By Alyssa Pereira

August is still a ways away, but perhaps excited by all the Noise Pop buzz, we’re already looking forward to another major SF festival: Outside Lands.

Even now, rumors are flying as to who will play the fest as more and more tour schedules are announced, so we already have a few acts looking suspiciously likely to play this year’s event.

Here are a few early front-runners.

Pretty Good Bets:

Hot Chip

Hot Chip’s website lists a booked date at the Greek in Los Angeles August 11, but their booking agency lists an additional tour date just before, at the Squamish Festival near Vancouver August 7-9. Since the band will obviously not be playing all three days at the festival and they’re looking to promote the crap out of their new album Why Make Sense? dropping May 18, there’s a good chance they’ll be stopping in SF for an Outside Lands appearance.

Sam Smith

Sam Smith’s recently announced tour schedule offers a glaring gap between his Quincy, Washington and San Diego dates, leaving him open to perform a set in the city August 9.


This rumor has been circulating for a little while, only gaining steam when Drake dropped his surprise mixtape If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late. Here’s the thing: Drake released that album to wrap up his contract with Cash Money records so he could release his upcoming album, Views From the 6 from his own label, OVO Sound later this year. Basically, what that all means is that Drake has a lot of new material to play live. So far, no tour has been announced, but there may likely be a gap for an OSL date in the late summer. However, don’t look for Drake’s likely tour opener iLoveMakonnen to show up at the fest: he has a mid-May date at the Independent, making him unlikely to play again in SF this summer.

Bruce Springsteen

Bonnaroo headliner Billy Joel can’t do Outside Lands this year due to the festival’s proximity clause (he has a date at AT&T Park in September), leaving the spot open for another major heritage act to headline. As many have pointed out, Springsteen is a shoo-in, for two reasons. First, obviously he has somehow never headlined Outside Lands, and he would slay at the fest. But more importantly, here’s the proverbial icing on the cake: Outside Lands tweeted a suspicious message in January.

For those not aware, High Hopes is the name of Springsteen’s most recent album from 2014.


Out of left field guesses (read: wishful thinking): 

The Rolling Stones

In a recent interview with Billboard, band guitarist Ronnie Wood let it slip that the band would definitely be making a return to the United States for a tour in Summer 2015. The band has only played the Bay Area twice in the last 10 years (if you count last year’s San Jose and Oakland dates as one trip), so there’s a chance.

Missy Elliott

Missy hasn’t announced much of anything, other than that she’s recording with Timbaland. She has proven that she still knows how to work it for the crowd, though she has said herself she didn’t realize how much she was missed. As an artist, she’s still trying to find her footing again, and there’s no better way to reintroduce herself to younger crowds than a music festival circuit. With new material on the way too, things look good for an epic return.

Kendrick Lamar

Many people have speculated that Kendrick Lamar will play Outside Lands this summer almost solely based on the fact that he’s on Bonnaroo’s bill (which is a sister festival of OSL). That may be true, but there’s not much evidence to corroborate an appearance, other than that he has nothing on his calendar after a Canada festival in July.  Still, a Kendrick appearance is loooooong overdue, so we’re hoping he’s booked for the fest this year.


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