Top Five Reasons Outside Lands Is Better Than Coachella

outside-lands-general.jpg
Christopher Victorio
A day at Outside Lands 2011 looking... pleasant.
See also: Our complete Coachella coverage

Coachella 2012 has come and gone; now it's time to brag about our awesome tans and how we lost count of all of the onstage mindfucks. But while we Nor-Cal-ers try to switch our brains back to reality, let us also explain why we're really looking forward to Outside Lands, San Francisco's own major music festival.

5. It's cheaper
Before taxes, the face value for a three-day pass for Coachella was $320. (As the previous link demonstrates, they were going for significantly cheaper -- $238 -- in the days before the final weekend.) Meanwhile, three-day general admission tickets for Outside Lands started out at $195 and now cost $225. That's still less than the savviest Coachella-goer could have paid. And Explosions in the Sky, Santigold, Justice and Andrew Bird are just a few of the Coachella alumni who will be performing at the S.F. festival this August.

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Timothy Norris
Inside the Sahara Tent at Coachella

4. Fewer DJs = fewer candy kids
We like shuffling to good house music as much as anyone else, but after three days of build ups, drops, and hearing every DJ play the same songs, we've had our fill -- probably until the next Coachella. Swedish House Mafia's headlining performance on the Coachella stage Friday night was a disappointing, drawn-out set that relied more on theatrical fireworks and seizure-inducing light shows than a diverse lineup of songs.



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36 comments
golf1here
golf1here

Coachella was fantastic! Camping makes the festival even more enjoyable for me, and I liked having a Standing Room 100 tent -- full standing room for the first time in EIGHT Coachellas for me, and let me tell you, it makes a difference to not have to hunch over to go in and out after a few days of 12 hours of walking/standing! I found it here www.standingroomtents.com

Rosie
Rosie

The people I meat at Coachella are possibly the best people I've ever met. Everyone is just so damn chill! Even the 16 year old kids are super chill, some kids in the crowd gave my friend their water during the massive body mushing/ pre heat stroke right before Justice. There's just this sense of community that I just have never seen anywhere else. Best experience ever. As for OL this will be my first sumer going, but I won't even try to compare it to Coachella because I know it can't beat it and this will just make me sad.

Jason
Jason

Less thugg hop at OSL = WINNING.  But 'Tallica is a turnoff.  Amadou and Mariam is the can't miss set.

Sbsurfer805
Sbsurfer805

Both these festivals are lame.  Just a bunch of hipsters and bands we have seen in the last couple years a million times. Lightning in a Bottle you have my vote

Trolol
Trolol

Ok no, whose idea was it to get Metallica to headline....... 

Donald Lathbury
Donald Lathbury

It's true that the food selection is much better at Outside Lands, but the lines in my experience for food are also longer at Outside Lands (in their defense, this is a reflection of quality and the fact that the weather is more conducive to eating). Also the food trucks at Outside Lands are out of the way. At Coachella, even when I was waiting in line for food, I could still see music from a distance.

In any event, it's a trade off. They're both great festivals on the whole with advantages and flaws.

Tucker Gumber
Tucker Gumber

Stupidest thing I have ever read. Outside Lands is in August and ends at 10:30pm or 11pm so you only get one hour of darkness. Coachella is in April and goes until 1:30am so you get 6 hours of darkness. This makes Coachella 6times better than Outside Lands.

Amanda
Amanda

Water is free at Coachella to Refill Bottles; or $2 Bucks.  Coachella Weekend One was in the 70s during the day all weekend.  I was actually interested in reading this article to find insightful reasons and differences in the festivals.. but seems like there are lots of reasons here that don't really support your argument.  Anyways, I'm a supporter of music festivals no matter the genres so I'm sure it will be a blast regardless!

Whatever
Whatever

Went to Coachella, pretty sure that's a picture of the turntables getting set up for Company Flow and not the actual show. Lame.

Al-P
Al-P

Actually it looked just like that when they played "8 Steps to Perfection" and that was the second to last song.

Jean
Jean

Coachella is an over all exhausting experience, and I related to a number of your woes. However, Outside Lands plays it SO safe, they seem to want to please everyone without pleasing them too much. No risks are taken. But maybe that's why I like the lineup better than coachella this year.

you'll see me at both next year for jeannoir.com though

motojuku
motojuku

WIth respects to those who are creating venues so other to enjoy, seems a bit classless to have to put one down to prop up the other.  I will be attending both this year and they are both great venues in their own way.  If you have to put one down, just shut and don't go.

Coachellinn
Coachellinn

I have been to both events and Coachella blew Outsidelands out of the water. the environment was better not the mention the total lack in organization at Outsidelands. Coachella may have been more expensive but you walk away feeling changed and more experienced. plus the food selection at Coachella is amazing!!!! the only thing negative about Coachella was the heat but i got a great tan from that so over all I'd say if you had to pick one then Coachella. 

the only reason i would attend Outsidelands again would be to see Stevie Wonder. 

Bridget
Bridget

also, Outside Lands lets you bring in your own water! that is HUGE. (also, not sure if food is officially oked by OL but i'e always gotten away with bringing it in. however, even if it's not technically allowed, the food at Outside Lands kicks Coachella's scant selection any day. and of course, OL is in San Francisco, automatically making it the clear winner.

Tomas C T-Rayas
Tomas C T-Rayas

was contemplating outsidelands...but after reading this article, as well as the comments, i'm rethinking my decision. it sounds like OL is for Snobs & Labelers. both of which are lower than any "bros" or "hipsters" because atleast those two "labels" have nothing but a good time.

hotcajunnancy
hotcajunnancy

Tomas, don't base your decision on other factors..as a vet of both (see my comment just before yours) if you enjoy Coachella, you will love OL too! Trust me, the ppl at the fest are awesome, I had fun with everybody and have made great friends there! I love both fests... You will not regret going! :)

hotcajunnancy
hotcajunnancy

Go to both every year...have a great time at both..love both!!! Why even compare?!!! Two diff vibes. I had a kick ass time at Coachella this year, both w/e's...I agree, camping makes for an awesome experience!! But I steadfastly say, OL is my fav! But I am just a lil rocker girl who loves music festivals..besides Coachella, last summer, in a 2 wk period, I then hit L.A. Rising, Lolla, KanROCKsas and OL...all diff (tho shared some acts) but I had a kick ass time at all!!!!! But, I have excitedly waited for OL since the day after, last year! :) Music is supposed to unite us, not draw lines in the sand! But yes, can't beat San Fran, can't beat OL! :)

tun tun tun
tun tun tun

yeah but whose idea was it to get lame skrillex

Brad Petz
Brad Petz

Not comparable at all, as said above: camping vs. noncampingAlso, what's with the hate OL? You're both here to provide joy to thousands of people...and you both do! Where does the negativity come in?

NB_12
NB_12

You must be kidding with this article. First and most importantly, the Coachella line-up blows away Outside Lands, every year. There will be nothing at OL this year even close to as entertaining as Radiohead or Dr. Dre's set. Not to mention, check out the undercard - Coachella kills OL for indie acts. Second, to say getting from stage to stage at Coachella requires "less of a trek" is a huge understatement. Good luck seeing more than 4 or 5 full sets at OL in a day - by about 4 or 5:00 the routes between the various "meadows" gets so congested you can hardly walk. At Coachella you can easily see 8 and still have time to relax.  Third, while Coachella does have a high amount of annoying raver kids, they stick to the Sahara tent in the corner of the Polo Fields and generally do not bother you at the other stages. Fourth, I've been downright freezing cold at Outside Lands. Sure, its nice to be cool during the day but once the fog engulfs Golden Gate Park you are shivering for the main acts, while at Coachella its the perfect temperature once the sun goes down.

Reverend Justito
Reverend Justito

I have been to both festivals and each have their good things and bad things. It is not easy to get home from Outside Lands since SF refuses to have enough public transportation. Then again it's not easy to leave Coachella by car either. I agree the beer gardens at Coachella suck, but the real crime is that only crappy European beer is available at both festivals. I do like the layout of Outside Lands much better than Coachella. Same goes with the weather, granted it did rain at Coachella this year.

As far as ATDI goes, I indeed did see moshing at Coachella. I think the one key thing here is the wonderful fact that there are less Candy Kids at Outside Lands, but then again it was Outside Lands where I first saw racist white kids pretending to be Native Americans. I would love to see them try to rock black face and get away with it. No fuck that, I'd actually rather see them scalped.

In closing, both festivals are different and should be praised for that. What would be the point of having Outside Lands or Coachella if they were both identical to Voodoo Music Experience in New Orleans? Celebrate diversity. Oh and scalp hipsters. 

Ben
Ben

You're crazy if you thought no one was moshing for ATDI. I almost died in there...

John Ozuna
John Ozuna

DUDE! ppl almost literally died in that crowd! dont know wtf that guy is talking about!...between the leftovers of Justice ppl and and the eager ppl for Dre and Snoop, the ppl for ATDI completely controlled that front row area crowd...those Justice and Dre had no idea what they had coming....

Tommy
Tommy

haha same here! The people who were there waiting for dre and snoop, which was about 85% of the people, had to go through hell!

Tommy
Tommy

These are the only two festivals I have been to and they are too different to compare. There are 10 reasons why OSL is better than Coachella and there are 10 reasons why Coachella is better than OSL. Both of them have their negatives and positives but all it comes down to for me is who has the better lineup. In most cases it's been Coachella because it is a bigger festival. They do have too many DJ's but they are smart by keeping 95% of them in the same tent. Two totally different experiences though. OSL is easier on the body for sure but their is a sense of pride and camaraderie that comes along with the struggle and survival of Coachella!

Paul Medley
Paul Medley

In recent years, the hipster-to-bro ratio has flip flopped in the bro's favor at Coachella and they've turned the fest into a giant frat party, especially this year. I might just stop going to Coachella altogether and make the switch to Outside Lands. I went to OL last year, and aside from the cold weather, it was a total blast!

Izloot
Izloot

Sasquatch, by far is my favorite music festival in the USA.

dosgard
dosgard

"No one seemed to be moshing to At The Drive In's reunion after 11 years on hiatus." Cedric does not condone moshing and will stop the set if there is. 

Tommy
Tommy

BS! it was too crowded to mosh so the the whole crowd decided to just trample each other from one side of the stage to the other. Which in my opinion is way more miserable! 

Sean D
Sean D

I have been to both festivals several times each. Coachella is a camping festival... Outside lands is not, thus they are not comparable to one another. Its the same reason why Loolapalooza and Coachella are not comparable, different, crowd mood energy and camping vs non-camping. There is a sense of community when you camp and deal with the heat and dust as a group, people who go to outside lands usually are not as friendly or kind. Maybe if you can't handle it, go see music in air conditioned buildings. Plus A LOT LESS DRUNK ASSHOLES

Jahwa710
Jahwa710

You couldn't have put it better!

Gordon Elgart
Gordon Elgart

A better reason than any of these is that the stages are spread throughout the park so that you don't hear the other stages when you're watching the band you actually want to hear.

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