Outside Lands Report Card
- Article by: Mackenzie Moore
- Posted: 08/16/2011
Parking? What Parking? At this festival, you may just luck out by finding street parking within a mile radius of the event, but you’d be much better advised to grab a group of friends and split the cost of hiring a car service or cab driver or disgruntled roommate to shuttle you to and fro. If you don’t have funds for a service, buses also run right past the entrances, so pick up a city transit pass and get urban.
Local Food & Drink: A
At Outside Lands, food, wine and music are the holy trinity of amazing festivals rolled up into one convenient package. If music isn’t your thing, you could spend endless hours traversing the grounds sampling a wide variety of local fare from Bay Area taco trucks to Southern-style pulled pork sandwiches. “Wine Lands,” an entire tent dedicated to sifting, smelling and sampling Napa Valley’s finest, will leave you courageous to take on the fest with just a hint of rouge in the teeth. Afterwards, you could meander over to “ChocoLands,” the festival’s on-site dessert court.
Artist Selection: B++
The lineup was amazing but a little wanting in the ‘up-and-coming’ department.
Festival Layout: A-
Festivalgoers could easily find their way through paths snaking through the lush greenery of Golden Gate Park thanks to directional signs posted at every turn. A short jaunt here or there took you to the food trucks, the plentiful port-o-potties or the stage of your choosing.
VIP Pass: B-
Those wishing to upgrade their festival experience to the level of “VIP” might find themselves feeling a smidge disappointed. Unlike some festivals, VIP access doesn’t get you side stage/ backstage or really anywhere near the stage. VIP wristbanders had special reserved elevated bleachers with a great view of the stage, but not so great that anyone was too terribly jealous. Also included was a limited edition poster and VIP bathrooms. It was probably a great time, but not worth the $450 price tag in our opinion.
This is where Outside Lands truly shines. With stages nestled into lush greenery and trails surrounded by lovely smelling eucalyptus and pine trees, Outside Lands is without question one of the most beautiful festivals around today.
The coastal fog burned off early in the day, leaving festivalgoers to revel in the sunlight of three truly beautiful San Francisco days. The only drawback? At night the brisk wind and lack of sun left some of us less prepared patrons shivering ever so slightly. Be sure to tuck a few extra layers away, as you will undoubtedly need them.
Communication with the Outside World: B-
My phone worked fine, only pausing to locate signal a handful of times. The reason this grade was dropped ever so slightly is that we heard rumblings from fellow festivalgoers who said they weren’t so lucky.
This festival boasts an eclectic vibe and apparent sense of musical community. Hipsters reigned supreme, whilst your festie hippies took a back seat ... Or maybe they were just hiding in the nearby forests. San Fran’s elite 20 somethings flocked to the main stages, leaving them feeling at times overpopulated. Perhaps OL could sell fewer tickets or throw in a few additional smaller stages.
After the festival ended each night, people didn’t retreat to tents or RV’s or even hotel rooms – not when the entire city of San Francisco beckoned. Patrons could frequent any number of local eateries, after parties or sightseeing destinations.
Overall Grade: A-
Plan your year around this unique and well-run festival. You won’t regret it!