Scheduling a festival like Outside Lands is never easy -- there's always going to be some fans who want to see two acts that happen to be playing at the same time. But judging by the set times released today, festival organizers have done a pretty decent job of minimizing the conflicts. As we wrote when the daily lineups came out, there's a lot to be happy about. There are a few things to be bummed about, too. Let's go through three main points of conflict and see how this year's schedule turned out:
Friday: Neil Young vs. Justice
Saturday: Metallica vs. Sigur Ros
Sunday: Stevie Wonder vs. Skrillex
Clearly organizers made a bet that older, classic artists like Young and Wonder would draw a different crowd than the younger EDM artists like Justice and Skrillex. And they're probably right. Plus, anyone who wants a dose of wub-wub-wub can catch an hour of Wonder before Skrillex even goes on. The worst conflict here in our view is Metallica vs. Sigur Ros -- both epic bands that are sure to bring a hefty dose of majesty to the Saturday night proceedings, albeit in very different ways.
Friday: The Walkmen vs. Yacht
Saturday: Grandaddy vs. Big Boi
Sunday: Jack White Vs. Santigold
There are some very tough calls here. We're sad that Big Boi, one of the fest's only hip-hop sets -- and a crucial make-up for those who missed him last year -- will conflict with an unmissable reunion set from Grandaddy, one of the best, most underrated Bay Area indie rock groups of yore. Choosing between the former White Stripes frontman and the upstart Caribbean R&B-pop artist Santigold will be painful as well. And we're stumped when it comes to the Walkmen vs. Yacht -- guess we'll just have to see whether we're more in the mood to ruminate or dance.
Friday: Sharon Van Etten vs. Tanlines vs. Two Gallants
Saturday: The Be Good Tanyas vs. Geographer vs. Tame Impala
Sunday: Franz Ferdinand vs. Trampled By Turtles vs. Caveman
The lines are much less clearly drawn as we get earlier in the day, with multiple sets taking place simultaneously whose audiences likely overlap a lot. Sharon Van Etten does a great live set, but what if we want to bounce around to Tanlines? Either way, we'll be rushing to catch locals Two Gallants show off songs from their first album in five years. We'll have to give up hope for a long, studied viewing of the sure-to-be-amazing Tame Impala set on Saturday, since catching some of The Be Good Tanyas and locals Geographer seems mandatory. Sunday looks a bit easier, but those without a freakish affection for Franz Ferdinand (like us) will have to wrestle choosing between Caveman and Trampled By Turtles. Hey, we feel your pain.
Lastly, there some confounding elements to consider here, such as stage placement -- we hear the festival footprint will be bigger this year, so who knows about the distance between sets -- and time delays. Though Outside Lands mostly stays on schedule, some delays and hang-ups are always possible. It's best to keep an open mind and stay flexible. And if there's one thing the schedule makes clear, it's that there's always at least two (and often many more) enticing sets happening at the same time.