Five Local Bands Not to Miss at Outside Lands—And Other Essential Tips

Save ArticleSave Article

Failed to save article

Please try again

This article is more than 4 years old.
Shannon and the Clams are one of the standout local acts at Outside Lands 2018. (Alysse Gafkjen)

A lot is different about Outside Lands this year. The music and arts festival kicks off its 11th edition on Aug. 10, when thousands of concertgoers will descend upon Golden Gate Park for three days of music, comedy, food, beer and art.

For one, the fest finally booked female headliners for the first time in its history: Florence + the Machine on Saturday and Janet Jackson on Sunday.

And in addition to its food and beverage offerings, this year's edition will introduce Grass Lands, a town square-style showcase of Northern California's cannabis offerings. (This is just to look and smell. You still can't buy weed at the fest—sorry.)

Entertainment other than music is becoming more prominent at Outside Lands as well: The Barbary, its improv and comedy stage, stars Brooklyn Nine-Nine's Chelsea Peretti, as well as Michelle Wolf, the Daily Show contributor and nemesis of the Trump administration. And the Gastro Magic Stage, which is all about food, features outspoken Brooklyn chef and author Eddie Huang (whose memoir inspired the hit series Fresh Off the Boat) and Matty Matheson, whose Vice show makes him seem like an extremely entertaining dining companion.

While dressing for the cold and dusty terrain of Golden Gate Park and the struggle to find parking are givens (check out our Outside Lands survival guide), there's another big change: this year, Outside Lands has introduced a clear bag policy. Word to the wise: either bring your PKW (that's phone, keys and wallet) in your pockets, or invest in a clear backpack or purse from Amazon, Target or just about any school supply store. The clear bag policy is becoming a staple of other festivals, including June's Clusterfest in Civic Center, so it will likely come in handy again.


But, back to the music. In addition to tons of exciting mainstream acts at this year's Outside Lands (Janelle Monae! Future! The Internet! N.E.R.D.!), there's a wealth of local talent represented on the lineup.

Don't miss SOB x RBE, the Vallejo upstarts whose "Anti" blasted from what sounded like every car window throughout 2016 and 2017. The four-piece has since risen to national prominence through their fiery track on the Black Panther soundtrack, "Paramedic." Recently, the group's biggest star, Yhung T.O., inked a solo deal with Interscope. It's unclear what lies ahead for SOB x RBE as a collective, so Outside Lands will be a good opportunity to catch them live as a unit. They perform at the Twin Peaks stage on Saturday, Aug. 11, at 5:20pm.

Shannon and the Clams are also hitting the Outside Lands stage for the first time this year. The group came up in Oakland's warehouse scene, performing in clandestine venues and dusty basements for years before getting their big break. Recently, they worked with Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys at his Easy Eye Sound label. Shannon and the Clams' Outside Lands set will be a victory for these mainstays of the local punk scene. They perform at the Twin Peaks stage on Friday, Aug. 10, at 12:40 pm.

Similar to Shannon and the Clams' retro sensibilities, Oakland's Dick Stusso lends a modern twist to his blues and rock'n'roll guitar stylings, which conjure long road trips in an old-school Cadillac. He performs Sunday, Aug. 12 at noon at the Panhandle Stage.

The T Sisters have been blessing the Bay Area with their beautiful three-part harmonies and bluegrass, folk and indie instrumentation for years now. They perform on the Sutro Stage on Sunday, Aug. 12, at noon.

Caleborate has been winning Bay Area hip-hop fans' hearts and minds since 2015, when he came onto the scene with his confessional debut, Hella Good. The Sacramento native raps about coming of age in his adopted home of Berkeley. His latest album, Real Person, is endearingly confessional and candid. After slaying local clubs, he's ready for the big festival stage. Caleborate performs on the Panhandle Stage on Friday, Aug. 10, at 4:30pm.

Outside Lands takes place Aug. 10–12 in Golden Gate Park. Details here