Obviously, concert-goers buy tickets to a particular festival because of the bands (and convenience from their homes). Then, just as an example, there may be ten bands that are of particular interest to a person after her festival ticket is in-hand. She will take the steps necessary to see most or all of the performances of those ten bands.
But outside those ten bands, there are specific songs that are targeted by a festival-goer with a well-considered strategy. At least for the person in our example, each of the songs stands above other songs by the same band. They are songs that cause the person to go to see that band even though she is missing another performer she might like more, if not for the particular song. These are “bucket songs.”
The term "bucket song" is unabashedly taken from the movie "Bucket List," a film about two terminally ill men with a list of activities to experience before moving on ("kicking the bucket"). At a festival, a bucket song is "The Song" we want to hear from a band before moving on. Interestingly, many bands don't save their fan favorites for the end of their festival setlists. Encores are almost non-existent. And if you’re a band attempting to gain additional fans, you want to put your best foot forward before potential new fans migrate to an alternative opportunity. However, the “bucket song strategy” actually creates the opposite result, since hearing the song may trigger migration.
For Outside Lands, our bucket songs include the below.
"Day Dreams" by Midi Matilda (Love the horns!!!) 12:45 on the Twin Peaks Stage
"It's Too Late" by Wild Belle (The song is flat out different - Bob Marley meets Amy Winehouse different) 2:15 on the Twin Peaks Stage
"Valentine" by Jesse (We know, Sampha will not be there. Still...) 3:25 on the Sutro Stage
"Home" by Daughter (this band WE LIKE) 4:40 on the Panhandle Stage
"1957" by Milo Greene (A shade of Of Monsters and Men, especially at the start) 2:10 on the Sutro Stage (competing with Atlas Genius) ALERT free download
"We the Common" by Thao & The Get Down Stay Down (They have other songs that get more attention, but this is our bucket song. Can this possible be as fun in-concert as it sounds it will be?????) 4:40 on the Sutro Stage - ALERT free download
"1904" by The Tallest Man on Earth (First "1957", then "1904," later "1901" by Phoenix) 6:00 on the Sutro Stage
"The Ceiling" by The Wild Feathers (A little country to start your Sunday) 12:00 on the Panhandle Stage
"My Number" by Foals (A good combination of "real" guitar and electronica) 2:50 on the Lands End Stage
"Hurricane" by MS MR (We like a lot of their stuff) 6:00 on the Panhandle Stage