Kanye West, Tom Petty and The Killers are the headliners for the seventh annual Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival. Other major selling points include Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Death Cab for Cutie, Disclosure, The Flaming Lips, Atmosphere and Arctic Monkeys.
Yet, those big-name artists are only part of the story when it comes to this three-day event, which runs Friday through Sunday at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Overall, the sold-out festival will host approximately 100 acts -- including many who are greatly deserving of wider exposure.
We're here to help.
We've done our homework, sampled extensively on YouTube, Spotify and other sites and have come up with a list of "hidden gems" on the bill.
Of course, "hidden" is a relative term. Some fans will already be familiar with our picks. But some won't, but really should be if they want to get the most out of this year's festival.
So here are 12 can't-miss acts for the 2014 Outside Lands:
1Kacey Musgraves: The talented country crooner is one of the genre's true rising stars. She was nominated for -- and seemingly had a good shot at winning -- the 2014 Grammy for best new artist, which eventually went to Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. Yet, don't be surprised if Musgraves winds up having the better (and much longer) career. Details: 5:30 p.m. Friday, Sutro Stage.
2Gold Panda: This UK producer is at his best when he's in a mellow mood, crafting soothing, yet seductive, slices of electronica that work equally well at a festival or a coffee shop. It's great chill-out music -- and the exact opposite of what you'll get with Duck Sauce ("Barbra Streisand") and many of the other EDM acts on the bill. Details: 7:40 p.m. Sunday, Panhandle Stage.
3Run the Jewels: Hip-hop heads heading to the fest to see Kanye should also make sure to catch this talented twosome, consisting of rappers Killer Mike and El-P. The duo released its eponymous debut last year and was met with a landslide of positive press. Previously, El-P produced Killer Mike's "R.A.P. Music," which was one of the best albums of 2012. Details: 2 p.m. Friday, Lands End Stage.
4Dum Dum Girls: The L.A. act marries shoegaze, surf rock, dream-pop and other styles in delightfully lo-fi fashion. The group is led by Dee Dee Penny (aka Kristin Welchez), who comes across like a star awaiting an audience. Don't let her wait too long. The Dum Dum Girls should appeal to fans of Cults, Beach House and the Ravonettes. Details: 12:20 p.m. Saturday, Lands End Stage.
5Imelda May: She's long been a major star in her native Ireland, where she's won the Meteor Award (the Irish equivalent of the Grammy) for best female artist and other prestigious honors. Now folks on this side of the Atlantic Ocean are starting to catch on to May, a wonderful rockabilly-blues-jazz vocalist. Details: 12:30 p.m. Sunday; Lands End Stage.
6Chvrches: The Scottish synth-pop trio released one of last year's finest studio albums -- the startlingly assured debut "The Bones of What You Believe" -- and then took the music to an even higher level during its fascinating sold-out show at Oakland's Fox Theater in November. The group has so much going for it, from memorable vocals and solid songwriting to dizzying grooves and blockbuster beats, that fans could be worshiping Chvrches for years to come. Details: 3:10 p.m. Sunday; Lands End Stage.
7 Nicki Bluhm and The Gramblers: This Americana/alt-country act is probably still best known for its viral video covering Hall and Oates' "I Can't Go For That," which was recorded while driving in a tour van and has collected more than 2.6 million views on YouTube alone. Yet, this Bay Area band has so much more to offer than just a moment of novelty. In particular, Bluhm, who grew up in Lafayette and attended Acalanes High School, is a terrific vocalist with enough talent to make a huge mark in the music industry. Details: 4 p.m. Friday, Sutro Stage.
8Jagwar Ma: The Aussie dance-rock band is nearly impossible to resist. The trio's 1960s psychedelic sound, which adds just the right amount of influence from '80s New Wave, should connect with both Beach Boys aficionados as well as Brian Jonestown Massacre fans. Details: 2:05 p.m. Saturday, Twin Peaks Stage.
9Greensky Bluegrass: This Kalamazoo, Michigan, band is one of the leading lights on the progressive bluegrass scene. Greensky Bluegrass has collaborated with "newgrass" champ Sam Bush and has shared bills with such legends as Ralph Stanley, Bela Fleck and David Grisman. These cats definitely know how to jam, which is probably why Greensky Bluegrass is such a hit with Phish nation. Details: 1:10 p.m. Friday, Sutro Stage.
10Jenny Lewis: She should be huge by now. Heck, she should've been huge 10 years ago. We've loved everything this indie-pop/folk artist has done over the years, starting with her work in Rilo Kiley and continuing through her solo career and other projects. She was absolutely stellar at the 2013 Bridge School Benefit, more than just holding her own on the star-studded bill. Details: 3:50 p.m. Sunday, Sutro Stage.
11Warpaint: The L.A. dream-pop outfit crafts gentle gems, which are both subdued and seductive. The breathy vocal harmonies are exquisite, framed in just the right light by the brooding soundscapes. Details: 3:40 p.m. Friday, Twin Peaks Stage.
12Haim: Some would balk at the notion that this increasingly popular sister act still qualifies as a "hidden gem." Yet, there's a chance that many classic-rock fans drawn to the festival to see Tom Petty have yet to really hear Haim. They definitely should take this opportunity to correct that situation. What they'll discover is nothing short of one of the best young pop-rock bands in the business. Details: 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Lands End Stage.
We asked folks on Twitter what acts they thought were worth catching at Outside Lands, and they responded with some excellent recommendations, among them: NYC indie-pop act Bleachers (2:10 p.m. Friday, Twin Peaks Stage), Oregon rockers Typhoon (7:50 p.m. Friday, Panhandle Stage), Bay Area buzz band Finish Ticket (2:55 p.m. Saturday, Panhandle Stage), Swedish indie-pop star Lykke Li (5:05 p.m. Sunday, Twin Peaks Stage), and Brooklyn synth-pop duo Holy Ghost! (3:20 p.m. Friday, Lands End Stage).
Follow Jim Harrington at http://twitter.com/jimthecritic.
Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival
Where: Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
Tickets: Sold out, www.sfoutsidelands.com