If you make a trip to San Francisco for the final weekend of July and find yourself in the Park Presidio area, and the beautiful Golden Gate Park that borders it, your thoughts would probably echo something along the lines of the following: “what a nice, quiet and quaint little section of the city.” Rest assured that the most intense activity you could stumble upon would likely be an exceptionally heated game of ultimate frisbee.
If you returned the following weekend, however, you’d likely be thinking that you had made several incorrect turns, as sound pours over Northern SF and makeshift barriers now surround and close off a huge section of Golden Gate Park. Once per year the Outside Lands Music Festival occupies Golden Gate Park and the surrounding areas of Northern San Francisco. You can hear the music for blocks and smell in heavy doses what the festival dubs a “Taste of the Bay Area,” featuring a variety of the best food trucks and restaurants that the Bay Area has to offer. Apart from the eclectic collection of artists performing over the course of the weekend, the festival features roped off sections of the park dedicated specifically to refreshments such as Wine, Beer, Chocolate, and Cheese, as well as pieces by Bay Area artists and games at the center of this makeshift 3-day city.
What we have is essentially Disneyland for adults, where the lines are much shorter and the rides are much, much louder.
This year, Outside Lands attendees will be treated to some of the biggest names in music, such as Mumford and Sons, Wilco, The Black Keys, Kendrick Lamar, Elton John and Sam Smith, as the festival’s headliners, as well as other prominent supporting artists such as D’Angelo & the Vanguard, Chet Faker, Tame Impala, Axwell & Ingrosso, St. Vincent, Porter Robinson, Caribou, Slightly Stoopid, Billy Idol, Cold War Kids, and St. Paul and the Broken Bones. Admission to the festival is available both in a 3-day pass for the whole weekend, as well as the 1-day pass for those who just want to dip their feet in the pool. Either option is a viable one, however, the 3-day pass, priced just around $400, gets you the most for your money.
Golden Gate Park is undoubtedly the best place you can be in SF that first weekend in August. However, perhaps one of the best kept secrets about music festivals is that the artists on the lineup will schedule a handful of shows in the surrounding venues before and after they are scheduled to perform. If a 1-day Outside Lands ticket is still a bit too pricey, or maybe you’re not a huge fan of the overall day-to-day lineups, you can still find shows in the area that will deliver the live-show vibe that you’re craving. Check out ways you can get tickets to these ‘Outside Lands Night Shows’ here.
I suppose the question to ask yourself is: What could be a better way to spend your weekend?
Find the full 2015 Outside Lands lineup here.