As you surely know, the Outside Lands music festival begins today, running Friday and Saturday from 11am-10pm, and Sunday from 11am – 9:45pm.

If you’re going, there’s no excuse not to be on top of the action — there are guides to the fest galore (we’ve pulled together the best ones below), and as we have every year, we’ll be covering it live from our dedicated Twitter feed at sfappealOL, which we’ll also embed on our site.

Neighbors’ guide to the Outside Lands Festival in Golden Gate Park [Richmond SF blog]

Outside Lands festival parking available at local schools [Richmond SF blog]

Guide To The Outside Lands 2011 [CBS5]

What to Eat at Outside Lands, Starting Tomorrow in Golden Gate Park [Grub St.]

How to survive Outside Lands 2011, a neighborhood guide [OBB]

Our own Hunter Mulich has these tips for you, too:
Do wear layers. Yeah, it sucks carrying your jacket. But it’s worth it.
Do eat the food. It’s pricey, but it’s worth it and part of the experience.
Do stay late. Don’t skimp out early, stay until the end of your favorite artist’s set.
Don’t get lazy. Get to that set on time!
Don’t get there late in the day. A lot of good shows are early in the afternoon.
Don’t wear your nicest clothes. You never know.

Finally — and this is just because I love you guys — as a Richmond and Sunset resident since 2000, I’m at your disposal for West Side tips, tricks, and weather reports. You can @ me anytime on Twitter, I’m @eveb.

So that’s the practical stuff, sorted. But what are are staffers most excited to see? Here are their picks.

Friday
April Siese

Release The Sunbird – Zach Rogue’s latest side project brings effortless ambient music by way of recording on the fly and through simply feeling the spirit of their songs.

Foster The People – Frontman Mark Foster and his band bring their fun-loving music to Golden Gate Park, riding high on their hit single “Pumped Up Kicks”

The Shins – After a brief hiatus that included working on a new album to be released on lead singer James Mercer’s personal label and Mercer’s work with Danger Mouse as Broken Bells, The Shins make their triumphant return to touring.

Hunter Mulich

The Shins – They were you and your girlfriend’s favorite band. She might not be back,
but they’re still good, right?

Big Boi – From Outkast to solo work, this guy doesn’t come around often. And after that arrest last week, he might not for a while.

Phish – The guys are playing a 3 and a half hour set to end the night. What’s to come?
No idea.

K. Flay – She’s got two degree’s from Stanford, has opened for Snoop Dogg, and rides Muni. What more do you want?

Alex Bigman

Tamaryn – From this gothically-inclined local I expect a proper deluge of distortion – one that even the most hardened shoegazer would approve of.

Best Coast – For an artist whose (pretty much) every song revolves around the same thing – getting high in her apartment and wishing he were her boyfriend – BethanyCorsentino remains amazingly endearing. It’s all in that voice of hers.

MGMT – The duo’s admirably mature sophomore effort was shamelessly underrated by critics. All the same, www.youtube.com/watch?v=qybUFnY7Y8w”>consistently quality music videos, I kind of feel I owe it to them.

Arctic Monkeys – While over the years their sound has inched away from punk and toward stoner rock, these gifted lyricists remain unwaveringly British.

Girl Talk - Mr. Gillis possesses the singular capacity to make the crustiest of hipsters and the bubbliest of sorority sisters exchange sweat.

Sunday

April’s picks:
The Decemberists
– After boldly releasing the epic Hazards of Love, the Decemberists have gone in a different direction with their latest, The King Is Dead and have recaptured the defining spirit of indie folk as the latest movement in music.

Arcade Fire – Grammy award-winning Arcade Fire are closing Outside Lands with their baroque rock mix of nostalgia and musical intricacies, something not to be missed.

Mavis Staples – Legendary soul singer Mavis Staples is a musical veteran and consistent innovator, collaborating with Jeff Tweedy, Bob Dylan, and Dr. John. More musical mixing is sure to take place as she takes the stage at Outside Lands on Sunday.

Hunter’s picks:
Mavis Staples – Staples has been active in music for over 60 years and helped fuel the
Civil Rights movement with her voice. Get there early.

Major Lazer – Ever been to a Jamaican dance hall party? Get ready to have the time of your life.

Tune-Yards – A beautifully quirky voice that’s sure to make the ear smile, layered with drum loops, ukelele and bass. It’s a recipe for fun.

Little Dragon – This dreamy troupe from Sweden helped out Gorillaz on their last tour and album, but they’re here to plow their own plot.

Alex’s picks:
tUnE YarDs – Merrill Garbus’ distinctive and soulful voice crowns this genre-straddling outfit. Seems like it would be a tough sound to pull off live, but v=2pSCbNpWd9I&feature=player_embedded#at=64″>their unexpected fondness for covering Cindy Lauper’s “Girls Just Want To Have Fun.” Please, Arcade Fire, let this happen again.

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the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at eve@sfappeal.com.

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