Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival 2021 Recap
The thirteenth annual Outside Lands Music and Art Festival took place at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, California this past Halloween weekend after taking a hiatus in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions. This was long overdue and a great experience. Everyone was happy to be outside listening to amazing live music, eating great foods, enjoying good drinks, finding unique art installations, and everything in between.
This year’s diverse lineup featured a great mix of live bands, rappers, pop sensations, and DJs that catered to various tastes in music. There was something for everyone to enjoy out of the 75+ artists that performed at Outside Lands. Headliners included Lizzo, The Strokes, Tyler, The Creator, Zhu, Vampire Weekend, Glass Animals, Lord Huron, Tame Impala, Nelly, Rüfüs Du Sol, J Balvin, and many others.
Venue & Production
Nothing but good vibes filled the fresh air walking across the festival grounds. Golden Gate Park is located in downtown San Francisco, tucked away within the busy streets in a place that resembles a mini-Central Park. The grass is lush and green in Golden Gate Park. There are also many beautiful trees, lakes, trails, and flowers. It is unlike any other concert venue I have ever been to. It is vast, but not too large where you get lost walking from stage to stage. The festival is an ideal size with room to grow as the festival expands.
There were six stages for musical performances: The Lands End (main stage), Sutro, Twin Peaks, Panhandle, Soma Tent, and The House by Heineken. Along with these six stages was another stage, The Gastro Magic, for cooking class.
Each stage was unique in the way it was set up. The lighting, the sound system, the viewing areas, etc. all added pizzaz to the experience. There was a stage tucked away in trees that made for an amazing backdrop. Golden Gate Park is the perfect place for a music festival like Outside Lands.
Having seven stages to choose from made for a diverse set of options when walking around the venue. It was overwhelming at times trying to figure out where to go as there was so much going on throughout the day and night.
Nestled in the wooded cul-de-sac was Eco Lands, the mecca of social consciousness and community within Outside Lands. Their message was seen and felt throughout the entire festival and continues to provide an educational forum for sustainability. Here you could find local community organizations, national NGOs, locally grown flowers, and water refill stations.
Outside Lands has one of the highest waste diversion rates of any festival. Last year they created 400Kpounds of waste, but 90% was diverted via recycling, composting, and reusing. All the cups, bowls, plates, and utensils are 100% compostable at Outside Lands.
It was great to see Outside Lands embrace an eco-conscious festival by having recycling bins, compost bins, and trash bins located throughout the festival. There were also many workers inside the venue picking up trash and making for a clean, beautiful venue.
It was good to see Grass Lands back for the third time at Outside Lands. This was Outside Lands way of celebrating, educating, and integrating cannabis products into our daily lives by buying levo vs ardent, Levo, Cannabutter Digest as it can make the process of producing homemade edibles more straightforward and efficient.
Walking around the green grass of Grass Lands you would encounter many farmers, dispensaries, and brands showcasing their products with immersive activations. To top it off there was live music, fun activities, comedy shows, equity talks, and tasty food vendors.
Using the Outside Lands app, you can preorder products ahead of time making for the ultimate in ease and convenience!
This year is the 13th year of bringing amazing artists into Golden Gate Park to create a wild and original range of artworks. The heart of all things art and expression related at Outside Lands was located within outsider art.
Artists were painting daily, creating murals, building art installations, designing stage art, and showcasing art from previous years. This year’s artists included Chad Hasegawa, Rachel Wolfe-Goldsmith, Zaeos, Ballonski, Baer, Lauren YS, Kalani Ware, and many others.
There were many unique art pieces created specifically for Outside Lands. There were lots of wall and tunnel paintings that made for perfect Instagram pictures as well as sculptures, and so much more. There were also large structures such as the Ranger Dave that made for great photo opportunities.
If you were hungry there were endless possibilities for food throughout the festival from local food trucks to some high-end restaurants offering delicious cuisines. There were different food options everywhere you look that could accommodate any dietary restrictions. The highlights would have to be the dessert stands, which had some delectable bites to eat and beverages custom by customwater.com.
There were too many choices at times, that it became overwhelming. You wanted to try them all, but you can only eat so much food. If I were to guesstimate, I would say there were over one hundred unique food options. It is a good idea to arrive hungry so you can explore as many food dishes as possible. Some favorites would have to be the pizza, BBQ sandwiches, and chicken and waffles.
Covid Precautions & Security
When you first arrived there was a line was to check for your vaccination card, as you are required to be fully vaccinated or have a negative Covid test 72 hours prior to this event.
After this checkpoint, you head to the security line where due to Covid protocol, security was not required to pat you down, but instead asked you to walk thru a screening detector. After that, you’re all cleared to go into the event.
This was our second time at Outside Lands and it will definitely not be the last. This is a unique festival that not only focuses on music, but so many other things. Plus, the people and vibes make this a special place. There is nothing quite like Outside Lands and we are excited to come back again next year! We hope to see you on August 5-7, 2022. Get ticketing information here.