Golden Gate Park hosts the Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival again this year, and the experience seems to be much better this time around for the now two-year event.
What would make Saturday a more enjoyable experience is any decrease in temperature. What Mother Nature brought was about as close to a perfect day as a San Francisco visitor could ask for. A warm day, a cool breeze, and cold beer are all part of the makings of a nice festival.
I walked onto the festival grounds in the middle of Zion I, which I must say was quite packed for one of the first acts of the day. A 12:30 start didn’t deter many people from enjoying, and quite possibly staking a claim on a particular valuable piece of concert land.
I attended a press conference with a variety of festival participants, from members of Portugal, The Man and Dengue Fever to the owners of local restaurants Maverick and Dosa and to representatives of both Facebook and YouTube. The latter two websites have been proactive in featuring Outside Lands (Facebook with its popular 14,000+ official fan page and YouTube with its dedicated webcast page), especially with both companies having such close ties to the Bay Area.
I then decided to wander the grounds to simply follow the crowds to see where they take me. I caught some of funk band Extra Golden at the Panhandle Solar stage that featured much interaction and participation from the very enthusiastic crowd.
I then wandered to the Presidio stage where reggae project Groundation provided some much needed mellow music to better relax and lounge to enjoy the very nice day. The group’s front man mentioned that they “don’t play pop music, but conscious (or conscience?) music” so people can enjoy but also can become enlightened and impassioned. I wasn’t expecting any social message but it didn’t seem too condescending.
After, I had a hard choice between seeing Portugal, The Man or Dengue Fever who had the same start times. Unfortunately, I was feeling lazy so since Dengue Fever was on the opposite side of the Lindley Meadow field, the answer was obvious. DF had a ton of energy that infected many in the eager and body-moving crowd.
Boyishly-handsome Jason Mraz was up next, and geez was that section of Polo Field packed. The press tent seemed a like a nice place to catch some of Mraz, while I took pictures of the enormous crowd.