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Arts & Entertainment

Psst, don’t tell anyone, but the Outside Lands lineup is actually good this year

pyrotechnics above a festival stage with a rapper performing
Tyler, the Creator last performed at Outside Lands in 2021, and he's among the headliners announced Tuesday. | Source: Courtesy Outside Lands

Outside Lands, San Francisco's preeminent summer music festival, released its 2024 lineup Tuesday. With rapper Tyler, the Creator, indie rockers the Killers and alt-country singer-songwriter Sturgill Simpson headlining, the roster is fairly contemporary—long gone are the days when a grizzled 1960s icon like Neil Young or Paul McCartney would anchor Sunday night's main stage.

This year, Outside Lands runs Aug. 9-11.

Strong undercard acts are plentiful, including side-project-turned-millennial-touchstone the Postal Service, ace R&B remixer Kaytranada, modern British soul collective Jungle and DJ and producer Chris Lake.

a white rapper kneels in profile on a darkened festival stage holding a microphone
Post Malone, seen here playing Outside Lands 2022, will perform a "special country set." | Source: Camille Cohen/The Standard

As is the case more often than not, the top of the lineup skews overwhelmingly male, with perhaps one notable exception: inimitable tigress Grace Jones, who in spite of being well into her 70s will likely hula-hoop on stage with ferocity. Multiple Grammy nominee Victoria Monét and and the woman-fronted Australian punk band Amyl & The Sniffers are both playing as well.

Between Sturgill Simpson, Paul Cauthen, and—arguably—Teddy Swims, it's fair to say that producer Another Planet Entertainment thinks that country music is firmly a draw, and rapper-producer Post Malone is listed as playing a "special country set."

To be sure, there are several retreads—Post Malone headlined OSL in 2022, and both Kaytranada and Tyler, the Creator played the pandemic-delayed Halloween weekend iteration the year before—but there are also some strong debuts and surprises up and down the bill, including shoegaze pioneers Slowdive, socially conscious rapper Killer Mike and synth-pop princess Chappell Roan.

If last year's out-of-nowhere act was former NBA player Shaquille O'Neal, then this year's might be actor Idris Elba, best known as Stringer Bell on The Wire.

A few prominent San Francisco names can be found as well, including the DJ and native Gryffin and the Canadian-born Vandelux, who's currently based here.

Early bird tickets sold out quickly, but three-day GA ($465) and GA+ ($715) wristbands go on sale Wednesday. A VIP pass has officially crossed the $1,000 threshold—$1,075, to be exact.

Outside Lands 2023 was something of a mixed bag, with the floor of the EDM-focused SOMA Tent essentially collapsing under the weight of everyone inside it. Notably, the Dolores Stage, a focal point for queer performance programmed by local bars and clubs that debuted last year, did not appear on Tuesday's lineup.

Although Another Planet Entertainment has courted controversy with its $15 million renovation of San Francisco's historic Castro Theatre and the permanent concrete pad it installed in Golden Gate Park's Polo Field, it also expanded its footprint in the park to include a second, one-day festival the weekend after Outside Lands. System of a Down and Deftones will anchor that inaugural follow-up.