At the pinnacle of the festival season, Golden Gate Park is already preparing to host Northern California’s most anticipated summer event—Outside Lands. The signs warning of closures have been posted in the park and butterflies have begun fluttering in the stomachs of all fortunate ticket holders. We have ple-henty to be excited for this year.
Across the first weekend of August, musicians and artists of many mediums will muster in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park to provide a cornucopia of performance, expression, and tasty offerings.
The 65,000 cap-per-day music and arts festival has always stolen our breath with robust treelines and habitats providing backdrop to a bucket-list music lineup, which kills year-after-year. I mean, “The Reverend” Al Green had the whole park swaying together in 2010. Metallica and Stevie Wonder melted faces with Master of Puppets and Master Blaster in 2012.
And the event producers, Another Planet, has inarguably put together another impressive cutting edge lineup of music and activities for 2016.
On Saturday—for instance—the Lands End Stage will see rock relics, Radiohead, who recently released their ninth album, A Moon Shaped Pool. The park will also host rap stars like J. Cole and Chance The Rapper. The hottest pop luminaries, from Kehlani to Grimes, will find stage time. And nostalgia seekers will find solace in front of Duran Duran, Lionel Richie, and Third Eye Blind. But perhaps the most curious act at Outside Lands 2016—aside from an appearance from The Muppets’ Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem—is a collaboration between Primus’ Les Claypool and Sean Lennon of Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger. Anyone out for a refreshingly odd experience should be sure to get in position for The Claypool Lennon Delirium on Friday.
As ridiculously awesome the music will be for festival-goers, those looking to let the eardrums rest will find a ton of other sensational activities to get involved with. Gather around The Barbary for stand-up, sketches and improv. Comics, like Natasha Leggero and John Mulaney, will have crowds in stitches. And to hammer the nail in the coffin, The Barbary will bring out Fred Armisen, of Portlandia and formerly Saturday Night Live.
There will also be continuous live painting throughout the weekend. Find the full list of artists here, curated by Jeben Berg and San Francisco’s Juxtapoz Magazine.
Another great aspect of Outside Lands is the close proximity to wine country. Both San Franciscans and travelers looking for a taste of California vino can take sanctuary in WineLands. Here, beginners and sommeliers alike can taste the fruits of prestigious wine producers, like Jean-Charles Boisset (Raymond Vineyards). Winos can even take their sips to The Back Wine, a 3-hole mini golf course—because wine not!?
Outside Lands does not leave out the beer lovers, either. Beer Lands will harbor twenty-five craft brewmasters, local to Northern California. With suds from San Jose’s Almanac Beer Co. to Haight Street’s Magnolia Brewery, Beer Lands is bound to be hoppin’.
Surely—you may be thinking—one drawback must be the food. After all it is a festival…right? But no way! Outside Lands partners with local gourmet restaurants to bring the best fest grub to grace any lineup. While meandering the Polo Fields with your lover in arms, you can sink teeth into a famous lobster roll from Woodhouse Fish Co. Not into fresh seafood? Try out the mouth-watering gravenstein apple & wildflower honey melt from The Farmer’s Wife, one of a dozen food vendors who are new to the fest. Eat that, Coachella!
Some might scoff at the absence of a camping option, as Golden Gate Park is not a public camp grounds. But really, this a plus in many ways. Just think of that steamy, rejuvenating shower in the comfort of a hotel room or a friend’s near-by apartment. You don’t get that at most festivals.
In reality, though, the glaring drawback of Outside Lands—and any mass congregation—is the swarming crowds and potential bottlenecks patrons are forced to squeeze through to scurry off to their next favorite act. Don’t stress, love. Bloom Farms has your back. Just maintain deep, steady breaths and have your highlighter handy for quick medication in those overwhelming moments.
With so much for the senses to feast upon, Outside Lands 2016 is set to be a momentous occasion. Remember to enter the park on August 5th with an open heart, a good crew, and your brand new single-origin CBD cartridge to ensure the optimal anxiety-free experience. See you there!