One word sums up Outside Lands Music Fest: magic. Without a doubt, one of the chillest (in terms of vibe and temperature but I’ll get to that later), most enjoyable music festivals I’ve ever been to. At most music festivals, there’s at least one aspect that’s undesirable – rude fellow fest-goers, sub-par bathroom situations, entrance/exit logistical nightmares, or issues with purchasing food and drink. Don’t expect any of that when you go to Outside Lands – regardless of your level of experience with these types of events, it’s completely doable and altogether a seamless weekend of music, food, and booze.
We went for two days (Friday and Saturday) and made some notes of Do’s and Don’ts along the way:
+Don’t kid yourself into thinking typical music festival outfits are a good idea. Let’s be real: San Francisco weather in August cannot be trusted. For two weeks, I was dreaming up the perfect combos of crop tops, high-waisted shorts, sandals and breezy dresses only to be thoroughly disappointed by how cold it was actually going to be (some serious wishful thinking going on). No matter how sunny it is where you’re staying in San Francisco, you will be cold in Golden Gate Park. Bundle up and don’t let the cold bring you down.
+ Register and load money onto your wristband. Outside Lands aimed to be totally cashless this year and it was truly a godsend. After a few drinks, you’ll be glad you can touch your wrist to a wristpad as payment rather than digging around through your junk-laden bag for $10.
+Arrive and depart strategically. If you’re taking an Uber or Lyft, pick a spot at least 5-6 blocks away from the park to get dropped off and to call a car when you leave. Traffic is less congested and crowds are thinned out making it easier to find your specific car in the throngs of Ubers and Lyfts trying to find their designated passengers.
+Explore, explore, explore. Chocolands, Winelands, Beerlands, Cheeselands, Baconlands, Heineken Domes – there is a bounty of cool areas to explore and hang out besides the main stages. Twinkling lights hanging from the trees as you walk from land to land, fun sculptures and art installations, glowing green pods (go inside for drinks and dancing) in addition to the amazing music make this all so worth it.
+Make friends. We met a super fun crew through some mutual friends and even after those friends left, we hung out with them for the entire weekend. The vibe of this festival is very mellow (I know, I know, doesn't every music festival say that?) – but at Outside Lands it rings true. People are friendly, spirits are high, and good music is playing nonstop — there’s no better place for camaraderie.
Next year's lineup, let's go! Xx