The Best and Worst of Outside Lands 2013
Now in its sixth year, San Francisco's Outside Lands has flown under the radar with the larger music listening public (i.e. Coachella people). Located in the sprawling Golden Gate Park, the festival has evolved from an ambitious project into one of the must-see festivals on the summer calendar. With six stages spread across the grounds, there's plenty for festival goers to take in when they aren't navigating their way through thick crowds and the park's forest. Using the music lineup to draw people to the event, the festival takes the finer aspects of Bay Area culture and allows for attendees to see that there's more to San Francisco than the basic tourist traps. Over the course of the weekend, we were able to take in everything Outside Lands had to offer. Here are some of the best and worst moments from our weekend in Golden Gate Park.
An actual arts festival that showcases the arts: Many festivals will finish with the so-and-so music and arts festival. Most of the time, they could easily leave out the last two words since there is little to any arts that are recognized outside of what you're consuming with your ears. Outside Lands is a bit different. Near the middle of how the park is laid out, there is a decent sized area where you can explore what local artists and vendors have to offer. These two double-sided rows of shops in the main area, along with a string in other the side of the passage way showcases some local businesses and artists who sell their work (the original concert posters were a big highlight and pretty badass) that you would feel bad not buying something after a brief conversation. The Bay Area-based artists we encountered were engaging and friendly; the kind of people you'd be happy to support in their artistic endeavors.
Food: The Bay Area's finest local catering companies, food trucks and restaurants descend join forces to serve the finest, most gourmet delights at any large-scale event. You can get food ranging from sushi burritos to specialized sausages, or if you want something a little simpler, scrumptious cheeseburgers and slices of pizza more than suffice. Regardless of what you sank your teeth into, at one point or another the weekend wouldn't be complete without noshing on some garlic fries. A long-time Bay Area staple (the garlic comes from nearby Gilroy), this side dish can go with 75 percent of the food. The one drawback: many of the places were cash only. If you didn't have an Alexander Hamilton on you, the extremely unforgiving ATM laughs at you when you have to fork over $4 for the service charge.