an artist singing at the music festival for thousands of people SF outside lands

The legendary San Francisco native, Outside Lands Festival, is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, and per the usual, is going to be an event you don’t want to miss. Set in beautiful Golden Gate Park, Outside Lands, is a bayside celebration of music, food, wine, beer, art and comedy between August 11th-13th. This year’s lineup is probably one of the biggest and most varied with artists ranging from the likes of Metallica and A Tribe Called Quest to Lorde and Alt-J. We've put together a guide that will help you navigate the ins and outs of Outside Lands so you don’t have to.

How to Get There

Unlike Coachella, Outside Lands is set right in the heart of the city of San Francisco in Golden Gate Park. Getting to the park is easy thanks to San Francisco’s pretty efficient public transit system. If you’re flying in you’re in luck since San Francisco has its own international airport (which is only 20 minutes away) and is neighbored by Oakland International Airport (a 40-minute drive away) and San Jose International Airport (a 60-minute drive away). There is even a Greyhound station stop 19 minutes from the park if you plan on traveling to Outside Lands on a budget. We recommend you rely on public transit though since parking at Golden Gate Park is extremely limited.

Where to Stay

Since Outside Lands is located in the heart of the city, finding a place to crash should be pretty easy. If you’re looking for something more luxurious, Hotel Abri and Stanford Court are both great options, or if you’re looking to stay on a budget we recommend hostels such as HI San Francisco (Downtown) or USA Hostels San Francisco. Outside Lands and the city of San Francisco doesn’t allow campers to stay overnight in any city parks. However, there are plenty of campsites near SF that might be worth looking into if you can find a spot.

Which Artists to Catch

This year’s Outside Lands lineup is great, which makes sense considering it's the festival’s tenth anniversary. Top billing this year are legendary artists including Metallica, The Who, Gorillaz, A Tribe Called Quest, and Alt-J. You can also watch your favorite new artists here including Bleachers, SOHN, The Japanese House, and Action Bronson. On top of live bands, Outside Lands will have DJ sets with acts like Brittany Sky, Brodinski, DJ Celeste Lear, and DJ Jazzy Jeff filling the three-day fest.

What to Eat

Outside Lands is famous for its spotlight on original San Francisco cuisine. From Ramenburgers to Hong Kong-Style Boba Milk Tea, fest-goers will get a true taste of the bay that can only be found at Outside Lands. There are also plenty of food trucks for you to choose from. If you have a taste for Indian food, you can head to the Curry Up Now truck, where you'll find Chicken Tikka Masala Burritos and their signature ‘Sexy Fries’. Craving something deep fried and greasy? Try Those Fabulous Frickle Brothers, where you'll indulge in mouth water selections like Fried Pickles or Fried Green Tomatoes. And if you have a sweet tooth, there is a place behind the park called Choco Lands where you can find crazy desserts like Liquid Chocolate Bars, Chocolate Krackle, and delicious artisan cupcakes. 

What to Pack

While camping is not an option at Outside Lands, we recommend you bring all the festival essentials. Items like your ticket (of course), a hat, sunscreen, and plenty of water are a must. The California heat is nothing to play with and while the fest may be on the bay, temperatures can get pretty high in late summer.

What VIP Gets You

VIP at Outside Lands comes with plenty of desirable swag-like access to the exclusive Polo Club, lounge seating, and special restroom facilities (one of the best features of VIP). On top of these exclusive additions, VIP tickets at Outside Lands grants fest-goers access to special VIP food stands, special liquor services, and tons of commemorative goodies that you get to take home with you. Three-day VIP tickets cost a cool $795, and if that’s too much on your wallet, single day VIP tickets cost $345.