One weekend. Three days. Music. Sunshine (thank goodness). Wine. Ramen Burgers. Lyft surge pricing. Port-a-potties and that never quite clean feeling you get from using them. Eucalyptus trees. $11 beer. These are the quintessential emblems of a Northern California music festival. Outside Lands certainly provided.
I got a one-day ticket to Saturday with some friends. Here’s what it was like.
Outside Lands is no small music festival. The tickets have a habit of selling out online same-day. But frankly, Golden Gate park is huge, and you are reminded of this walking from stage to stage, meandering through areas forested with towering eucalypts and light scrub. There is just enough space between everything to help promote a very laid-back vibe – which I appreciated, having dealt with other more chaotic music festival crowds in the past. In short, nobody is going really to beat you out for a chance to get half a foot closer to the stage, but perhaps chalk it up to the Northern California mentality.
As with a lot of SF events, food is at the heart. If you want it with a side of fried avocado or smothered in garlic, or wrapped in bacon, you can probably find it that way at one of the plethora of artisanal food vendors here. If you want a $10 beer, you can also find that. But hey, I’ll take what I can get. Wine lands boasted an extensive selection of vino (applause) with a handy swipe-wristband-to-pay system (yay, convenience!) which, when loaded with $50 – if you’re me – gets you around 3 glasses (should’ve gone for the yellowtail, I guess.)
As far as fashion goes, the masses seemed pretty prepared for chilly weather. A lot of crop tops paired with oversized cardigans, but not a whole lot that would cause raised eyebrows. Most people were smart enough to either dress warmly, or at least finish their Coachella outfits off with a jacket. And I guess gladiator sandals are making a comeback?
Highlights included The Black Keys on the main stage. I have been a fan for a while, but they truly did not disappoint live. Unfortunately, Angus & Julia Stone were largely hard to hear and a little underwhelming. They probably could have benefitted from performing in a more intimate setting, but laying in the grass listening to their ambient vocals suited me just fine in the afternoon sun.
So in summation, 10/10 would do again. Perhaps not for three whole days, but I would definitely make lofty goals to spend at least one whole day in search for the elusive hammock area I was told existed.
Aoli Fries (above) were the food MVP of the day, followed closely by ramen burgers.