Jennie T
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My Latest Obsesssion: Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival

My Latest Obsession: Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival

Every August, thousands of music fans head to the polo fields in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park for Outside Lands, a music and arts festival featuring musicians, DJs, artists and local restaurants. Going strong since 2008, over 120,000 attendees are expected this year, making the festival a force to be reckoned with.

If you haven’t been to Outside Lands yet, it’s well worth attending (parking and transportation issues aside). There are four stages of music; all well-spaced so you aren’t hearing another artist while you’re trying to enjoy the band in front of you. If there’s a lull in the lineup, you can enter The Dome (sponsored by Heinekin) and listen to DJs. Tired of music? Stop by The Barcade, where you can play Skeeball, Pac-Man and Frogger to get you pumped up for the next act. If your perfectly coiffed hair gets ruined by the SF wind and fog, you can stop by the Garnier Fructis Outside Lands Salon for a complimentary styling and a pic on the cover of Rolling Stone!

There are two more things that make Outside Lands special: the wine tent and the food. San Francisco is full of foodies, and the city’s favorite eateries are well-represented here. Forget typical festival food; we eat gourmet here. Q’s famous tater tots, Andelu’s crispy mac and cheese, Memphis Minnie’s BBQ, Farmer Brown’s fried chicken, American Grilled Cheese Kitchen’s grilled cheese, Mission Mini’s cupcakes, Namu’s korean tacos, New Ganges’ samosas, Three Twins’ ice cream and plenty of other options are available to please even the most fickle of palates. This year there was also Choco Lands, which scared me at first since it looked like a makeshift hobo camp, but there was a lot of chocolate goodness to be had inside the various tents. Speaking of tents – the wine tent is not to be missed! Over 30 wineries were represented this year; it’s my favorite place to spend time when I’m not watching the bands. Mmm…wine!

And now for the music! I went to Outside Lands the first two years of the festival (I somehow spaced last year and didn’t get tickets) and returned this year totally excited by the lineup. The Shins, MGMT, Muse, Girl Talk, The Roots, Arctic Monkeys, The Decemberists, Deadmau5 and Arcade Fire were all on the list of more than 60 musical acts this year. I attended Saturday’s festivities and made the most of my time. I was pleasantly surprised by the energy of STRFKR and enjoyed seeing Arctic Monkeys again (the last time I saw them was at Coachella over five years ago), but seeing The Roots and then Muse close out the show made my night. This was my first time seeing Muse at an outdoor show and I wasn’t disappointed. A full moon complemented the energetic set, which included “Uprising,” “Resistance,” “Supermassive Black Hole,” “Hysteria,” “Starlight,” “Knights of Cydonia” and “Plug In Baby” (which I screamed my approval over so loudly that the people in front me turned around and laughed at me). There weren’t any surprises in the set, but they were pitch-perfect and a great way to end a fun day under the San Franciscan sun.

Until next week (and my next obsession)!

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