Friday, May 6, 2011

Outside Lands Festival 2011

It’s Festival Week once again at The Rock And Roll Guru. This week I will be discussing five select festivals including the highs, the lows, the bands on the bill, the places to go, and why you should attend.

Outside Lands Festival
August 12 – 14, 2011
San Francisco, California

Billed as music, food, wine, and art, the Outside Lands festival in San Francisco, California, is one of the best summer festivals going. An eclectic mix of bands loads the music bill while fans can wander, sampling great wines, exceptional food, and having a lot of summer fun in Northern California.

Tickets for the Outside Lands Festival can be purchased at through their website ( but act fast. Most of the general admission packages are already sold out. According to the website, there is limited availability for the remaining general admission 3-day pass. This goes for $199, but includes access to the wineries as well as the bands. If you are looking to attend the festival with a little more style and amenities, the VIP package can be purchased for $450 for a 3-day pass. The VIP package includes an exclusive club complete with massage services, access to VIP food services, and access to alcohol services. It honestly doesn’t sound like it’s worth the extra $250.

Outside Lands has always brought their share of excellent performing acts and this year is no exception. With Phish giving their standard 2-set performance, Muse, The Black Keys, MGMT, John Fogerty, Old 97s, and Warren Haynes Band (just to name a few), there are plenty bands to love on the ballot. While official performance dates/times have not yet been released, it’s safe to say that Phish, Arcade Fire, and Muse are your headliners for each night respectively.

The Outside Lands Festival started in 2008 with over 60 musical acts from around the world performing. Now into its fourth year, The Outside Lands festival has gained in popularity every year. This year looks to be the best selling ever for the event, as evident by most of the general admission packages already being sold out.

Every year, Outside Lands secures incredible performers to entertain the crowd. Having been graced with such brilliant bands as Dave Matthews Band, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Radiohead, Wilco, Pearl Jam, and My Morning Jacket in years past, this year’s festival continues in that tradition of great musicians.

Outside Lands also strives to be the most eco-friendly festival in existence. There are plenty of recycling containers and recycled material all around the festival. One of the stages (the panhandle solar stage) is powered completely by solar energy. The festival allows and encourages refillable water containers (as opposed to bottled waters) and offers several refillable water stations.

Places To Stay
If you are planning on staying near the festival, you had better book your rooms now. While the 2011 hotel partners have not yet been listed on the website, the hotels in the immediate area are bound to sell out lightning fast. There are several hotel/motels near the park. A quick search of Google shows the Red Victorian, The Oceanview, and the Laurel Inn. The Hotel Tomo is very close by and has received some great reviews from past festival attendees.

If you are willing to venture a little further away, there are several hotels where rooms can be had for a much smaller cost than those that are close to the festival. A 30 minute cab ride may save you hundreds in room costs. And if you’ve never been to San Francisco before, it offers the chance to explore other parts of this beautiful city away from the festival area.

The Outside Lands Festival looks like a lot of fun. With great food, wine tasting, exceptional bands, several areas of environmental friendly entertainment and education on greening the Earth, this is a fantastic festival to visit in the summertime. The weather in San Francisco in August is just gorgeous and you would not be disappointed by attending this show at that time of year. With some of the hottest names in music headlining the event, Outside Lands could be a great festival to enjoy.

Ryo’s Final Word
The lack of second tier bands for the cost of this festival would make me hesitant to attend (especially with the travel costs). Outside Lands goes from super-huge name acts (Phish, Muse) to acts I’ve never heard of. There’s no middle ground of up and coming acts, or bands that have flown under the radar for far too long. That’s a big deterrent for attending this festival.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow...this is some website... I recently met Ryo Vie, the writer, at a Panera...he's awesomely handsome and cool...I think this guy should write for Rolling Stone Magazine.