Coachella vs Outside Lands


Coachella’s iconic ferris wheel

Spencer Hardwick, Social Media Director

Coachella and Outside Lands. Sprawling expanses of grass, huge stages, food vendors, floppy hats, laser light shows, bad decisions, and burly security guards. One is held in the middle of San Francisco, surrounded on all sides by skyscrapers. The other is in the middle of the desert outside Los Angeles, a field that in 2014 would have become the 5th largest city in California, tallying 579,000 visitors in six days. Both festivals attract artists from a wide range of genres and generations, with headliners from this year including Drake, AC DC, Kendrick Lamar, and Elton John.

So in a head to head match up, who would win?

Outside Lands is well known throughout the entire Bay Area, drawing artists from all over the country, both headliners and less well known artists. Outside Lands takes place over three days in August, in Golden Gate Park in downtown San Francisco. Artists perform at several different stages, playing a mixture of electronic music, rap, and rock. According to junior Merrick Goodman, one of last years musical highlights was “absolutely, indubitably, 100% Kanye West.” OL definitely trends towards the “I used to be a hippie because I did acid in college” demographic, both in its musical guests and decor. One thing that sets OL apart from other festivals are the non musical attractions. Artists use OL as a huge outdoor art show, and food vendors present a multicultural rainbow of options. Senior Kyle Rechnitz, an avid attendee of past and future Outside Lands, said “With a nice venue and great and food and drink, it’s a perfect way to spend time with friends during the summer.” Another attraction that this author has yet been able to experience is the Winelands; an area where people over the age of 21 can partake in some of Northern California’s finer wines.
Looking at size, Coachella far outweighs Outside Lands. Over two weekends at the Polo grounds, an astounding 210 artists hit the stage, compared to Outside Lands 73. Artists perform on six different stages in front of packed crowds over the course about ten hours. The musical choices tend to appeal more towards the youngins, with the majority of artists being electronic or rock groups. Another big difference between Coachella and OL is the accomodations. While OL attracts locals, Coachella’s world wide popularity fills up not only  the local hotels, but also the campgrounds. Camping is almost always the more popular option, providing proximity to the venue and also the opportunity to interact with some of your fellow Coachellers. “The campgrounds were very laid back and chill, and you become like a little community with your tent neighbors and everyone looks out for each other,” senior Emily Burch said, who attended the concert this weekend. With general admission tickets selling out in under 20 minutes, it is easy to see how popular Coachella is.