Outside Lands Festival 2012: A Preview

For the weekend of August 10-12, 2012, Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, California is once again home to the fifth annual Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival.

Last year’s festival had some great moments, including amazing concerts by headliners Phish, Muse, and Arcade Fire and the introduction of live comedy and variety performances via The Barbary (an ode to the traditions of the SF’s Barbary Coast District). This year’s festival tries to repeat previous successes with Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Metallica (in their first performance at Golden Gate Park in over 30 years) and Stevie Wonder headlining the weekend’s main stage, as well as Neil Patrick Harris, Chris Hardwick and David Cross headlining The Barbary. Cross was very excited and confident with performing at Outside Lands this year, citing that he’s “definitely funnier than Norah Jones” (conference call).

Arcade Fire at Outside Lands Festival 2011 (via Film Magic Inc)

With environmentally-conscious San Francisco playing host to Outside Lands, festival organizers (Another Planet Entertainment, Superfly Presents and Starr Hill Presents) ensured that environmentally sustainable and green best practices were followed to ensure that the weekend-long event had as little environmental impact as possible; such as solar energy-powered stages by Alternative Power Productions and Kleege Industries, a refillable water program, information booths for various environmental groups like Friends of the Urban Forest and Save the Waves, encouragement of alternative transportation modes by festivalgoers, and a massive waste diversion that promotes composting and recycling waste whenever possible.

Muse at Outside Lands Festival 2011 (via Film Magic Inc)

Spread over four stages, over 60 artists and musicians will perform at this year’s festival. Other the aforementioned headliners, artists and bands such as Jack White, Beck, Foo Fighters, Skrillex, Sigur Ros, Justice, and Norah Jones will give audiences major goose bumps and unforgettable musical memories. Boston-based jam band Dispatch and alt-folk trio The Be Good Tanyas will also be performing as part of their current reunion tours. As with previous festivals, many artists and bands will pull double duty by also performing mini-concerts in tents throughout the weekend, including Geographer, Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons, and Electric Guest.

Wine tasting from various local wineries has long been a festival mainstay, but this year’s festival introduces a beer garden for the first time. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. hosts the Beer Camp Pub for those patrons who don’t want to indulge in wine. Anchor Brewing, Firestone Walker, and Lost Coast Brewery are among the breweries featured at Beer Lands.

!!! at Outside Lands Festival 2011 (via Film Magic Inc)

Other attractions that festivalgoers should look for are the DJ Dome for a more electronic music experience, an Intel tent, the Free Yr Radio and Prius Family Playground (with occasional music performances), and the festival marketplace for those interested to local artisan goods and other merchandise. In previous years, YouTube provided festival performances for those people that couldn’t make it Golden Gate Park. This year, TuneIn Radio will stream live full concerts from each stage this year.

This year’s festival should be quite exciting and fun. I am personally existed to see Of Monsters and Men, Tennis, Zola Jesus, and Birdy. Download the official Outside Lands Festival mobile apps (iPhone, Andriod, and BlackBerry phones only) for recent news, festival scheduling and planning, and more. FYI, if you downloaded the app for last year’s festival, you need to download the brand new 2012 app as last year’s app wasn’t updated. For photos from this year’s festival, see my Flickr Page.

[photos via Film Magic Inc/Outside Lands Festival]

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