A Few Words: Rock The Bells had only a handful of dates last year, but those lucky enough to attend were treated to one of the best hip hop bills ever assembled. From major acts like Snoop Dogg and Wu-Tang Clan to a reunited A Tribe Called Quest to a special appearance by Ms. Lauryn Hill, it was a dream come true for big fans of the genre, and a great time for casual fans as well. The details for this year are yet to be released, but there aren’t many names that can top what has already appeared. Rage Against The Machine is always a possibility; Dr. Dre, Beastie Boys, Eminem and Jay-Z all have to be considered long shots, but regardless, you know you will be in for a show with both hip hop legends and up-and-coming artists featured. All we can do is wait and see.
– Philip Cosores
Photo by Philip Cosores
San Francisco, CA
Lineup: Phish, Muse, Arcade Fire, The Shins, The Decemberists, Arctic Monkeys, The Black Keys, The Roots, Beirut, Erykah Badu, Girl Talk
A Few Words: The historic Golden Gate Park of San Francisco will once again be taken over by Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival, a three-day event consisting of music, food and wine. This bay area extravaganza is held August 12–14, hosting over 50 artists of all different types of genres.
This year’s lineup holds variety. Major headliners include Muse, Arcade Fire, The Black Keys, Deadmau5, The Decemberists and MGMT. Phish will also be taking the stage not once, but twice, with two seperate sets. Another name that has music enthusiasts talking is the return of the Wincing the Night Away fellows, The Shins. A few acts to be sure to catch, along with the obvious headliners, are Lord Huron, Sunbirds and Grouplove.
Worried about the summer weather? Don’t be. Unlike the sizzling temperatures at festivals like Coachella, Outside Lands has a tendency to make you bust out those windbreakers and scarves. This is a dream come true for those indie festival attendees. Forgot to bring something to keep you warm? The Festival Market Place offers some of the best shopping. Located in the Polo Field, vendors set up camp with artisan and quality handmade goodies along with official festival merchandise.
Even if the weekend surprises us with warmer temperatures, Outside Lands’ A Taste of the Bay Area showcases San Francisco’s culinary greatness and creativity. Throughout Golden Gate Park, restaurants are represented, providing excellent options in food and wine. Don’t miss out on the American Grilled Cheese Kitchen and 4505 Meats, both new to this year’s taste of the bay area line up. The well-known Ridge Vineyards, Bonny Doon and Kermit Lynch are just a few of the go to’s at Outside Lands for a tasty glass of wine. A glass of cabernet while watching Arcade Fire perform? Yes please.
Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival is the perfect way to end your summer. While in town, be sure to hit Amoeba Records, located on the eastern edge of Golden Gate Park on Haight St. Don’t forget your refillable water bottle, as purchasing refills or purchasing an official 2011 Outside Lands stainless steel water bottle at the festival and receive free refills; you’ll be participating in a go-green effort!
Don’t wait any longer to snag your tickets, as only a limited supply of tickets is left at a surprisingly affordable price of $199.50.
A Few Words: Enough has been said about this festival’s problems, so let’s talk about what went right last year. For $25, FYF Fest packed a stellar lineup of rare and critically acclaimed artists, including The Rapture, Panda Bear, Best Coast, Warpaint, Local Natives, Man Man, The Mountain Goats, and Cold Cave, under the hot sun for a memorable, and ultimately fun, afternoon. In addition, the fest also added a pre-party the day before (featuring Delorean and School Of Seven Bells) and a post-party the day after, with its two headliners playing gigs to accommodate those who missed them at the fest. Lastly, FYF Fest actually listens to its fans when booking and reorganizes the lineup schedule to accommodate the most common complaints.
What can we expect this year? Well, Spin Magazine has the fest booking Death From Above 1979, Descendents, and Girls for the Labor Day Weekend extravaganza. Word is that the location may be moved to downtown to create more of a block party feel. But, none of this can be confirmed, as details are still a month away. Organizers have promised that previous year’s kinks will be ironed out and that, in the tradition of listening to their attendees, common complaints will be looked into. All we do know is that the festival will once again bring some quality acts to Los Angeles for another hot day of saying goodbye to summer.
– Philip Cosores
Lineup: Broken Social Scene, The Kills, Toro Y Moi, Ray LaMontange, Hall And Oates, Atari Teenage Riot, Mavis Staples, Wiz Khalifa, Minus The Bear, Urge Overkill
A Few Words: Many festivals are enjoying their 15th or 20th anniversary it seems, but Bumbershoot is in year 41. That’s a lot of bands, a lot of art fixtures, and a lot miscellaneous performances pieces that have graced the Seattle Center, a 74-acre space that hosts the fest.
So what is in store this year? Well,the full lineup is yet to be released, but they are giving fans a little taste every day by announcing the bands one at a time, including prime indie (Broken Social Scene, The Kills), mom and dad stuff (Leon Russell, Mavis Staples), and nostalgia acts (The Presidents Of The United States Of America). The festival even attracts nearly 40,000 visitors a day to the city center, a place that doesn’t need a major festival to show people a good time. But, as the rest of the lineup reveals itself, it is our guess that you won’t want to be anywhere but in front of a big stage and some loud speakers.