose to focus on what caught our attention as some of the most memorable performances of the weekend for better or worse.

How do your favorites match up with our top sets and moments from the weekend? Leave your comments, opinions and personal picks below!

Most Controversial Headliner: Kanye West
Most Explosive Dance Performance: Flume
Biggest Crowd of the Weekend: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Biggest Local Draw: Atmosphere
Best Rock Performance: Deer Tick
Best Hip Hop Performance: Run the Jewels
Breakout Artist of the Festival: Lucius


Best Crowd Engagement/Dance Moves: Cut Copy
Best Use of Stage Design/Props: The Flaming Lips
Heineken Haus MVP: Gorgon City
Loudest Sing Along: The Killers
Best Comedy/Improv Performance: Improvised Shakespeare Company (with guest Patrick Stewart)
Best Quote: “You’re gonna tell your kids about this!” -Kanye West

3.OL-August 08, 2014-3


A festival at maximum capacity can already be hard to navigate, especially with large groups of various paced members, and Outside Lands is no exception. With the innumerable obstacles present in the park’s terrain, even the most seasoned shepherd will at some point find difficulty in herding their festival flock.

This year, especially with the stricter rules regarding what attendees can bring in concerning poles, flags, hoops, etc., the Outside Lands crowd got creative with their tracking skills.


Innovative Beacons/Totems: No pole, no problem! Although the presence of PVC pipes still managed to make their way into the masses, people got pretty imaginative with their signage and “find us here” monuments. Ginormous balloons (even full bouquets of them by weekend’s end) soared hundreds of feet in the air, flocks of Flabongos bounced together above the crowd all weekend and cardboard cutouts of Hodor, crying Kim Kardashian and poop emojis received praise from the crowd. Even those with a history flag waving kept the tradition alive amidst the pole ban by finding the biggest stick within Maclaren Pass to wave their banner high.

5.OSL 2014 117

Festival Wear: Fickle weather kept the costumed crowd members on their toes this past weekend, with temperatures fluctuating as quickly as a set change, Karl the Fog intermittently reared his mischievously muggy head. Outside Lands is an atypical festival in the sense that it fails to adhere to most counterparts’ “clothing optional” fashion guidelines, so attendees have to get creative in the Bay Area when it comes to group uniforms — and this crowd didn’t fail. Most effective use of costumes this year included creepily monochromatic “balloon people” with fully inflatable body suits and face masks, a storm trooper masked duo (made out of cereal boxes) donning a “show us your taun-tauns” sign and flocks of animal onesies.



With almost as much excitement revolving around the fare of Outside Lands as the music and art portions of the festival, this year’s attendees were treated to an exorbitant amount of delicious options to satiate their palette. Marrying the festivals’ live entertainment with culinary prowess, a lot of the action took place on this year’s inaugural debut of the GastroMagic stage and surrounding food “lands”. Some of our favorites included:

7.Big Freedia2

Big Freedia’s and Brenda’s French Soul Food “Bounce Brunch”: This was where fans of Southern cooking and the transgender twerking sensation, the “Queen Diva” herself, were treated to an early Saturday afternoon, interactive mini set. Freedia took the stage with her co-ed twerk team and two members of Brenda’s French Soul Food, coerced the crowd to join her on stage and twerk for made-to-order beignets. Almost immediately, lines formed to strut in front of the audience for the piping-hot pastries, with the restaurant staff joining in on the fun, tapping their powdered sugar dispensers along to chants of “Shake for your beignets…”

8.Bacon-Flight Photo via Pop Sugar.

Bacon Bacon Lands flights: For the truly decadent, this year’s Bacon Lands covered all the delicious meat-candy bases. Most often seen floating throughout the park via the Bacon Bacon flights, the well-known Bay Area food truck offered a skewered sampling of three various types of cured fat, packaged as a between set “meat-sicle” snack comprised of everyone’s favorite part of our piggy friends. The aroma wafting from this “land” was hypnotic, coaxing weary festivalgoers rummaging through Maclaren Pass to the magical pork stand tucked away in the trees. Surpassing all of its other neighboring “lands”, this location easily had some of the most enthusiastic lines with patrons salivating for their chance at some greasy goodness on the go.

9.Don't Get CaughtPedro

Macgyver Mini Bars: While we at Showbams do not condone attempting to smuggle in anything restricted by Outside Lands (or any festival for that matter), we have to acknowledge the attempts both successful and foiled. By the weekend’s end, security was a force to be reckoned with, but what seemed like an ocean of alcohol still made its way inside. Even in a setting that one can traverse the fairgrounds openly with some of the world’s best beer and wine while adorning a legal ID wristband, people got ingenious with their covert booze operations, tipping authorities off to some of the greatest sneaking-in secrets in the festival’s history.

Beyond hiding alcohol in legal food boxes, wrappers and the obvious camel back and thermos containers, many used the park’s topography to literally bury their liquor treasures. There were hollowed out loaves of bread, burrito wrapped liters, creepy nether-region containers and more. Some successful showoffs even boasted about it to local press and spattered social media with their accomplishments.



Digital Detox, Camp Grounded Analog Zone and Sober Lands: In an attempt to reunite the festivalgoer with the true concept of what a music festival essentially is/used to/should be, Outside Lands brings a truly “unique” experience to the forefront with its campaign to “disconnect to reconnect” with these three features. Attempting to remove attendees from the digital noise of the modern world and get back to a simpler, more organic festival experience, Digital Detox and Camp Grounded Analog Zone provide the opportunity to drink tea in a yurt while making arts and crafts, playing board games, meditating, face painting or writing love letters on a typewriter to leave on a missed connection board sans social media and telephones.

If you’re not a fan of partying with the inebriated masses, Sober Lands had you covered. With meetings scheduled throughout the day, the tent offered a place of solace for those looking to clear their head between smushing up against sweaty booze-soaked bodies all day amidst the craziness of the typical festival crowds.

11.Art Chillin

Outsider Art and The Barbary: This year’s art program, curated by Jeben Berg and the legendary SF art publication Juxtapoz Magazine, brought an incredible roster of talent to the festival forefront. Between the live graffiti art, painting, theater and insane installations, the visual art at this year’s festival was better than ever before. From the individual wall panels lining the polo fields to Dennis Mcnett’s incredible sculpture piece, even Ranger Dave got in on the fun with his larger-than-life welcoming statue next to the North Side entrance/Sutro Stage.

Along with the stunning visuals, Dr. Flotsam’s Hell Brew Revue dominated the Barbary area, causing mischief throughout the McLaren Pass with his frolicking band of Carny Bastards. Very rarely could you make the mission through the woods without encountering a circus sideshow of random clowns playing “bowling for drunks”, whips cracking, roots revival hoe-downs and odd Nordic funeral processions clouding up the overpass. It wasn’t something most would consider having to navigate around at a sold-out music festival, but when in SF, one better come prepared for more than just cold weather and marathon-style walking.

PHOTOS: Mikal Cronin at The Independent 8/7

mikal-cronin_postBy Patrick Kelly //

Mikal Cronin with Bears Hands //
The Independent – San Francisco
August 7th, 2014 //

Mikal Cronin, the man and the four-piece band, did at The Independent last Thursday night as they always do: They stepped on the backdrop-less, unadorned stage, said hello and played as loud as the venue could stand.

While the show was only at half capacity, mercifully it was missing the half of the crowd, which usually accompanies Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival‘s late-night shows, that has no interest in the band they came to see. Everyone was into it, and everyone was rewarded; they played a slew of favorites –- “Apathy”, “Situation”, “Shout It Out”, “See It My Way”, “I’m Done Running From You”, an acoustic version of “Don’t Let Me Go” — and a couple of their deeper cuts.

After the band blew through much-appreciated solos, rechristened themselves as “Snakes!” (the exclamation point is important) and dropped the ol’ sad “this weekend’s shows are our last for a while”, the night was complete with a happy crowd, content on drifting toward a hazy festival weekend with a sweet-ass head start.

Outside Lands 2014 daily lineup highlights


Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival //
Golden Gate Park – San Francisco
August 8th-10th, 2014 //

So, three-day tickets for Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival sold out in record time. Now’s your chance to snag single-day passes for SF’s premier music festival. Get ready: tickets go on sale Thursday, April 17th at 10 a.m.

Still choosing which day might be best for you? Here’s our take on the headliner options, along with choice picks and reasons to get there early this August in Golden Gate Park.


Friday, August 8th

HEADLINER OPTIONS: Kanye West Vs. Arctic Monkeys (or Disclosure)

Yeezus himself will handle headlining duties on day one, but the real question is whether or not Arctic Monkeys or Disclosure will helm Twin Peaks come nightfall. Both acts are worthy of a headlining slot — time will tell.


Run the Jewels: El-P + Killer Mike , “Rap’s most dangerous Duo”, are returning to SF after their game changing shows last year at the Independent. Expect top notch beats over future-forward production. In a perfect world they would open for West.

Phosphorescent: Matthew Houck’s understated, twisted take on indie rock is refreshingly breathtaking, exemplified most strikingly by the majestic “Song for Zula”:

Holy Ghost!: Ready for a disco-dance party fed by instrumentals? Yes you are. One of our favorite acts from the last year will set Golden Gate park ablaze.

DIGGING DEEP: (reasons to get there early)

• Mikal Cronin
• Greensky Bluegrass
• Typhoon
• Bear Hands

THE VERDICT: Eclectic with as many rap options as dance choices.


Saturday, August 9th

HEADLINER OPTIONS: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers vs. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

This one’s going to be a pretty simple choice for most folks — the classic rock singalongs versus the contemporary pop-rap anthems. These headliners starkly contrast from one another.


SBTRKT: Known to perform with iconic tribal masks, Aaron Jerome fuses innovative electronic production with drums, synth, keys & live singing, usually with help from touring partner Sampha. SBTRKT’s new EP Transitions delves into icy-instrumental territory.

Atmosphere: Slug and Ant are back this year, and they’ve got a new song entitled “Kanye West”, which doesn’t go after the Day 1 headliner, but it does address hip-hop crowd interactions in a playful, positive way.

Tycho: Scott Hansen is as much a visual artist as he is a musician — his projected imagery melds simple geometry and super slow-mo romanticism and works in hand with his newly cemented band’s ambient, yet driving beats. This one deserves a night time slot, say closing down the Panhandle Stage?

DIGGING DEEP: (reasons to get there early)

• Woods
• Jagwar Ma
• Valerie June
• Trails and Ways

THE VERDICT: Save for a handful of rowdy spots (Macklemore, Duck Sauce, Capital Cities), the offerings are relatively mellow.


Sunday, August 10th

HEADLINER OPTIONS: The Killers vs. Tiësto (or The Flaming Lips)

These two options to end the weekend are, once again, clear cut. But here’s hoping Ranger Dave harkens back to the early years and offers a third headliner option in The Flaming Lips. Their drone-psyche spectacle of a freak out deserves darkness and would offer an incredible third option.


Cut Copy: Every time these electronic-oriented Australians swing through the Bay Area, we’ll be there. Dan Whitford & Co. will make you dance and reach for the sky.

Lykke Li: The Swedish Songstress is returning to the touring circuit this year, and her first offerings from her forthcoming LP I Never Learn are more sedated than swirling. Li’s ownership of the stage and visceral passion request your attendance.

Flume: Skyrocketing electronic-music amalgamator Harley Streten creates big, bold beats centered by a chill tone. Since releasing his self-titled LP to worldwide acclaim in 2012, he’s brought in a host of top level rhymers to give the music new meaning and fresh life (listen below). We’re excited to see how this influences his live show.

DIGGING DEEP: (reasons to get there early)

• Gold Panda
• Courtney Barnett
• Jonathan Wilson
• Tumbleweed Wanderers

OVERALL VIBE: Sunday has a lot of high-decibel acts. A good day for dance enthusiasts.

Check out our Outside Lands 2014 playlist:

OL 2014 Daily Lineups

Outside Lands 2014: Lineup locks, likely acts & long shots

OSL_Windmill-Scene-by-Tim-HampsonPhotos by Tim Hampson // Written by Mike Frash & Kevin Quandt //

Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival //
Golden Gate Park – San Francisco
August 8th-10th, 2014 //

As we inch towards springtime, leading to summer, and Coachella is within a month’s reach, some Bay Area music freaks (like us) begin to speculate about who is gonna be gracing those stages freckled throughout Golden Gate Park come August. Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival is set to return to SF on August 8th-10th.

The greatest indicators are the group’s touring schedules — Osheaga Music Festival in Montreal and Pickathon in Oregon have announced their schedules the weekend prior to Outside Lands (with Lollapalooza to still be announced). Squamish Valley Music Festival in British Columbia is the same weekend as Outside Lands, but Vancouver is close enough for artists to double dip.

Conversely, we can confirm some big acts that won’t be on the bill due to scheduling conflicts. But if this is even close to what the Outside Lands 2014 lineup looks like, the Bay Area should be in for a delicious, fog-enhanced treat.

UPDATE 4/7: The lineup has been announced!


Lock It In (we think)

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band: A new album on the way and a lack of dates out West makes him a solid candidate for top billing this year. Also, keep in mind that OSL has never repeated headliners, as well as the fact that Super Fly (Bonnaroo), who along with Another Planet Presents, handles the bulk of the booking.

Arctic Monkeys: [CONFIRMED] These festival stalwarts announced an extensive tour with a noticeable gap in the western demographic which leads to speculation that they’ll return for a sub-headlining set. Confirmed for August 10th at Osheaga.

Chromeo: [CONFIRMED] A Red Rocks date on August 5th is a good sign that these party starters are en route back to San Francisco for a possible Twin Peaks headlining spot. 

Modest Mouse: Confirmed for Osheaga, and with no California dates on the calendar for the recently announced tour, Modest Mouse is starting to look like a lock.

Cut Copy: [CONFIRMED] Cut Copy and Chromeo are on parallel tracks. Both will have played APE shows in the past year, and their tour buses are aligning toward the Bay in early August.

CHVRCHES: [CONFIRMED] Confirmed for Osheaga, it just makes sense that one of the the biggest breakout acts of 2013 will triumphantly return to the Bay after playing the Independent, Mezzanine & Fox Theater Oakland over the past year.

Flume: [CONFIRMED] It’s due time for this EDM heat-seeker to return to San Francisco, and what better place and time than Outside Lands. Flume’s popularity could land him Twin Peaks headlining duties.

Tycho: [CONFIRMED] Having become the darlings of Another Planet, what better progressive act to grace the bill than Tycho. Sold out shows in the coming weeks lend to a strong demand.

Foster the People: Performing at Squamish Valley Music Festival Friday lends a good possibility that Mark Foster and band will trek down to Golden Gate Park for a Sunday set. A slot at Osheaga Festival the weekend prior says they’ll be hitting many large events as they support their latest release Supermodel.

Iron & Wine and Glen Hansard: These two artists are booked to play Hollywood Bowl on August 10th, leading most savvy music aficionados to make the leap that these acts will be present.

Danny Brown: A lack of Bay Area dates coupled with spots on the ‘OSL crossover’ festival, Squamish, could mean we are in for a ‘Kush Koma’ with oddball, Danny Brown. 


Likely To Appear

Elton John: The announcement of Sir Elton playing Bonnaroo has fueled this rumor nicely, even if questions of availability swirl. The main issue would be surrounding a clause with Caesars where John has a residency. However, this Vegas run ends in April, so it looks possible.

Green Day: These Bay Area legends have surprisingly never played Outside Lands, and it seems possible we’ll see them grace the main stage for a night with Billy Joe and company. 

Coldplay: New music on the way, coupled with scheduled appearances at South by Southwest is a clear sign that Chris Martin and lads are gearing up to re-dominate the world with their anthemic rock. Also, never headlined OSL.

Tiësto: [CONFIRMED] Ranger Dave likes to book some of the biggest names in the EDM world to ‘compete’ with headliners, attracting a slightly younger crowd to congregate at Twin Peaks on most evenings. Tiësto’s production would fit nicely into the bigness of past DJ spotlights.

Frank Ocean: Frankie is mounting his come back after a relatively quiet past few years. His billing on Bonnaroo fuels the speculation that Super Fly booked him, and other acts, for more than just Roo.

The Flaming Lips: [CONFIRMED] Wayne Coyne has had a busy past few months with a recent release and some serious Fall touring. Now, as summer looms, it appears the Lips will be omnipresent at summer festivals. Recent Another Planet shows coupled with Bonnaroo presence make these weirdo legends a likely booking.

Lorde: Has any act ever gone to sub-headliner status this quickly? Based on her popularity and the way she’s altered the pop landscape, Lorde deserves it. She’s confirmed to play Osheaga and her April dates at Fox Theater sold out immediately.

Chance the Rapper: No longer Chicago’s secret, Chancelor Bennett needs to get better acquainted with the Bay Area. There is a gap in his schedule, and the Acid Rapper is confirmed for Osheaga.

HAIM: [CONFIRMED] For being California girls, sisters Este, Danielle and Alana could show a bit more love to the Bay Area (They’ve played in England over 20 times). Their first ever show in the Bay was at Treasure Island Music Festival last year, and their fauxchella Fillmore dates were tough tickets to snag as they sold out in seconds.

Lykke Li: [CONFIRMED] Confirmed for Friday of Squamish, it’s very possible the breathtaking Swedish singer-songwriter could grace Outside Lands on Sunday.

Foxygen: Even though there has been turmoil (broken legs, inner-band conflict), the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic should come play “San Francisco” in it’s namesake. The group is confirmed for Pickathon as well.

Mikal Cronin: [CONFIRMED] The singer-songwriter has become quite the popular local musician and would be ideal for a showcase of SF rock. Booked for the Oregon Pickathon means he’ll be active around this time. 

Valerie June: [CONFIRMED] The American singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist is playing Pickathon and other West Coast dates prior to Outside Lands. June’s sound will fit nicely into the festival’s curation net.


It Could Happen

Kanye West: [CONFIRMED] As it appears OutKast will not be the infamous first hip-hop headliner, we look to Kanye West as an outside possibility as the debut of rap taking center stage one summer evening. Inclusion on Bonnaroo’s docket makes a reasonably strong start to an argument for Yeezy.

Eminem: Already a rumored headliner for Lollapalooza, Slim Shady has also booked a co-headlining date with Rihanna at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena the Thursday before Outside Lands while also confirmed for Squamish on Sunday the 10th. Starting to trend toward “likely”, should we be adding RiRi as a rumored headliner?

Tool: Already playing two SF shows in March, would it be that much of a surprise to see Tool headlining one night? Certainly they are big enough to handle top billing duties.

Pharrell Williams: A Ranger Dave’s “hat” tweet has led many to speculate the possibility of Williams’ presence on the festival grounds. Limited dates pepper his itinerary, so it’s anyone’s guess.

The Avett Brothers: Having not played the event in over five years and select festival appearances over the summer, one could make the argument that Avett will return. Bonnaroo booking also helps this case.

Kendrick Lamar: K-Dot’s touring schedule is open, but there are no obvious indicators an Outside Lands appearance will happen. But for a festival that’s usually short on hip hop & rap, it would be too fun to see the Outside Lands stage and surrounding area get crazy during “Backseat Freestyle”.

Gogol Bordello: The Gypsy-punk freaks are confirmed to play Osheaga, and they played Outside Lands in 2010. A return seems possible.

Jagwar Ma: [CONFIRMED] Being rather active in the festival realm in 2014, these party-starters can easily jump from Osheaga over to SF. A previous Another Planet-booked show at the Independent demonstrates there is communication present.

Long Shots: Already booked elsewhere (don’t count on it)

OutKast: Andre 3000 and Big Boi might be playing over 40 festivals this year, but Outside Lands won’t be one of them. OutKast is confirmed for Flow Festival in Finland the same weekend as Outside Lands.

Arcade Fire: Win Butler and company are performing at Squamish Valley Music Festival, but they have a date set at Shoreline in July, and they headlined three years ago.

Jack Johnson
Queens of the Stone Age
Robert Plant
Neutral Milk Hotel
Janelle Monae
Mac Demarco