Now in its sixth year, San Francisco‘s annual Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival has quickly become one of the nation’s most-talked-about and best-attended music events. The three-day celebration is more than just a series of concerts performed by world renowned artists, though. Dubbed the “World’s only gourmet music festival” by its producers, Outside Lands is also a taste adventure with a huge selection of food, beer and wine. To learn everything you need to know about the festival, which will bring approximately 195,000 people to the grassy fields of Golden Gate Park over the weekend, keep reading.
First and foremost a music festival, Outside Lands presents fans with more than 70 performances by a variety of artists. Sir Paul McCartney is Friday night’s headliner; the visit to San Francisco is a part of his Out There tour and is his second festival stop this summer — in June, he appeared at Tennessee’s Bonnaroo. Other marquee names include the Nine Inch Nails (who haven’t performed together since their 2009 tour) and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Many other well-known groups such as Phoenix, Kaskae, Vampire Weekend, Jurassic 5, and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs will also perform.
If you need a break from the music, head to The Barbary tent for a blend of comedic acts such as Jeffrey Ross, Craig Robinson and Maria Bamford. There’s also a series of special night shows at locations throughout the city such as The Independent (Zedd), Bimbo’s (Beck) and the Rickshaw Stop (Vetiver) to name a few. Only Outside Lands ticket holders will be able to see these more intimate shows.
The festival offers four unique food experiences with hundreds of different bites. The largest culinary area, which takes up three fields, gives concertgoers A Taste of the Bay Area. Seventy-two vendors (see restaurants such as 1300 on Fillmore and Rich Table, and food trucks such as Del Popolo and Hapa SF) will be on hand, dishing out everything from barbecued shrimp and grits to Malaysian nachos, pork belly burgers and sardine chips. And back by popular demand for the second year in a row is Outside Lambs. Chef John Fink of Whole Beast catering spearheads the all-lamb menu of shawarma, poutine and curry stew.
Fresh-pressed juices for the health conscious, Blue Bottle Coffee for those in need of a pick-me-up and ice cream sandwiches for sweet tooths will also be readily available. And speaking of sweets, chocoholics have a section devoted specifically to them. Choco Lands is hosted by Guittard Chocolate Company and features a variety of delicious-sounding goodies (liquid chocolate bars, s’mores, chocolate peanut butter cups) from local bakeries such as Delessio’s, Epic Cookies and Kara’s Cupcakes.
For the first time ever, the festival will also feature a cheese-tasting area, Cheese Lands, located in the Wine Lands (more on that below) courtyard. Local selections will be available and there will be an educational component where fromage lovers can interact with cheese connoisseur Thalassa Skinner and representatives from Long Meadow Ranch.
Beer & Wine
No music and culinary event is complete without some sort of spirited component and, at Outside Lands, festivalgoers can quench their thirst at Beer Lands and the aforementioned Wine Lands. Curated by Magnolia Brewery’s Dave McLean, Beer Lands will have 16 breweries on tap, seven of which are local to San Francisco. Thirty-two beers will be offered from the likes of 21st Amendment, Bear Republic, Mad River, Lost Coast and others. As for the vino lovers, more than 120 labels, curated by sommelier Peter Eastlake, will be poured at Wine Lands. This celebration of California wines can be found under an ornate tent in Hellman Hollow Field. Participating wineries include Caymus, Envolve, Ridge and Robert Sinskey.
Photos Courtesy of Cameron Neilson