Whenever I mention the fact that Coachella sells out instantly without even announcing a lineup, people look at me like I'm nuts.
"Wait," they say, "you mean thousands of people pay $350 to go to a music festival without even knowing who's playing?!"
It's crazy, I know. But it also underscores why most people go to big outdoor festivals in the first place: it's less about the music on stage, and more about the experience in and around the festival grounds -- an experience that's looking more and more homogenous around the world.
This week, Outside Lands aims for that same brass ring by putting three-day passes to the festival on sale before announcing any official lineup whatsoever. It's an early-bird "Eager Beaver" onsale, and you can bet that the limited quantity of tickets offered will disappear instantly.
This will happen for a variety of reasons. One is that the lineups at big festivals nationwide are virtually indistinguishable from each other anyway -- the same large acts play Coachella, Lollapalooza, FYF Fest, Bonnaroo, and Outside Lands. And in the tech-wealthy Bay Area, there's no end of young moneyed partygoers in neon shorts and feather headresses willing to throw down a few hundred dollars to be part of the action. If the lineup turns out to be a bummer? No big deal: ticket buyers can always make a cool profit reselling passes on secondhand sites like Stubhub after the festival sells out.