Outside Lands >> is the music and arts festival that defies all the others. It's in a class of its very own because it offers such a unique experience in all aspects. Much of the essence of Outside Lands is by design and some can be attributed to nature, but the balance of the magic occurs when all the weird stars in the universe perfectly align each year to make the festival what it is.
Although I'm a former Bay Arean, this is not just homer talk. San Francisco is one of the greatest cities in the world. If you've been, you know about the rolling landscapes, exquisite food, crafty beverages, intriguing fashion and the fully alive culture that is so energetic but mad chill at the same time. The City's persona is exemplified precisely in curating Outside Lands.
[related: Outside Lands 2011]
Outside Lands is set between the pines at the beautiful Golden Gate Park - which is about 25% bigger than Central Park in NY for your scale. With hills and fields galore, you're immersed in the land's most beautiful scenery.
Tastes from all over The Bay congregate to the park in the form of food trucks and stands, so whether you want to eat healthy or just need to stuff your fucking face with fried pickles, you certainly have a variety of options on the table.
Then there's the drinks. Beer and liquor for days is standard. But it would be a crime not to incorporate the best barreled products of the nearby phenomenal wine region, so there's a massive wine tent in the middle of the festival and several miniature wine countries throughout to keep you juiced. Your bladder will never ever be able to keep up.
SF boasts a melting pot of the most interesting people in the world so naturally Outside Lands attracts everyone from geeks to bros and hippies to ho's. At this festival the vibe is different, etiquette is at its best and everyone just really gels well.
[related: Outside Lands 2012]
The music though. Outside Lands did it again this year and brought in some filthy sounds from top performers in every genre, transcending decades of artistry and pumping San Francisco ears full of bliss.
I got to cross off Billy Idol and Elton John from my bucket list this weekend. Yes, they are still alive - they're pushing 60 and 70 but still have it. It became more and more evident how many bangers are in Elton John's catalog and I was pretty impressed to see Billy Idol commanding every inch of the stage with a somehow still shredded physique.
Hot Chip and Cold War Kids also put on a great show on the main stage this weekend too but my favorite stage from the weekend was Twin Peaks where there was a roster of Kendrick Lamar, ODESZA, Axwell & Ingrosso, G-Eazy and Caribou - all of whom I've never seen perform live before so it was a mondo bonus to hip-hop along to Kendrick and Eazy while dancing my dick off to Caribou, ODESZA and especially A^I.
The duo constantly reminded us how they changed the game via Swedish House Mafia with not so subtle drops of 'Save The World' and 'Don't You Worry Child' but my favorite part of the night and perhaps the weekend was when Axwell & Ingrosso remixed their own 'Something New' track at the and of the night. It was magical to be part of the thousands of people singing 'We belong to something, we belong to something.....new'. It was a spectacular buildup that channeled the euphoria from everyone around and magnified it followed by a drop that probably caused a seismic shift for everyone in the Bay.
If you are alive and can appreciate any of this beauty in life and music then you owe it to yourself to be part of the experience of Outside Lands at some point. Peace signs y'all.