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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Top Five Reasons Outside Lands Is Better Than Coachella

Posted By on Tue, Apr 24, 2012 at 3:30 AM

A day at Outside Lands 2011 looking... pleasant. - CHRISTOPHER VICTORIO
  • Christopher Victorio
  • A day at Outside Lands 2011 looking... pleasant.

See also: Our complete Coachella coverage

Coachella 2012 has come and gone; now it's time to brag about our awesome tans and how we lost count of all of the onstage mindfucks. But while we Nor-Cal-ers try to switch our brains back to reality, let us also explain why we're really looking forward to Outside Lands, San Francisco's own major music festival.

5. It's cheaper

Before taxes, the face value for a three-day pass for Coachella was $320. (As the previous link demonstrates, they were going for significantly cheaper -- $238 -- in the days before the final weekend.) Meanwhile, three-day general admission tickets for Outside Lands started out at $195 and now cost $225. That's still less than the savviest Coachella-goer could have paid. And Explosions in the Sky, Santigold, Justice and Andrew Bird are just a few of the Coachella alumni who will be performing at the S.F. festival this August.

Inside the Sahara Tent at Coachella - TIMOTHY NORRIS
  • Timothy Norris
  • Inside the Sahara Tent at Coachella

4. Fewer DJs = fewer candy kids

We like shuffling to good house music as much as anyone else, but after three days of build ups, drops, and hearing every DJ play the same songs, we've had our fill -- probably until the next Coachella. Swedish House Mafia's headlining performance on the Coachella stage Friday night was a disappointing, drawn-out set that relied more on theatrical fireworks and seizure-inducing light shows than a diverse lineup of songs.

Sippin' a brew at Outside Lands - CHRISTOPHER VICTORIO
  • Christopher Victorio
  • Sippin' a brew at Outside Lands

3. You can walk around at Outside Lands with your beer or wine

We were annoyed to have to hear Arctic Monkeys' flawless set from the beer garden because it was the only place designated for alcohol consumption. Not only is Outside Lands about the music and art, but it has has food, beer, and wine -- and you can even walk around with your beverage. The festival's 2012 wine lineup isn't out yet, but check out last year's offerings.

The paltry crowd for Company Flow at Coachella.
  • The paltry crowd for Company Flow at Coachella.

2. Coachella's reunions are overrated

The reunion performances that Coachella has become famous for proved to be largely about generating Internet buzz. Gotye played to an audience that was overflowing on either side of the Mojave stage Sunday evening, while Company Flow's final performance together at the Gobi Stage drew an abysmal audience both weekends. No one seemed to be moshing to At The Drive In's reunion after 11 years on hiatus. It seemed like more Coachella kids came for the nonstop half-naked party and No. 1 hits than the supposedly much-anticipated bands.

Braving 100-degree heat at Coachella. - COLIN YOUNG-WOLFF
  • Colin Young-Wolff
  • Braving 100-degree heat at Coachella.

1. You're less likely to get a heatstroke at Outside Lands

At the S.F. festival, you don't have to worry about missing favorite bands that are playing earlier in the day while you stay in avoiding heatstroke. We almost passed out watching Neon Indian play at the Outdoor Stage in 102-degree weather on Friday afternoon. Only the strong survive at Coachella. If you can make it throughout the afternoon without spending all of your money on ice-cold water bottles or be brave enough to actually camp out and wake up to inescapable heat, you can do anything.

Bottom line: Coachella has mind-blowing art installations, flawless effects on every stage, flatter ground to walk on, and requires less of a trek to get from stage to stage. But we'll enjoy the mild S.F. summer at Outside Lands over the agonizing heat at Coachella any day.

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Erika Maldonado


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