Outside Lands Music Festival
These days it seems like a dozen new music festivals pop up every year, so it takes a lot to stand out from the crowd. San Francisco’s Outside Lands has consistently been one of the most popular music festivals in the country since it launched in 2008--and it’s not just the incredible music lineups that keep fans coming back year after year.
Beyond the music, here are six other reasons why Outside Lands continues to prove itself as one of the best music festivals on the West Coast, let alone the U.S.
1. Mascot Ranger Dave
How many music festivals have their own mascot? In addition to helping announce the Outside Lands lineup every year, Ranger Dave is an Easter egg to be found on site at the festival--whether he’s in statue, patch, or human form.
2. Delicious--and Diverse--Food
The gastronomic scene at Outside Lands is out of this world. The best food trucks and restaurants in the Bay Area converge on Golden Gate Park to serve everything from pizza and burgers to oysters and chicken and waffles. In 2014, the fest introduced a stage called GastroMagic, which pairs live cooking demonstrations and discussions with performances from musicians and comedians from the Outside Lands lineup. And if that weren’t enough, the festival boasts specialty food areas--Choco Lands, Bacon Lands, and Cheese Lands--for gourmet palates.
3. Premium Beer and Wine
With San Francisco just an hour’s drive from Napa Valley, it’s no wonder Outside Lands offers fans a premium selection of wines. In the festival’s Beer Lands, dozens of breweries and cider companies are also on hand so Outside Lands attendees can satisfy any thirst.
4. A-List Comedy
Since it was introduced in 2013, the Outside Lands comedy stage, The Barbary, has been graced by the country’s most prominent stand-ups and podcasters. Co-curated by SF Sketchfest, the Outside Lands comedy lineup has starred Tig Notaro, Lewis Black, Eugene Mirman, and Maria Bamford, in addition to podcasts like Comedy Bang! Bang! and Improv4Humans.
5. Interactive Art
The Outsider Art area at Outside Lands is a favorite with attendees every year. Exploring the festival grounds, you can find countless interactive art installations, live painting, performance art, sculptures, musical theater revues, and much more to keep you entertained while you take a break from the music.
6. Eco Lands
In true SF fashion, Outside Lands is also dedicated to preserving the environment, just one more reason this is one of the best music festivals in the country. There are separate bins around the grounds for recycling, trash, and compost so attendees can help reduce Outside Land’s impact on the park. Free water stations aim to cut down on plastic bottle waste, and there are even urban gardening workshops that teach you how to compost with worms.
Don't forget to experience Outside Lands for yourself this year with a single- or three-day pass.