Obviously we’re a bit excited for Outside Lands 2015 although as of yet, nothing has been announced but the date. Nevertheless, that hasn’t stopped us from some throwing out some harmless speculation as to who might headline this year’s fest. We can’t help it.
However, upon perusing the lineups from the previous seven festivals, we couldn’t help but be distracted by one glaring fact: there has never been a female-fronted headliner in the entire history of Outside Lands.
As a matter of fact, of the 75 total people who have played as tour-headlining musicians, only two of them have been women: Régine Chassagne and Sarah Neufeld of Arcade Fire. And, it should be noted Neufeld isn’t even a full time musician with the band anymore.
In case you were wondering, that only equates to 2.67%, which basically means you have a better chance of getting a faulty measles vaccination than seeing a woman as a headliner on that stage.
So, in an effort to help um, diversify, we’re offering up a few majorly successful female musicians who would make fantastic headliners and appeal to the masses.
You may not like Taylor Swift all that much (haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate) but you cannot deny that girl can write a damn song. Everyone is a fan, from your 8-year-old cousin to Kendrick Lamar. She’s got more top hits than literally almost every musician, and her Speak Now was so popular, it was the only album in history to have every single track break into the Top 100 on the Billboard charts. She would be great (assuming OSL could afford her!).
Have you seen Missy Elliott? As one of the greatest rappers ever, she’d be a universalizing act for a festival that tends to underbook hip hop stars every year. You know why? Because everyone loves Missy, as evidenced by her Super Bowl show (we heard Katy Perry was there too but we’re not sure). With new music reportedly on the way (rumor has it she’s working with Timbaland), she would slay.
Beyoncé is one of the best vocalists in history and whoa can the woman dance. A bit more divisive than some of the other artists on this list, she might sacrifice some fans who are at the fest to see primarily rock acts, but any performer that can sell out major venues on world tours can definitely draw a crowd at little old Polo Field.
She’s quirky, she’s odd, and she’s got a dynamic personality: she’d fit right in with San Francisco’s biggest festival. Coming off a run with Tony Bennett, she has honed her voice and is likely looking to get back into large scale energetic performances—wouldn’t Outside Lands be a great place to start?
She might be the greenest of the group, but Lorde is a certified star. The alt-pop icon is not only an incredible musician, she’ll also be returning to the studio to work out some new soon-to-be hits. She’s also the most likely to unite audiences of all kinds. Plus, Lorde happened to get her first radio plays right here in SF, so it would only be poetic.
The Queen of Pop always has something up her sleeve (even when she isn’t wearing them). Constantly reinventing herself, she has garnered a multitude of platinum records and almost countless hits that appeal not just to your mom, but probably to your nephew too. Her set might be a marathon comparable only to Paul McCartney’s in 2013, but with 1,000 times the energy. Plus, she is a through and through performer.
She’s Aretha Franklin—is there any further reason needed?