Making magic in the woods at Outside Lands

Last weekend, half of Holiday Matinee met in the middle of a spacious San Francisco park for Outside Lands. Despite our inability to be in four places at once, we caught some really rad shows and met volumes of super friendly people. Smaller, less-packed performances by Vetiver and Phantogram were a treat for our elbows and ears, while bigger bands like Arcade Fire and The Shins lived up to the hype and successfully gave us the chills.

If you were on the hunt for more than just music, the festival offered a bunch of different options for exploring. We spent a lot of time in McLaren Pass, admiring the interactive installations from Monica Canilao, swinging with the chimes and sampling bites from the Food Truck Forest vendors (tots + fried mac & cheese = <3). The booze selection, however, left a lot to be desired. Forget Big Boi, we were missing craft brews, as Heineken completely dominated the beer booths. This had Kiran and Ice Cream Man reminiscing over the good ol’ Goose Island days of Pitchfork. Thankfully, the $2-4 pours splashes of local vino inside Wine Lands were there to quench our thirst.

Some favorite memories include: The Decemberists’ encore performance of Mariner’s Revenge Song, which had the audience clapping and screaming like they were being swallowed by a whale, our interviews with Chaz, STRFKR and The Stone Foxes, winning a koozie in the shape of a shoe, a magician playing the cello in Choco Lands and Dave Chappelle’s first beach ball concert.

In its fourth year, Outside Lands took it up a notch, hosting a wonderful weekend packed with memorable shows, enthusiastic fans, delicious food and environmental friendliness. We’re already counting down the days until next year’s festival and looking forward to the magical things that take place within the woods of Golden Gate Park.

See more photos here and check out our previous Outside Lands coverage too!