Outside Lands Celebrates 15 Years of Musical Magic in Golden Gate Park
For the last decade and a half, the Outside Lands Music Festival has been one of the most iconic events in San Francisco’s vibrant cultural scene. 2023 was no different, with an explosive lineup featuring major artists like Kendrick Lamar, the Foo Fighters, and Megan Thee Stallion.
Tickets for the three-day event started at about $400, but prices skyrocketed to well over $1,000 as the event drew nearer due to a sellout crowd and a massive demand to enter. Outside Lands Music Festival is not simply a concert, it’s a direct ticket to the beating heart of San Francisco’s legendary music scene and an unforgettable experience to treasure forever.
Friends, Food, and Good Vibes at Outside Lands
With over 200,000 people attending the show, Golden Gate Park was nearly packed to capacity. Fans had a legal cannabis section, plenty of food and drinks, and music to last throughout one of the best weekends of their lives, even getting to see a performance by ‘DJ Diesel’, also known by his NBA career name, Shaquille O’Neal.
What sets Outside Lands apart from other mega-festivals like Coachella and EDC is the care that the promoters, Another Planet Entertainment, take in making sure that every need is met and every possible amenity is easily found. Featuring world-class food, an incredible array of drinks, and plenty of other booths and merchandise to be bought, Outside Lands has earned its reputation as one of the most popular music festivals in the country.
Outside the festival, the usual party atmosphere that San Franciscans are used to prevailed, with over 20 hot dog stands on a single block of 30th Ave. Other than a dance floor malfunction at the SOMA tent that caused it to temporarily close, the event went off without a hitch and is sure to enter the annals of Bay Area history as one of the most successful and legendary music festivals ever.
Top Artists at Outside Lands
As mentioned, DJ Diesel (Shaq), towered over the competition due to his celebrity and fan favorite status. However, his drops were considered by some to be hit or miss, which is fair – as he didn’t spend most of his life practicing to be a DJ, after all.
The Foo Fighters iconic drummer Dave Grohl continued his habit of pulling guests on stage, this time with a surprising 80s celebrity: Michael Bublé. The pairing led to laughs and amazement from those cued into 80s culture enough to understand the clash of genres, but they pulled off a surprisingly popular, memorable, and poignant set together.
Kendrick Lamar was in top shape as usual, drawing some of the biggest crowds of the event. Considered one of the top rappers in the world today, Lamar has a star power almost unrivaled by the other artists at the show.
That’s not to say there weren’t any other superstars there, of course. Lana Del Rey rocked a huge set (albeit showing up slightly late), Zedd dropped some of his legendary EDM tunes, and Interpol made an appearance.
Janelle Monáe and ODESZA both delivered standout performances that rivaled the headliners in terms of spectacular sights and sounds. Surprisingly, the ‘Toyota Music Den’ proved to be a major hit with the crowds, despite the seemingly unconventional corporate sponsorship of the stage.
Of course, it wouldn’t be San Francisco without a dose of psychedelic rock and a celebration of the city’s history of providing a sanctuary for LGBT people. Crumb, hailing from Brooklyn, laid down some of the heaviest psychedelic tracks as smoke drifted upwards, with Soccer Mommy, Wednesday, and Beabadoobee rounding out the psychedelia throwback sounds of distorted guitars, plucky synths, and washed-out, reverberated vocals.
Outside Lands featured a celebration of LGBT and queer culture with a new dance floor called “Dolores’”, located in the Polo Field within Golden Gate Park. With the SOMA tent having issues, this space became an especially popular spot to hang out. Giving a safe space to drag performers, gogo dancers, and queer fans alike, Dolores’ was the perfect spot to relax before heading back to the main stages, get a breather, soak up the love, and mingle with the crowd.
San Francisco’s Most Iconic Music Festival
With the extraordinary success that the Outside Lands Music Festival has seen over the years, it’s sure to be a staple among the city’s cultural landmark events for many years to come. San Francisco can pull off a peaceful, loving environment like no other city, making it the perfect place for over 200,000 people to get together and enjoy the sights, smells, and sounds of the event.
With ticket prices nearly tripling as the event drew closer, be sure to get yours early next year! Outside Lands is currently scheduled to return to the city over the August 9-11 weekend of 2024. Don’t miss it!