Outside Lands

Outside Lands, Marin Magazine

Since its inception in 2008, Outside Lands has been a model of smart music festival growth. And it’s not regional loyalty talking here, there’s a lot of things that make Outside Lands standout in the vast ocean of music festivals. In fact, simply calling it a music festival seems dismissive. With a famed gourmet food and drink selection, it can easily be classified as a gastronomic event and this year offers up yet another element to enhance all the others — Grass Lands, a Town Square that focuses on the celebration, education, and integration of cannabis products into daily life.

Springing off of California’s recent legalization of recreational cannabis, festival-goers are invited to try treats from The Confectionery, learn from “budtenders” at The Greenhouse, and explore activities like the Lemonade Stand, The Flower Shop, Farmers Market, The Smell Wall and more. While no cannabis or cannabis products will be available for purchase or consumption on festival grounds, this information can be taken and utilized off-site. 

Once again, the Barbary stage comedy lineup features the best talent of the times — this year brings Chelsea Peretti, Michelle Wolf, Jonathan Van Ness from Queer Eye and plenty of other funny people, co-curated by SF Sketchfest. If you’re not feeling super jazzed about any musical acts during a certain time slot, head over to the tent and treat yourself to a laugh.

Another part of the appeal is the location. San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park draws tourists from the world over and what better way to take in the majesty of this famed sylvan center than to a soundtrack with fog rolling over the towering, lit up Monterey Cypress? It’s an unforgettable experience. And of course, it wouldn’t be San Francisco without a progressive take. 

Eco-consciousness is alive and well at Outside Lands and the festival is designed to utilize several strategies of being earth-friendly and to educate the public about eco-friendly movements. There are solar power stages, a refillable water program, a waste diversion program, a recycling program and bike valet parking program. There have also been workshops to educate about organic food and farming. Here are some other notable facts.

  • Back in the 1800s, the area of the park where the festival takes place was actually referred to as the “Outside Lands” due to its location away from the masses of the city.
  • The park is the third most visited park in the nation, and it has been home not only to millions of people, but also to concerts, picnics, and games.
  • The first Outside Lands Music Festival occurred from August 22 to 24, 2008, and included over 60 musical acts from around the world, as well as several art installations.
  • The festival grounds include the Polo Fields (home to the Lands End Stage), Hellman's Hollow/Speedway Meadow (Twin Peaks and Panhandle stages), and Lindley Meadow (Sutro and Presidio stages).
  • In 2015 the festival crowds numbered in the low 200,000s.
  • Since Outside Lands first started in 2008, it has given the city's Recreation and Park Department over $10 million.
  • Outside Lands is said to generate $70 million dollars every year to the San Francisco economy.


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If You Go:

When: Friday, August 10 through Sunday, August 12
Where: Golden Gate Park
Cost: $149.50–$795