Outside Lands

“They’re going up by the inflatable squid.”

It wasn’t until D-Man shouted this that I actually took stock of our surroundings. The squid? That tiny fucking squid way up there? It seemed a mile away, within the heart of chaos and excess. I figured we’d lose those two for the rest of the night. “Meet at the empanada stand if you get lost”, we had said earlier.

The scene was grander than I had imagined – more people, bigger stages. The only other time I was in a confluence of energy so giant was Munich, six years ago.

Odesza was impressive. It was what it needed to be. In a way, they delivered what I expected them to – positivity, movement, energy – and it was fulfilling. Seeing them was long overdue.

The shirtless guy, however? The nutcase chugging wine, doing brainless sketches with his bandmates between songs? Even with flowebrother’s insight, I wasn’t prepared for Mac DeMarco. He was a maniac. A carefree goon. An accidental superstar. I wasn’t witnessing a polished band play for a paycheck, I was watching a crew of pals – jokesters – simply making music and having fun. Bravo, Mac, bravo.


Day Two brought sunshine, and with it, steadily flowing beer. When we gathered the motivation to leave the backyard and head to the park, we arrived to the experimental sounds of Bon Iver. It wasn’t the vibe we desired – too calming. Give us something to move to.

We found it at Jamie xx. Mesmerizing, intense and unpredictable, he wasn’t there to cater to the casual fan; he was there to craft a genuine DJ set. He played songs I’d never heard; songs that made the crowd uncomfortable; songs that gave me flashbacks to warehouses in southern Spain.  He did not play two of his biggest hits. As daylight faded and darkness took over, he turned the crowd into a frenzy, and I loved it. Charley didn’t quite get it. Sam was a goner. Everybody was doing something.


It’s a surreal feeling to see a performer after they’ve only previously existed ever so frequently within your headphones.  Since I first learned about Tash Sultana, she has captivated me. Her energy, her spirit, her flare. I saw her come alive on that final afternoon, and she did not disappoint. As the sun set – physically on the evening, metaphorically on the festival – we tapped our feet to the vibes. It was tribal, passionate, authentic.

I never even saw the damn empanada stand.

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Tash Sultana

Every time I start up Spotify I’m introduced to a new artist. Some good, some bad; some to add to a playlist, others forgettable.  Then there are those that make you stop everything because it is something entirely different. Who is this person? Where are they from?  What’s their story?

I want to tell you about Tash Sultana. She’s a 22 year old Australian with an incredible story, and we’re already late to the game.

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At 15 years old she started playing on the streets of Melbourne after school and on the weekends. On any given day she could’ve been performing one of the ten instruments she taught herself how to play. Fast forward some years, and she’s battling a year-long episode of psychosis thanks to a bad mushroom trip. She misses school for months, loses 35 pounds, but it was music that kept her from losing her mind.  Then, last year, she creates Jungle, posts it on YouTube and she’s a star.

Her Tiny Desk Concert is time well spent.  Not only is it remarkable to see her musical talent (looping all of her sounds), but Tash performing is nothing short of mesmerizing.