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A Preview of San Francisco’s Outside Lands Festival 2012

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The fifth annual Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival takes place once again in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park this weekend August 10-12, 2012.

There were some great moments during last year’s festival, including amazing concerts by headliners Muse, Arcade Fire and Phish, along with the introduction of live comedy and variety performances via The Barbary (an ode to the traditions of the SF’s Barbary Coast District). Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Metallica (in their first performance at Golden Gate Park in over 30 years) and Stevie Wonder are headlining this weekend’s main stage (Lands End). As for the Barbary, Neil Patrick Harris, Chris Hardwick and David Cross will provide great comedy entertainment, with Cross confidently saying (during a conference call) that he’s “definitely funnier than Norah Jones.”

Major Lazer at Outside Lands Festival 2011 (photo by Film Magic Inc

Since the festival is being hosted by environmentally conscious San Francisco, organizers (Another Planet Entertainment, Superfly Presents, and Starr Hill Presents) are ensuring that environmentally sustainable and green best practices are followed all weekend long for as little environmental impact as possible. There will be solar energy-powered stages by Alternative Power Productions and Kleege Industries, information booths for various environmental groups like Friends of the Urban Forest and Save the Waves, a refillable water program, waste diversion that encourages composting and recycling waste, and the promotion of alternative transportation modes by festivalgoers like Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART).

Over 60 artists and musicians will perform on four stages at this year’s festival. Besides the aforementioned headliners, artists and bands such as Norah Jones, Skrillex, Jack White, Sigur Ros, Foo Fighters, and Beck aim to make this year’s festival better than in previous years. Also performing are the alt-folk trio The Be Good Tanyas and Boston-based jam band Dispatch as part of their current reunion tours. Some artists like Geographer, Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons, and Electric Guest will be performing at small tents, in addition to their scheduled concerts, throughout the weekend as well.

Popular mainstay Wine Lands is returning to give festivalgoers glasses and maybe bottles of delicious wine from local wineries. And for the first time, Beer Lands, hosted by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., will give non-wine loving patrons tastes of fine craft beer by Firestone Walker, Lost Coast Brewery, and Anchor Brewing, among others.

Festivalgoers should also look forward to the DJ Dome for a more electronic music experience, the Free Yr Radio and Prius Family Playground (with occasional intimate musical performances), and a festival marketplace for those interested in merchandise and local artisan goods. TuneIn Radio will be streaming live full concerts from each stage this year for those that can’t make this year’s event.

Personally, I’m excited to see several acts, including Birdy, Zola Jesus, Of Monsters and Men, and Tennis. The official Outside Lands Festival mobile apps (iPhone, Andriod, and BlackBerry phones only) is available to provide festivalgoers with festival scheduling and planning help, up-to-the-minute festival news, and more. Please note you need to download the brand new 2012 app since last year’s app, if you previously downloaded that version, as it will not sync with this year’s festival. For photos from this year’s festival, see my Flickr Page.

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About Tan The Man

I am a proud dork and loser.