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Compared to Coachella's Mess, SF's Outside Lands was a Dream

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Part 1 of a 2-part review, focusing on the festival's planning. To read about the music, see part 2

Recently, the 3rd edition of the Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival was held in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, and LAist was there to see if our neighbors to the north can put on a festival that compares with our own legendary Coachella fest. And the answer is yes... yes, they most certainly can.

Obviously, there are some marked differences between Outside Lands and Coachella; Coachella is 3 days, Outside Lands was 2. Outside Lands takes place right in the heart of the city, whereas most Coachella attendees drive at least a couple hours. To be sure, Coachella is a little bigger, with a more extensive lineup (and much more expensive tickets) but Outside Lands seems to have gone with a "less is more" approach this year, and it worked. While the '09 edition was a 3-day affair, this year they scaled it back to 2. The lineup was solid, though not quite as star-studded as the first two years. The silver lining is that the crowds seemed slightly smaller but much more manageable.