For the first time in its history, the Bay Area’s yearly music festival at Golden Gate Park has ended a 10-year streak of male headliners and booked female headliners for two of the three nights of the 2018 Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival.
This year, both the legendary Janet Jackson and Florence and the Machine lead by vocalist Florence Welch appear alongside Canadian producer The Weekend on the bill. It’s a welcome change after 45 international music festivals pledged to have a 50-50 gender balance on their lineups by 2022.
And since five years is a long time to wait for the rest of U.S. festivals to get it together, here is a list of five women (playing earlier in the day) who are must sees this year.
If there is one act you should not miss this year, it’s Janelle Monáe, making her first foray into music since her 2013 concept album, “The Electric Lady.” After taking the acting world by storm with roles in “Moonlight” and “Hidden Figures,” her latest record, “Dirty Computer,” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top R&B charts, and reminded us all thatmusic is where she sparkles most.With “Dirty Computer,” the songwriter has become a beacon of light for anyone struggling with their sexuality. The record not only speaks of her personal experiences but serves as a way for others to see they aren’t alone.
“I want young girls, young boys, nonbinary, gay, straight, queer people who are having a hard time dealing with their sexuality, dealing with feeling ostracized or bullied for just being their unique selves, to know that I see you,” Monáe told Rolling Stone earlier this year.
And based on her six Grammy nominations and a slew of upcoming sold-out shows, you should see her, too.
Plays: 4:40 p.m., Sunday, Lands End Stage.
Song to check out: If Prince’s “Kiss” is on your list of favorite songs, “Make Me Feel” is sure to bring a smile to your face. Before he died, The Purple One himself collaborated on the song with Monáe.
As the daughter of Colombian immigrants, Jessie Reyez spent her childhood in Toronto singing and learning to play guitar from her father. It’s the same two sets of skills she uses to share snippets of her life and move you to tears.
Her latest release, “Body Count,” about independence outside of romantic relationships, is a refreshing expression of self-love. Other songs, like “Gatekeeper,” are raw and confront a past abuser in a documentary-style music video where she speaks of the struggles of breaking into the music industry and the sexism she encountered during her early career.
Though Reyez released her debut EP just last year, her songs tell a lifetime of stories and are well worth an early wake-up call to catch her set.
Plays: 12:40 p.m., Saturday, Twin Peaks Stage.
Song to check out: With “Figures,” Reyez demonstrates how pure her music is. One listen to this song will leave you smitten, crying or both.
Laura Pergolizzi (AKA, LP) has written some of the biggest pop hits of our time, even if you don’t know she penned them.
Starting her career writing songs for the likes of Rihanna, the Backstreet Boys and Christina Aguilera, the New York songwriter has built a cult following with her rock ‘n’ roll attitude and pop edge.
If You Go
What: Outside Lands
When: 11 a.m. - 10 p.m., Friday- Sunday
Where: Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
Admission: $149- $795