Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival… what an event this was! If you haven’t heard of it, Outside Lands is a music and arts festival held annually at the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco California. This year the festival was held Friday August 7th through Sunday August 9th. My husband and I were lucky enough to attend the Sunday concert, and it was quite the experience. For anyone interested in attending next years event, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Outside Lands Pros
- Star Line Up: Outside Lands is known for having a great star line up of new and seasoned artists. My favorite performers were Nate Ruess, Sam Smith, and James Bay. These 3 performers are artist that I listen to all the time and they each put on amazing shows that kept the crowd going. Be sure to check out the star line up before purchasing your ticket(s). I would recommend only going to this event if there are artists that you are truly interested in. This event is not cheap, so you want to make sure that you get your moneys worth and that you will actually enjoy the performances.
- Food + Drink: There were plenty of food and drink options to choose from.
- Food Stands + Trucks: Burgers, chicken tenders, chocolate covered bacon, fresh squeezed lemonade, and gourmet smores were just a few of the delicious treats found at the festival. For the most part the lines moved pretty quickly and there was a little bit of everything to please everyone’s tastes.
- Wine Land + Beer Lands: There was one huge tent filled with different wineries that remained a popular spot throughout the duration of the event. There were also several tents conveniently located throughout the park offering other adult beverages.
- Chocolands + Cheeselands: Two of my favorite things even had lands of their very own. Chocolate and Cheese! This time around I chose to only indulge in chocolands, but funny enough, when I got there the thing that caught my attention and wallet (… by my wallet I mean Jan’s) was a delicious butterscotch creme brulee.
- Shuttle: Outside Lands is all about being eco friendly. Shuttle services were offered from the beginning of the event till a few hours past (11:00 am-11:00 pm). The ride wasa short 15 minutes from the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium to the south entrance of Outside Lands in Golden Gate Park.
- Phone Charging Station: The phone charging station was probably the coolest and smartest thing I saw at the event. It actually proved to be pretty useful as it stayed full for a good portion of the day. My phone luckily kept its charge all day, but it was nice to know that there was a designated place to plug in if necessary.
Outside Lands Cons
- Hills to climb: They don’t call it Outside Lands for nothing! The thing about this festival is that there are performances in different areas throughout the park. So there is a lot of walking to and from stages, with plenty of uphill and downhill dirt paths to lead the way. I didn’t mind the workout, but at the same time, some performances where scheduled too close together. This made it difficult to go from one stage to the other to actually get a good place to watch the show.
- Blanket Territory: Jan and I (like many others) brought a blanket to sit on in the grass area. Initially I saw this as a pro. It’s nice to be able to sit or lay down and just chill. It gradually became a con once the performances started up and people would get a little pushy. Some people with blankets would yell at others passing by. If they as much as tip-e-toed across their blanket it was a yelling match. Once the big performances started up Jan and I gladly packed up our blanket and walked as close to the stage as we could and just enjoyed the show dancing and swaying to the music.
- No Crowd Control: Again, rude people pushing, shoving, and blocking the view of the stage knocked a few cool points off of this experience. Elton John was the final performer of the event, and due to the lack of crowd control, Jan and I grew uncomfortable and very annoyed. So we headed out before Elton even hit the stage. Our sanity was much more important… sorry Elton!
- 2nd hand smoke!: There is nothing more to say about this one. It cannot be avoided… it is an outside event after all. It is still very annoying though, so it is definitely a con for me!
Outside Lands Tips
- Wear Comfy Shoes and Clothes: As I mentioned earlier, there is a lot of walking. Not to mention most of it is either through a grass area or dirt path, so you might as well wear something that you don’t mind getting a little dirty in. Some people wore workout gear and others were dressed to the T. I’d say find a happy medium or go more towards the workout gear. You do not want to dress your best only to have dirty all over it at the end of the night.
- Picnic Style: Bring blankets to sit on but be courteous and sit on the hills with a side view of the stage. Trying to sit near the front of the stage will only result in you getting trampled over and frustrated. It wouldn’t be anyone’s fault but yours, so be cautious!
Share your Outside Lands experience here! If you plan on attending next year I hope this post proves helpful!