Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival embodies everything the Bay Area represents. The three day festival, tucked in the beautiful pocket of Golden Gate Park, is a melting pot for great music, art, food, beer, wine and comedy. In its ninth year, the festival sold out in under 45 minutes and attracted over 210,000 attendees this past weekend, Aug 5-7. Compared to other mega festivals like Coachella and Lollapalooza, Outside Lands has its own identity and culture that sets it apart from the rest.
This year’s festival was jam-packed with an all star line up. Day 1 kicked off in true form with sets from headliner – LCD Soundsystem, who captivated the audience with their extended groovy tracks and eclectic transitions. Duran Duran paid tribute to the late David Bowie playing “Space Oddity”. Thomas Jack brought the tropical vibes to the fog. Big Boi, who performed with Phantogram as Big Gram, played a surprise set at the SoundStage.
Sets from Day 2 kept the partying going. The Knocks played the early afternoon time slot and set the tone for the rest of the day with their funky grooves, knocking low end, and catchy lyrics. The British electronica trio, Years and Years, performed their pop hits on main stage as the crowd sang along. Jauz, a Bay Area native, dropped a high energy Bass House set with his wobbly synths, crisp drums, and quick transitions. A huge crowd ran to SoundStage when everyone caught wind of E-40 and Warren G surprise performance. Zedd capped off the night at Twin Peaks playing his major hits like “Stay The Night”, “Spectrum”, and “Candyman”. Headliner, Radiohead, was the highlight of the night. Thom Yorke and crew were magical on stage with their ability to take fans on a sonic journey of improvisation and artistic expression in form of a pure jam session.
The sunshine came out just in time for Sunday’s grand finale. The Muppets’ Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem stole the show with covers of tracks from The Beatles, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and more. Third Eye Blind’s debut at Outside Lands took everyone back to the late 90s with their songs “Jumper” and “Never Let You Go”. Chicago-based Hip Hop artist, Chance The Rapper took us to church performing songs off his latest album, “Coloring Book”. Major Lazer commanded the largest crowd of the weekend with their latest hits “Cold Water”, “Light It Up”, and finishing with “Lean On” – it was absolute mayhem. Lana Del Rey and Lionel Richie wrapped up the three day event. Lana Del Rey, who attracted a larger audience, was mesmerizing while Lionel Richie orchestrated a sing-along to songs like “Dancing on the Ceiling.”
Although the music is a big part of it, there is so much more that this festival offers. The diverse line up of food and drinks are unmatched by any festival out there. Festival goers had the luxury of sampling local brews in Beer Lands, wine from 42 producers in Wine Lands, and cocktails from Cocktail Magic. There was even a putt-putt area, where they featured wine pairings at each hole. To compliment the beer and wine, fans could line up at their favorite fusion food truck, and indulge in sweets at Choco Lands.
Writer: Martin Riego de Dios
Photographer: Kyle Riego de Dios