Photos & Words | Outside Lands

There we stood on what can only be described as the fringe of reality. Thousands of people in droves were migrating slowly into the trees, plunging into the insanity. It’s an odd feeling to find yourself before the rabbit hole, deciding whether to jump in or not. It’s even more odd that this rabbit hole could be found on the sidewalk of a San Francisco street corner. Nonetheless, there we stood. On one side of the barrier, directly behind us, was the seemingly ordinary corner of 36th & Fulton Avenue in San Francisco with the immense buildings of the city behind them. In front of us, however, deep within the trees of Golden Gate Park, existed a different world entirely… Outside Lands.

 

It could be described as a 3-day-long curiosity of sorts. A gathering of over 200,000 people over the course of a weekend all under a single united purpose; to partake in the festivities. Over 1,000 acres of virtually untouched park nestled deep within the City by the Bay that would act as home to a collection of hundreds of musical acts, artists, food vendors, shows, oddities and all around fun in general. As we finally began to move forward, we could see the the city begin to disappear as we were engulfed by the wonder.

Over the course of the three days our ears and eyes were blessed with the sounds and visuals of some of our favorite musical acts of all time. The days would begin slowly but would ramp up almost immediately. After treating ourselves to some of the delicious local food we arrived at the mainstage, Land’s End, just in time for The Wombats to show us a bit of that amazing British garage-rock energy delivered on a big stage perspective. As the day continued between the Land’s End stage and its sister stages Twin Peaks, Sutro and The Panhandle, we would be graced by the performances of Big Grams (a musical collaboration of Big Boi and Phantogram), Halsey, Chance The Rapper, E-40, Major Lazer, Peaches, Miguel, Kehlani, Anderson Paak, and many others.

But the most anticipation stemmed from those that would come later in the evening. The headliners did not fail to deliver. The acts of LCD Soundsystem, Radiohead, J. Cole, Zedd, Lana Del Ray and Lionel Richie were the the sort of performances you just dream about seeing. They captured the sort of euphoric feeling that comes along with seeing childhood heroes and idols come alive before your very eyes. And this is what Outside Lands is all about. It’s the sort of place where fairytales come to fruition. Time almost stops outside of the trees and grass, and for a 3-day period life starts again as something different. A place and time where you get to connect with those around you on another level. And while it may be inside a huge park in the center of San Francisco, it is definitely outside of the normal and out of this world.