It’s hard to believe that almost a year has passed since the last Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival took place, but it’s almost time yet again to be treated to great music, crafty art, wonderful food, and exquisite beer and wine at San Francisco’s annual festival in the lovely Golden Gate Park during the weekend of August 9-11, 2013.
Main acts Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Metallica, and Stevie Wonder absolutely rocked the main stage at last year’s festival, and this year’s lineup looks to be even more amazing as Paul McCartney (a living Beatle for goodness’ sake), Nine Inch Nails, and Red Hot Chili Peppers headline the sixth annual Outside Lands Festival. Backed by returning Phoenix, Vampire Weekend, the woefully underrated Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Willie Nelson, and electronic artists Pretty Lights and Kaskade, it’s difficult to not pinch yourself about the awaiting fun to be had. The 3-day and single day tickets are already sold out, so good luck trying to find reasonable prices from third-party vendors.
As with all the previous festivals, organizers (Another Planet Entertainment, Superfly Presents, and Starr Hill Presents) are heavily promoting an environmentally sustainable experience called Eco Lands. There will be with countless waste diversion bins (including composting and recycling) around the festival grounds, refillable water program, solar stage, bike valets and a mobile bike shop, an actual farmer’s market, and urban gardening workshops for those interested in their own private gardens.
For festivalgoers wanting hopefully brief respites from the dozens of artists, comedians, and musicians performing on four stages, the DJ Dome and The Barbary, there are numerous venues to shop (at the mini-festival marketplace and many tents), eat from the various local restaurants and food vendors (Taste of Bay Area), quench your thirst for beer (see the mighty selection at Beer Lands) and wine (Wine Lands), or quench your thirst for knowledge at the many information and organizational booths and tents.
Personally, I’m very excited to see Band of Horses, Grizzly Bear, Thao & the Get Down Stay Down, Social Studies, James McCartney (yes, the son of Paul and Linda), Matt & Kim – missed them a few years ago – and MS MR. I personally love listening to bands at the Panhandle stage since it allows you to literally be almost two feet away from the musicians; nearby seating is available on bundles of hay but there’s never an open spot.
As of this writing, the official Outside Lands Festival mobile app for the iPhone hasn’t been updated – unsure about the Android, Blackberry, or Windows versions – but I’m confident that my smartphone festival app will be functional by August 9. At less than a week away, I expect this year’s festival will be nothing short of amazing.