Eleventh year of festival nestled in Golden Gate Park brings cool weather and a lineup worth its weight in clear plastic backpacks
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 11: Cuco performs on the Sutro Stage during the 2018 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 11, 2018 in San Francisco, California. Photo Credit: FilmMagic/FilmMagic

Arturo Hilario
El Observador


For the weekend of August 10-12 the western portion of Golden Gate Park in San Francisco turns into a wonderland of multicolored trees, craft beer and good eats. The main attraction is of course the music on either of the 4 stages and comedy tent across the portion of park grounds, which included The Weeknd, Florence and the Machine, DJ Snake, Future, and the legendary Janet Jackson.


Along with the entertainment is the Barbary Coast tent which this year introduced a slew of speakers intertwined with the comedic acts usual to the tent. These T.E.D. Talk type of presentations, called D.A.V.E. (Discussions About Virtually Everything) at Outside Lands included Bill Nye & Paul Scheer and “The Comedy of Science” as well as Gavin Newsom & John Battelle in a discussion entitled “The Future of California…And Beyond”.


It seems the talks were popular, as even the large screens just a few paces from the Barbary Tent had a discernible amount of attendants watching the talks.


New to this year was also Grass Lands, a learning environment for cannabis and everything in between. A strictly 21+ area, which also didn’t allow alcoholic beverages, the Grass Lands incorporated spaces to relax, including some egg-shaped pod chairs that were reminiscent of an early scene in the first “Men In Black” film.


Food is a great incentive to walk back and forth across the Golden Gate Park grounds, and Outside Lands once again delivered in the food department. Favorite eats included the Koja Kitchen’s Beef Kamikaze Fries and Bini’s Kitchen’s Nepalese dumplings and Sabores del Sur’s Alfajor pastries. Beef Kamikaze Fries    


One new policy at the festival was a clear bag rule which was set for one thing, to ease traffic at the entrance gates. Only smaller bags like fanny packs and hydration packs were allowed. Attendants definitely got creative with the new limitations, and were outfitted in various types of clear bags and waist attire.


It didn’t seem to slow down the crowds, as always the main stages swelled towards the end of the night, with showstoppers like The Weeknd, Future, Jamie XX and DJ Snake bolstering expectations with their multimedia experiences.


Janet Jackson effortlessly went through her hits at the Lands End stage Sunday night, even strutting down a smaller stage within the crowds and performing a few songs sitting backwards on a chair. Throughout the festival, newer acts showed up to the festival with spirits high although the temperature was low. Chicano singer Cuco, who hails from Hawthorne California, brought along his lofi and his Románticas inspired ballads all while being able to rile up the crowds with a final, hip hop inspired tune.


Jamie XX, who is one third of the UK indie pop group The XX, also brought some distinctive sounds to Outside Lands. His skills as a DJ extend from his duties as the producer for the aforementioned band, and reflect energetic, dance club meets dream pop sound. Towards the end of his set, a remixed 90’s dance song provided a rhythmic groove while the sun lowered, and the array of tree line lights came on.


For now, we can revel in the memories of this years Outside Lands: the music, the food, the experience; and wait to see what the 12th iteration has in store from August 9-11, 2019.


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