Navigating Outside Lands 2021: An hour-by-hour guide for all three days

Outside Lands, Outside Lands 2019, Outside Lands Music Festival

Attendees at Outside Lands at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco photographed on Aug. 11, 2019. Outside Lands 2021 includes headliners Lizzo, Tame Impala and The Strokes. Joaquin Cabello/STAFF.

Lizzo? The Strokes? Tame Impala? Heck, throw in Tyler, the Creator, Vampire Weekend, J Balvin and Kehlani. Do you already know who you’re going to catch at Outside Lands 2021? The producers of the festival finally unveiled the lineup for the three-day festival, happening over Halloween weekend this year after getting canceled in 2020 and postponed earlier this year.

Outside Lands 2021
Lizzo, The Strokes, Tame Impala, more

12 p.m., Oct. 29 to 31
Golden Gate Park
Tickets: Sold out.

But that’s just the start. Once again, you’ll be making important choices all day long, every day of the fest, held on oct. 29, 30 and 31 in Golden Gate Park. This year’s incarnation is heavy on hip-hop and electronic music (and light in guitar-led rock, by the way), highlighting artists influenced by numerous cultures. The double block of Burna Boy and J Balvin? Yes, please! Same with rising hip-hop acts like 24kGoldn, EarthGang, 070 Shake and Flo Milli.

Then there’s the food, wine, shopping and cannabis. The popular GastroMagic and Cocktail Magic stages are back. Producers have dropped the comedy and replaced it with the Soma dance music tent.

You’re on your own for the food and the wine, but we’re here to help with which music acts you should catch. So get ready to maneuver the crowds, the 30-minute walks between stages and the drastic weather changes—dress warm; this is October, and it will be cold and will probably rain—and follow our choose-your-own adventure guide to Outside Lands 2021.

Bookmark this site and come back each night to read about the highlights and see some amazing photography. We stay up into the early morning hours to bring you this stuff.


Outside Lands, Outside Lands 2019, Outside Lands Music Festival

Attendees at Outside Lands at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco photographed on Aug. 10, 2019. Martin Lacey/STAFF.

First thing’s first. Make sure you’re wearing comfortable shoes. This festival includes getting your steps in. Seriously. Also, remember that we live in different times. Don’t forget your COVID-19 vaccination card (or photo of one, or pre-approval through the Clear app). If you’re not vaccinated, bring proof of negative test results taken a couple of days before each day of the set to get into the grounds. And bring a mask. Wear it not only indoors but if you’re in a crowded area outside. It will get crowded.

12 to 4 p.m.

We’ll make this simple. Start with singer-songwriter Amy Allen at Lands End and stay for the entire leisurely 45-minute set. At this point, we’d suggest the funky pop of Sofía Valdés, but unfortunately she’s over at Twin Peaks, and you’d either have to leave Allen’s set early, skip it entirely, or be late to Valdés, which doesn’t make sense because we’re about to send you all the way back to Lands End for Eastern rockers The HU at 1:15. That’s definitely one set you don’t want to miss. So instead, hang around and grab an early coffee. It’s going to be a long weekend.

After The HU, we recommend either making that trek to Twin Peaks for hip-hop and soul artist 070 Shake or sticking around at Lands End again for alt-pop singer-songwriter Trevor Daniel. One way or another, you’re going to end up at Twin Peaks eventually.

4 to 6 p.m.

Moses Sumney

Moses Sumney performs at Treasure Island Music Festival at Middle Harbor Shoreline Park in Oakland on Oct. 13, 2018. Chloe Catajan/STAFF.

We love indie rock and pop artist Sharon Van Etten. So much so that we’ve seen her a bunch of times. She plays at 3:50 p.m. at Lands End. But if you’re in the same boat as us, we suggest you dedicate this time to either soul-singer Moses Sumney at 4 p.m. at the Sutro stage or funk producer Yung Bae at 3:45 p.m. at Twin Peaks. The next hour presents a similar scenario. Psychedelic band Khruangbin is on at 5:10 p.m. at Lands End, but the band has played the Bay Area a bunch. So instead, focus your attention on danceable pop duo DRAMA (Sutro) or rapper Flo Milli (Twin Peaks), who both begin their sets at 5:20 p.m. And if you happen to be at Flo’s set, chase it down with some funky brass with the The Soul Rebels, playing at the Panhandle stage at 6:05 p.m.

6:30 to 10 p.m.

Glass Animals

Glass Animals perform at Live 105’s Not So Silent Night at Oracle Arena in Oakland on Dec. 9, 2016. Ian Young/STAFF.

Here comes the day’s biggest three-act conflict. The kids love Glass Animals. The British rock band is, quite frankly, one of the few rock bands from this century on the lineup. Its last album, however, is less rock-oriented, for what that’s worth. That means there’s likely to be some bleed-over with producer SG Lewis. Both acts make woozy, danceable or sway-able pop. Glass Animals will likely be louder, though, so if you’d rather not have your artist getting played over, choose them. The counter-programming is hip-hop duo EarthGang, performing at 6:50 at Twin Peaks. The Atlanta duo may draw some comparisons to another Atlanta duo (Outkast cough), but you should check them out because EarthGang has its own flair that mixes serious topics with humor.

Finally, wind down your first day at Outside Lands with 30 minutes of Kaytranada (8 p.m. at Sutro), 45 minutes of The Strokes (8:25 p.m., Lands End) and—if your feet are still working—45 minutes of Tyler, The Creator (Twin Peaks, 8:25 p.m., Twin Peaks).


12 to 4 p.m.

Hinds, Treasure Island Music Festival, TIMF, Treasure Island Festival

Hinds perform at Treasure Island Music Festival on Oct. 15, 2016. Diana Cordero/STAFF.

Get your day off on the right foot (or, left if you’re left-footed, whatever) with JESSIA at the Lands End stage. She’s the right mix of poppy and message-driven, and… have you listened to “I’m not Pretty?” It’s perfect for shaking your “rum-pum-pum-pum.” But don’t get comfortable because at 12:40 p.m., you’ve got your choice of psych-rock with Post Animal or Vallejo hip-hop artist Rexx Life Raj. If neither floats your boat, this is a good time to visit the culinary GastroMagic stage, where the Strokes’ Albert Hammond Jr. is set to make an appearance at 1:25 p.m.

Post Animal is the easier choice if we can talk you into making it back to Lands End to catch Madrid rock band Hinds who—fun fact—came close to having to pull out from the fest after running into issues getting visas to enter the U.S. Make this hassle worth it for them!

From this point, we recommend catching the first 30 minutes of Israeli singer-songwriter Noga Erez‘s set at Sutro and then trekking back to Lands End yet again for synth-pop band A R I Z O N A. But if you’d prefer some smooth R&B instead, skip those guys and head to Twin Peaks for Dijon.

4 to 6 p.m.

Angel Olsen

Angel Olsen performs at the Oracle Arena in Oakland on Oct. 21, 2017. Steve Carlson/STAFF.

It’s pop vs. hip-hop in the 4 o’clock hour, but you should definitely choose either Melanie Martinez or Rico Nasty here. While we were down on the latter’s latest album, we loved her 2019 LP, and she knows how to put on a great show. Whomever you choose, stay for the whole set, and then head on over to either Sutro for Dr. Dog or (and this is our choice) Lands End for Young Thug, who just released a new album and impressed us with his “Saturday Night Live” performance.

From there you can either catch Angel Olsen over at Sutro, or if you’re been there/done that, give eclectic English artist Bakar a shot at the Panhandle stage.

6:30 to 10 p.m.


Lizzo performs performs at Golden Gate Park during Outside Lands on Aug. 11, 2018. Joaquin Cabello/STAFF.

The last time Vampire Weekend played Outside Lands, the New York band drew a massive and packed crowd. When we couldn’t take all the crowd surges anymore, we tried to leave… but couldn’t. It was that packed. The performance was plenty impressive, too, and the band should have no trouble matching it this time around, even if the crowd isn’t as massive. If you don’t want to risk it, the hour’s counter-programming includes Bay Area rapper 24kGoldn, who’s just a few more hits away from becoming a household name. You can catch him at 6:55 p.m. at Twin Peaks. From there, you could head over to the Panhandle and listen to a bunch of earworms by The Midnight. If we’re lucky, the band will bring along its signature laser light production.

The acts overlap from 8:30 to 10 p.m., and while we love electronic artist ZHU, who also has Bay Area roots, this night belongs to Lizzo. The last time she played Outside Lands, it was early in the day, and not many people knew who she even was. The world knows, now, though! Lord Huron, which released a terrific album earlier this year, perhaps an album of the year candidate, got the short end of the stick going up against Lizzo on the Sutro stage. The band should have been paired up with Vampire Weekend earlier in the day. But if you can tear yourself away from Lizzo, this is where you should head.


12 to 2 p.m.

Claud, Claudia Jeanne Mintz, Claud Mintz

Claud performs at The Masonic in San Francisco on Oct. 16, 2021. Steve Carlson/STAFF.

Happy Halloween! The Outside Lands producers woke up and chose “trick” on Sunday, scheduling Neal Francis and Neil Frances back to back. Those are most definitely two different acts, but at least they’re performing on the Panhandle stage, so if you start the day off there and just wait, you’d get both of them and not miss the one you want. Performing between the Neal/Neil combo you have three great undercard choices, depending how long you want to walk. All the way over at the Lands End stage, you have the Resistance Revival Chorus. At the Sutro Stage, singer-songwriter Claud is back in the City just a couple of weeks after opening for Bleachers at the Masonic. And over yonder at Twin Peaks, you’ve got the soulful Marc E. Bassy. As you can tell, we like them all.

2 to 5 p.m.

Brittany Howard

Brittany Howard performs at the Fillmore in San Francisco on Nov. 22, 2019. Alessio Neri/STAFF.

It’s getting more difficult now! How could Bay Area native and Nashville hitmaker Cam be on so early in the day? But you need to choose between her at the Sutro stage, former Chairlift vocalist Caroline Polachek at Twin Peaks and the poppy, danceable Cannons at Lands End. Feel like getting your country on? Then Cam is your choice, as she’s the best at the genre in this lineup. Want to get introspective? Choose Polacheck. Want to dance? Cannons is your choice.

Whoever you choose, the next act should be rapper Nelly at Lands End. It may be raining, and it may be hold. But for 50 minutes you could still pretend it’s the second week of August and that it’s “Hot In Herre.”

After Nelly, you’ve got more choices to make. At 4:30 p.m., we recommend you catch the first 30 minutes of either Bay Area native and bedroom pop artist mxmtoon at Sutro or soulful crooner Scarypoolparty at Panhandle, followed by the last 30 minutes of Brittany Howard, who was once better known as the vocalist of Alabama Shakes but is now probably as successful as a solo artist. If none of these options sounds interesting, then you’re already probably planning on catching LP Giobbi in the Soma dance tent.

5:40 to 8 p.m.

This is a good chance to grab something to eat from one of the many food vendors on your way over to Lands End to catch Australian trio RÜFÜS DU SOL. They’ve got a new album out that we had a chance to listen to in advance, and it’s impressive. They’re on “promptly” at 6 p.m. (Who are we kidding. By evening on the third day, schedule times can be more of a suggestion.) If you want to keep dancing (or recreating your favorite TikTok memes) at this point, you’re likely to head out a bit early so you could make the 20-minute trek to Twin Peaks in time for Burna Boy.

8 to 9:35 p.m.

Kehlani, Kehlani Ashley Parrish

Kehlani performs at the Greek in Berkeley on June 23, 2017. Jay Demetillo/STAFF.

If you’re at Burna Boy then you should hang tight for J Balvin. These two are also a powerful Afro-Caribbean music double-header. Expect some hip-hop and some bangers.

Tame Impala is technically the headliner, but if you’re a fan you likely caught its Chase Center show just a month prior. So… can we suggest the Bay Area’s own Kehlani? Yes we can! These were three top acts performing at the same time, but your choice is likely to be a relatively easier one based on your tastes.

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