My advice after going to Day One of San Francisco’s Outside Lands: Go

LAST August 6, 11:30 am. One-day tickets for Saturday have sold out but day passes are still available for Sunday.

August 6, 9:30 a.m. San Francisco’s Outside Lands generally sells out. Not this year. One-day tickets are still available for Saturday and Sunday.

If you don’t know whether to get a last-minute ticket, my advice after spending the day there on Friday is to go, even if you don’t feel overwhelmed by the line-up and only know a few bands playing (see our recommendations here). ). The best part of my day was discovering artists I wasn’t familiar with, like Zambian artist Sampa the Great, who delivered a viscous swirl of jazz-soaked hip-hop, rap, and Afrobeats; and Fay Webster, who wowed her audience with whispery, lovesick indie-country ballads while she played guitar.

Faye Webster performs at Outside Lands at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, California on Friday, August 5, 2022.

Faye Webster performs at Outside Lands at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, California on Friday, August 5, 2022.

Adam Pardee/Special for SFGATE

Convinced? Now, you have to figure out how to get there.

Lyft and Uber are expensive this weekend as demand drives prices up (SFGATE wrote about skyrocketing prices to get home Friday night). My advice is to hop on MUNI, ride your bike or do what I did, and take the $24 prepaid shuttle (buy your ticket online) that runs between the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium and the festival grounds at Golden Park. Gate. The buses start running at 11 am and when I arrived at 10:45 am on Friday a line had already formed.

The 15-minute wait offered the opportunity to see the outfits that people had prepared for the festival. Outside Lands has almost as much to do with fashion as it does with music. People wore halter tops with beaded strands falling over exposed bellies, Doc Marten combat boots with miniskirts, pants made of crochet fabric that looked like the blankets my grandmother kept on her bed, and Boy Scout uniforms with patches. of marijuana.

On the bus, two girls debated whether to spend the entire day on the Sutro Stage or jump from stage to stage, a big decision for anyone going to the festival. I opened the Outside Lands app on my phone and started putting together my schedule, which required a lot of stage jumping as I like to see as much music as possible. (If you haven’t already, download the app and create your schedule. You can ask the app to alert you in advance of a band you want to hear, a feature that comes in handy when you’re dancing in the DJ tent and lose track of the weather.)

At 11:30am, I went through security (very easy, just make sure you follow the strict baggage requirements – look them up in the SFGATE Outer Lands Guide) and entered the festival grounds. The windmill in the center of the Polo Field turned in the sea breeze and the sun’s rays peeked through the pink-tinted cotton candy clouds that passed overhead. The live music didn’t start until noon (it’s the case every day), and Peter Gabriel’s “Solsbury Hillbury Hill” was blaring on the sound system. The lyrics fit how I was feeling: “My heart goes boom-boom-boom.”

The festival grounds were serene with more open spaces than people. I went to the booth where they check your ID and give you a special wristband so you can buy alcohol. There is no line. Later that day, a friend waited 15 minutes to receive her band. All of this brings up another piece of advice, my best advice: go early when there are no lines and you can get close to the front of the stage.

Spelling performs at Outside Lands on Friday, August 5, 2022.

Spelling performs at Outside Lands on Friday, August 5, 2022.

Courtesy off the land

By noon, I was near the front row of the Sutro Stage and bumped into Spelling, a Bay Area artist who has a beautiful voice and an experimental electronic pop sound.

“What’s happening?” she yelled at the crowd. “It’s a beautiful day. I’m glad there’s a bit of sunshine. It’s good to see you all.”

With a flowing skirt and long hair that fell down her back, she moved across the stage like a spooky dancer, leading the crowd down dark and haunted alleys with her mesmerizing synthetic music.

“His music pushes the limits of pop… It’s very different,” said Logan Albiani of Modesto. “I don’t even know what genre this is, but I love it.”

When he sang his popular anthem “Awaken,” the crowd was moved: “Everything we want is here. Everything we need and more. Let your heart surrender. Let your heart be transformed,” he sang.

The music rose and two punk-rock women in tall black boots and doll dresses danced wildly, arms waving in all directions. It was 12:30 and the party had already started.

Attendees sit along the grassy hill at the Twin Peaks stage where The Marias will soon perform at Outside Lands in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, Calif., on Friday, August 5, 2022.

Attendees sit along the grassy hill at the Twin Peaks stage where The Marias will soon perform at Outside Lands in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, Calif., on Friday, August 5, 2022.

Adam Pardee/Special for SFGATE

On stage at Lands End, Cory Henry wowed a crowd with his groves of retro funk.

“One More Song!” Henry called. “That’s ok?” The roar of the crowd echoed across the polo field.

The party-ready atmosphere of the festival was building strong and he had a full day of music ahead of him. I do not regret.

Three more tips from my day:

  • You can’t bring your own drinks to the festival, but you can bring an empty water bottle and there are special filling stations.
  • The lines at the restrooms get long, but they were shorter near Helman Hollow and Panhandle Stage.
  • I’m glad I brought my light jacket which I could easily tie around my waist and wear at night when the fog was closing in and it was cold. I would have been cold in just a sweatshirt or sweater.

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