The sun begins to set yet again on another Music Festival Season, but not before Outside Lands makes its final mark on 2019. With a promising line-up of influential headliners and side stage acts — many of whom are women, artists of color, and LGBTQ+ performers — we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite artists taking the stage this weekend. Here are the seven acts you absolutely cannot miss:
Stage: Sutro, August 11th – 12:00-12:45 PM
From the depths of the sea, otherworldly Natalie Mering – the singer/songwriter professionally known as Weyes Blood — is set to surface at this year’s Sutro stage. The soft rock, psychedelic pop artist explores the abstract and conceptual through methodical and intentional songwriting — pairing celestial echoey harmonies with complex topics contemplating capitalist disconnect and environmental precarity. With the release of her latest album, Titanic Rising, Mering laments the hubris of man, rising sea levels and melting icebergs — and yet, though deeply existential, Weyes Blood remains optimistic: “Born in a century lost to memories, falling trees, get off your knees, no one can keep you down,” the artist reassures the listener in “A Lot’s Gonna Change,” there is still always something to believe.
Stage: Panhandle, August 9th – 1:20-2:00 PM & GastroMagic, 6:50-7:20 PM
Set to perform Friday, the rapper, singer/songwriter, producer, and feminist provocateur returns for her second Outside Lands performance since 2017. Arts educator turned performance artist, Boyfriend explores the complexities of gender and sexuality through a style she has personally coined “rap cabaret.” Described by Rolling Stone as “high-concept booty bass,” Boyfriend serves up a campy cocktail of witty verse and theatricality that is both bold and uncompromising. With the release of her latest single, “Soulmate” — a queer feminist anthem that just hits different, the artist raps: “straight white dude so ignorant, I’ll be your boyfriend” and, “I cannot expect you to shave your legs” — calling out the sexist double-standards and gender roles her very moniker implicitly defies.
Stage: Panhandle, August 9th – 2:55-3:35 PM
If there’s one good thing we can ever take away from Tinder, it’s Miya Folick — the folk-rock singer/songwriter who started her band all by swiping right. An undeniable vocal talent, the singer’s tender vibrato and intimate, conversational tone will strike a chord you never knew was there. The artist’s vulnerability, too, as a writer reflects a deeply rooted sincerity and self-awareness, where nothing is off limits, and confrontation is unavoidable, and even welcomed. In her song “Deadbody,” released in the wake of the #MeToo movement, Folick’s voice has held space for survivors of sexual assault through radical transparency and resilience — leaving no room for “boys will be boys” acquittals, and holding all abusers accountable. With the release of her latest single, “Malibu Barbie,” the half-Japanese, half-Ukrainian American artist reflects upon the nuances of her identity, where gender, society, and culture intersect. Set to perform the fest this Friday, Folick will undoubtedly hit us where it hurts, with the softest blow to the heart.
Stage: Sutro, August 9th – 6:00-6:50 PM
Gracing OSL this year with a blend of dreamy house production and mellow hip hop, is Korean-American singer, DJ, and producer Yaeji. An up-and-rising artist with an underground sensibility, Yaeji is known for throwing DIY parties (often hosted in her NYC apartment) and contributing to the queer music scene of which she is a part. Raised in both South Korea and the States, the Brooklyn-based artist infuses the cultural multiplicities of her identity through vulnerable lyrics whispered over textured bass, oscillating between English and Korean. Yaegi will be playing the festival Friday, as well as a sponsored night show at the Mezzanine on Saturday.
Stage: Panhandle, August 9th – 4:30-5:10 PM
The bilingual Latin quintet from Los Angeles that you couldn’t pin down if you tried. The Marías — a mixture of psych-soul, lounge, and funk — will take you on a journey that transcends the bounds of space and time, and leave you in an endless state of dreaming. Formed in late 2016 by the group’s velvet vocalist, María, together with drummer/producer Josh Conway, the band has since released two EP’s — Superclean Vol. I & II. Playing the fest this Friday, The Marías are also set to perform at the California Academy of Sciences, Thursday evening – tickets for the event can be located on the academy’s website.
Stage: Twin Peaks, August 10th – 3:45-4:35 PM
Rapper and singer/songwriter Tierra Whack is reconceptualizing the world of hip-hop and R&B through imaginative surrealism and visual disruption. The artist released her debut audiovisual project, Whack World, just last year, and has since dropped five new singles — building anticipation amongst fans for her upcoming material. In an interview with The Fader, the Philadelphia native spoke to her introverted disposition growing up as a child, where she turned to songwriting as a vehicle for self-expression and tackling insecurity. Unapologetically herself, the artist does not pander to societal pressures and continues to release the music she so desires — a radical act for a woman in the music industry, and a revolutionary act for a Black woman in America. Check out the music video for the artist’s latest single,”Unemployed,” below.
Stage: Panhandle, August 9th – 12:00-12:40 PM
The Bay Area’s very own Peter, Paul, and Mary — Rainbow Girls, composed of Vanessa May, Erin Chapin, and Caitlin Gowdey, are the dreamy folk trio we didn’t know we needed, showering us with 70’s nostalgia and timeless storytelling. Their soulful harmonies and poignant, topical lyricism shine a light on the intricacies of every day life, social struggles and the humanitarian fight — reminding us of the power of folk, and its capacity to deliver us from the pains of injustice and sorrow. With the recent release of their latest album, Give the People What They Want, Rainbow Girls impart a sense of hopefulness amidst the turbulent political climate they explored in American Dream — “people are standing up for their land, people are standing up for their water, people are standing up for themselves… for their freedom… for their rights.”