Named Outside Lands due to its lack of roads and constant cover of sand dunes, the area, after being renovated, now holds the iconic Golden Gate Park where one of the world’s best music festivals takes place. Outside Lands started in 2008 and had more than 60 musical performances and several art installations. The three-day festival has grown to attract over 200,000 people annually, and is a celebration of music, food, art, and cannabis thanks to California’s relaxed weed laws. This year, major artists like SZA, Green Day, and Post Malone are headlining the iconic festival, but there are tons of other musicians who are making great music and deserve to be highlighted.
Columbian-Canadian singer Lido Pimienta rose to fame when she won the 2017 Polaris music prize for her 2016 album La Papessa. She became the first artist to win the award with a non-English or French, and self-released album. Since then she has continued to make incredible art pop music, best seen in her sophomore album Miss Colombia which was produced under ANTI- Records. Like the artist herself, you can’t describe her music in one word; her songs are a beautiful blend of Latin American beats with synthpop sounds that showcase her stunning voice and lyrics rooted in the equality of race, gender, and identity.
Childhood friends Pablo Sotelo (vocals, guitarist), Jean Pierre Narvaez (vocals, bassist), and Elijah Trujillo (guitarist, keyboard) started making music in their teens in their hometown of Inglewood, California. Little did they know they would end up with two more members, Chris Runners (keyboard) and Luis Portillo (drums), and a nationwide audience. The indie rock band Inner Waves makes chill alternative music that is reminiscent of 60s psychedelic rock. Their fourth album, Apoptosis, was self-released on September 30, 2021, and it displays the best works of the five members: reflective lyrics to exciting songs and the classic vibe of indie rock.
From Auckland, New Zealand, The Beths is an indie pop band consisting of Elizabeth Stokes (vocals, guitarist), Jonathan Pearce (vocals, guitarist), Benjamin Sinclair (vocals, bassist), and Tristan Deck (drums). The band released their sophomore album Jump Rope Gazers which is a soft indie collection of songs perfect for a summertime picnic. They are releasing their third album, Expert In A Dying Field, on September 16 with Carpark Records, and they have already released two amazing singles from the album.
Chrystia “Tia” Cabral, also known as Spelling, is an American musician who makes music that seems straight out of a Disney Princess movie. On June 25, 2021, she released her third album, The Turning Wheel, under Sacred Bones Records, and like her first two albums, it was full of dreamy soundscapes and whimsical elements. Her voice is soothing and unique, and her slightly high-pitched notes make her sound angelic, especially when she sings over her fantastical orchestral pop instrumentals.
On June 24, 2022, Honduran-American singer-songwriter Lorely Rodriguez released her EP Save Me under Major Arcana/mtheory. Also known as Empress Of, Rodriguez creates songs that are a mix of EDM and pop, releasing tracks that have pop lyrics to a danceable, electric beat. Her songs are bringing in the genre of modern disco, with a distinctive rhythm to her music while still bringing that upbeat techno feel.
Cassian is an EDM DJ who currently lives in Los Angeles, but is at the forefront of Sydney, Australia’s EDM scene, considering that’s where he was born. His music is EDM at its best: upbeat, danceable, and sure to make any crowd get on their feet and go wild. Cassian has complete mastery over how to create the perfect build-up and bass drop that would make the night last forever. On June 26, 2020, he released his debut album Laps under Rose Avenue Records, and the album as a whole is full of house music glory.
Taja Cheek, also known as L’Rain, is an American experimentalist and instrumentalist. It’s impossible to pin her music down to just one genre; it’s a collaboration of every sound in the universe with an emphasis on soul, psychedelics, and synth. To keep her fantasy-Esq vibes going, she collaborated with Ben Chapoteau-Katz, Justin Felton, and Alywn Robinson in 2021 to make her sophomore album Fatigue come to life. Fatigue was released on June 25, 2021, under Mexican Summer, and the album transports you into the body of Alice as she discovers Wonderland. L’Rain’s music is trippy in the best way possible, and her interesting orchestral sounds just make every track a little better.
Since the beginning of time, music has been used as a tool for revolutions and a call for change, and that’s no better seen than in the band Pussy Riot. Formed in 2011 by 15 women who were already involved in an anarchist art collective in Russia, the group protested the Russian government and congressional laws passed by Vladimir Putin. The protest art collective will release their debut mixtape MATRIARCHY NOW on August 5th, 2022. The collective, led by Nadya Tolokonnikova protests the Russian government through their loud lyrics which call for human rights reform and freedom.
Avalon Emerson is an American EDM DJ who lives full-time in Berlin, Germany, where she shares her fantastic tracks with clubs in the city. Her music is dynamic, synth-ed out, and full of different tempos that mesh into cohesive, upbeat tracks. She released her debut album DJ-Kick: Avalon Emerson on September 18, 2020, under !K7 Records. It’s an energizing index of tracks that are impossible to stay seated to. Her songs are chill yet invigorating, and her handle on the genre as a whole is a means to be commended.
Peter Martin rose to fame when he started making Tik Toks covering funny sketches and promotions of his own songs, earning him not just a large platform, but thousands of listens nationwide. You can try to categorize him as indie rock, folk rock, or even punk, but the artist himself says that by doing that you’re missing the point: his music isn’t about labels but rather what you feel. On September 3, 2021, he released his second album Lean Into Life, under Terrible Records, and the tracks on the album not only display his musical talents, but his emotional lyrics on mental health, masculinity, and heartbreak.
Outside Lands is one of the greatest music festivals of all time for its celebration of music, culture, and art, which also makes it the greatest hub of talent. With its incredible headliners and truly outstanding performers like those on this list, it’s almost guaranteed that Outside Lands 2022 is going to be one of their greatest concerts yet.