Quick Takes: Music Festivals

 

Coachella Is Two Weekends Full of Unbeatable Scenes and Music Variety

In the desert, the barometer always reads “blazing.” As one of the most prestigious and well organized music gatherings in the world, Coachella both kicks off and dominates the California festival season. Coachella offers better sound, setting and organization as well as a far greater variety and number of performers than Outside Lands and Sun God, making it well worth its higher price tag. 

The festival has undergone a commercial metamorphosis in recent years after concert promoting company Goldenvoice took over management. Nevertheless, the diversity of music offered remains consistent with festival founder Paul Tollett’s original vision. Coachella features alternative rock, hip hop, electronic and indie music performances from a variety of eras with performers ranging from The Killers to Jay-Z to Mumford & Sons. 

The 2012 division of the festival over two weekends gave Coachella a fun, comfortable vibe that prevented the crowds and queues from becoming unbearable. In the Coachella desert, you will avoid the overcrowding and parking nightmares that occur every year in Golden Gate Park. Best of all, it is possible to make your way to the front barricades of almost every set. Camping is not overcrowded and is even comfortable while the setting of mountains and palm trees creates an unbeatable backdrop for the six stages.

The high level of security and exorbitant amounts charged for food and drinks may be small downsides, but hey, the beers at Coachella still cost $2 less than those sold at Outside Lands. Alternatively, you need not spend any more money while you are there if you load up the car with food and invest in an icebox. Coachella is a musical metropolis like no other — it’s time to start saving for next year’s festivities. 

— Mia Florin-Sefton
Staff Writer

Sun God Festival Magically Brings UC “Socially Dead” Campus to Life

While Sun God Festival isn’t world-renowned, it is a magical time of year in UCSD’s own backyard that brings the entire campus together.

For starters, it’s unlikely that any other day of the year brings more people, inebriated or not, out and about around campus. During Sun God, UCSD comes alive and all those hours of hiding behind textbooks at Geisel are left in the past. People are friendlier than ever and the mythical Sun God conjures some semblance of a social scene at “UC Socially Dead.”

The crowd is a sight to be seen, along with the multitude of bands, artists and DJs that grace RIMAC field. Popular performers such as T.I., B.o.B, Drake and Mike Posner have all performed sets at Sun God and were subsequently catapulted into further stardom. Although there’s always a slew of lesser-known groups, the pure thrill of being in a crowd with thousands of your peers while hearing the pulsating base pound at your eardrums is enough to make seeing any performer worthwhile.

On top of main stage performances, Sun God also has options that cater to the variety of concert-goers. If listening to musical acts isn’t your cup of tea, head over to the dance tent, check out the comedy acts and student performances or just wander aimlessly on the grass without getting judged.

Best of all, unlike Coachella or Outside Lands, you won’t have to dish out hundreds of dollars, travel across the state or make do without a shower for multiple days. Sun God has something for everyone, and, frankly, it’s so convenient and is not an additional cost — the charge is automatically included in student fees — that there’s no reason to stay indoors while the chaos unfolds just steps away.

— Revathy Sampath-Kumar
Senior Staff Writer

Outside Lands Recognizes Great Live Performances Over Popular Trends

Nowadays, festivalgoers focus on which skimpy outfit to wear or which illicit drugs to injest instead of enjoying the fundamental aspect of these three-day extravaganzas — the live music. You won’t find that kind of ignorance at the Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival, held every August in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. In a city that is universally known for its laid-back, grateful, cheery vibes and all-around good disposition, Outside Lands embodies all of San Francisco’s and every other music festivals’ best qualities.

Outside Lands preaches music above all else, and it shows from its versatile line-up every year. Whereas Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival aims to please a younger and trendier crowd, and Sun God Festival serves an even narrower audience, Outside Lands caters to the music freaks who truly appreciate the magic that can only abound from live performances. Outside Lands books artists who would go wholly underappreciated in the hip celeb-based atmosphere of Coachella or the millennial generation of UCSD — including Phish, Pearl Jam, Neil Young and Crazy Horse and Stevie Wonder in the past three years.

This festival is also known for its relaxed audience — there will be no pushing and shoving here, just friendly dialogue and random friendships with total strangers. Even in the ginormous mosh pits during Metallica’s set last year, moshers would bulldoze bystanders down and then reach down to help them up before resuming their moshing.

With the pristine natural setting of the park, the world-class food trucks, an impressive selection in beer and wine gardens and a hassle-free crowd of cohorts, Outside Lands straps on its dancing boots and stomps its way to being one of the most anticipated music extravaganzas every year. 

— Angel Au-Yeung
Staff Writer

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