Above featured photo by Alive Coverage. The Strokes.
This year’s Outside Lands Festival in San Francisco had attendees hungry for music, food, and social physical presence unlike any previous year. Hundreds of thousands descended upon San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park for a Halloween party of epic proportions. Organizers of this massive festival decided to reemerge many of the previous years scheduled booked talent for this year and added additional emerging artists that were less mainstream. Within the festival area, there are different “lands” such as wine land, cheese land, beer land, eco land and of course our favorite land GRASS LANDS!
Outside Lands stages are also aptly named after different parts of San Francisco such as Twin Peaks, Panhandle, Sutro are relate to geographical, historical or landmarks that make San Francisco the unique place it is. Of course, we were drawn in immediately to visit Grass Lands and spend some quality time enjoying some serious Cannabis consumption and check out the sales too from a variety of California Cannabis brands. This is now the third occasion in history to have legal sales and consumption at a large scale music festival, not to mention in the middle of Golden Gate Park. Because generally smoking anywhere in the park is not allowed, just sayin.
Check out our Grass Lands Gallery below,
(photos by yours truly unless otherwise noted)
The first photo from the Grass Lands stage. Left, the Dank Duchess, who is a expert solventless hash maker, educator, and consultant in all things hash. She is joined by edibles expert, chocolatier, tv host, Vanessa Lavorato, whom you might recognize from Viceland’s Bong Appetit TV series. Both of these ladies are certainly Cannapolitan.
The rest are fairly self-explanatory; Grass Lands consumption areas, big weed like signs, exhibitor booths, dispensary, beautiful Cannapolitan people.
Grass Lands is a great place to relax, find a seat and partake in your favorite method. I brought with me my trusty S.I. Pipe for flavor packed bowls and I also brought these incredible pre-packed glass joints that are by Grav glass! They are a combined partnership between the legendary glass company from Austin, Texas and select flower producers in California. These are gamechangers! We are in LOVE with these for a number of reasons. We’ll get more into these in our upcoming review feature and will also link you to that feature here once published.
Outside Lands during Halloween weekend!
What a spectical in the best way! Halloween, the costumes, San Francisco, I mean comon! Friday through Sunday was full of festive and inventive costumed festies everywhere. This was the place to be to people watch and really soak up the happy vibes nearly everyone had going on. Not only did the festival goers dress up, so did many of the performers over the weekend take part in the fun.
Lord Huron got into the spirit. Photo by Alive Coverage.
Speaking of crowded! Seems like everyone was overjoyed to be back out on the festival scene.
The main stage known as Lands End would feature headliners; The Strokes, Lizzo, and Tame Impala each evening. Outside Lands does a well-planned strategy that helps keep the crowds more manageable and spread by having other notable artists performing at similar times on the other two large stages. Sutro stage is situated slightly adjacent to Lands End and Twin Peaks which is the farthest stage away from Lands End on the complete other side of the festival grounds. This always is a little frustrating when you want to see more than one artist, but at the time of this article is being completed, I’m even more thankful that Outside Lands operates this way.
Audiences and festival goers need to use their manners!
Here’s why I’m thankful that there are multiple stages going at the same time and not just focus on one main headliner to finish out the night. The second night of the show, Lizzo was to perform on the large Lands End stage. I knew people would be lined up early to get a spot up front as possible to see her. I got within the first 4 layers of people that were at the rail and felt that was the closest I could get without forcing people out of my way (which I never do and we all can’t stand those that do right?) Anyhow we were all standing there patiently awaiting the queen, Lizzo to start her set.
It was beginning to get tight all over
As the last ten minutes leading up to Lizzo’s set time, I noticed more and more people had gotten closer and closer to me and eachother. More people were forcing their way into the front. Just standing still and holding my ground became difficult to do as I felt people from behind pushing and bumping me from side to side. I’m not an anxious person and can handle a crowd to an extent, but most of us have a limit. After a few minutes of this feeling of walls of people closing in on me, I decided to move back towards an area that wasn’t person on person and even just getting back was difficult to do. People would be in their own worlds and did not move easily to make way. After layers of people I finally broke free to a space that was tollerable and people around gave a few feet distance from eachother.
Just as I landed in a safer zone, Lizzo’s music began to play. I lit my special chocolate infused pre-roll that I have been saving just for the occasion. This unique pre-roll is styled by famed golfer John Daly. It’s out of this world! It tastes like chocolate, has chocolate in it and it burns and smells chocolate too! Will discuss more in our review of this tasty joint in another feature. Finally, I was able to relax and calm myself after this terrible crowd experience and enjoy the show. That’s what we all want when we go to these festivals is to enjoy our surroundings, our Cannabis and the music.
I’m thankful that I moved back to an area that was safer that night and happy that I had made the decision. It was shocking after nearly spending a year apart from strangers to be then nearly on top of eachother at a festival at a time when Covid is still very real. I’m glad I had my third covid shot before the show, but that still means we should be more mindful of space. I know it’s been a difficult year and half or more and none of us want to feel vulnerable at this point. Let’s get back to manners at the festival kids! I got bumped into by dozens of people without one sorry in three days. When the headliner or any artist is on stage, you shut the F up and watch, dance and applaud, that’s it! No one wants to hear about your date or your school schedule while a performer is on stage. SHUT UP! Thank you. Festival and concert manners matter.
Sadly, in days after the success of Outside Lands, we heard the horrible news about Astro world Festival in Houston, Texas. A deadly combination of crowd anxiety, pushing crowds, not enough security, and lack of leadership lead to a deadly outcome that is unfathomable to imagine. One can understand why Astro world Festival was a tragic situation that led people to panic and the event was understaffed to assist that wave of panic. Interestingly enough, I’ve seen time and time again performers stopping shows to instruct fans to take steps back from the stage and give everyone room to breathe. As Chester from Linkin Park once said at one of his shows when he discovered a fan that had fallen down, he said, “Hey, yo, man. We know we’ve been stressing all night about being cool – and this is the reason why. Let’s go over it one more time – when someone falls, what do you do?” The crowd chanted back: “Pick him up!”
It’s difficult to believe that Travis Scott could not see that his audience was under extreme duress for so long. Especially at one point when he’s on this tall riser that looked easily 15 feet above the crowd. It was certainly an eye-opening experience just watching the news and videos that concert goers had posted. Extremely tragic and we send our prayers and overwhelming grief for those lost at Astro world. Let’s never let this happen again, as festival and concert fans, we have to do better, just as much as these organizers need to be more thoughtful on how to keep everyone safe.
That all said, I did feel safe at Outside Lands. I felt all the volunteers, staff and security was on their best practices and was friendly too!
Lizzo in all her glory!
Photos by Alive Coverage
The Line Up for all three days was well spread out
I found gems throughout each day, even if I wasn’t familiar with a band or artist, I found something to appreciate in each performance.
Check out the full line up poster below:
Khruangbin is hard to pronounce at first but, easy to listen to!
Khruangbin was one band not to be missed on the main Land’s End stage, but you could be anywhere in the vicinity of that area and enjoy what they were playing. This is one band you don’t need to see, but focus more on what is being made. Killer good vibes and unique sounds along with some fun cover tunes like I’ve got five on it by the Luniz or Benny and the Jets by Elton John! They were vibing with the crowd and the crowd was moving to their hypnotic sounds. They played many of their more popular jams during their set. For those not familiar with the band or their sound, we highly recommend a good hybrid joint and sit back and enjoy Khruangbin and then go check out one of their shows if you can.
Khruangbin photo by Alive Coverage.
Brittany Howard was oh so soulful and spirited!
Brittany Howard, formerly the lead singer for Alabama Shakes took time for her own solo album sometime in 2019 and barely had any opportunity to tour the album in 2020, lucky for us we had a chance to witness her soulful sounds at Outside Lands this year. What a treat to end the weekend with such a talent! Brittany was not the headliner for Sunday, but I felt like I got what I came for once I saw her perform. Her set list was compiled of tracks from her solo album Jaime. Again, another incredible artist that should have a long career ahead of her. You can fall in love with her new album by listening to Spotify or hearing many of her songs and performances on You Tube. Check out the video for Stay High, which is one of our favorite tracks on the album amongst many others. The playfulness and vibes that Terry Crews provides lip synching to Brittany’s song is simply joyful! Spot Brittany in the video as a grocery clerk halfway through.
Every song she performed with her stellar band was executed perfectly and had such passion and power behind each word. This whole album will take you on a journey and leave you wanting more adventures into Brittany’s world to explore further. One song that most of the crowd probably didn’t quite get is 13th Century Metal, which is a declaration of love, unity, self-awareness, and justice for all. It reminds me of this year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Gil Scott-Heron’s “The revolution will not be televised”, which was recorded in 1970, check it out! Both artists in tune with their time, environment and the world’s problems.
Stay High with Brittany Howard, she’s a revolutionary artist that will have much more to show us all in years to come.
Photo by Alive Coverage.
Lasting Memories of the Sights, Sounds, Smells and Tastes that Makes Outside Lands Great!
Wrapping up the last night of the festival with Tame Impala at Land’s End stage, Kehlani at the Sutro stage and JBalvin at Twin Peaks left every Outside Lands attendee with an opportunity to close out Halloween and the show with a treat, no tricks! Considering that this festival drives in roughly 100,000 people a day this year was a sign that music fans are starving for all the feelings and experiences that they have long been craving since the world shut down more than a year ago. A quick reminder that the next time you and friends go to a show or concert or festival to be mindful of others around you and be kind to one another, we’re all there for the same reason to have a great time and hear our favorite bands and artists perform. And as late great Chester Bennington so clearly instructed his fans years ago, if someone falls, pick them back up! Let’s really stand behind the idea that we’re all in this together in more ways than one and be unified in showing our best in humanity every day. Take care music lovers, there’s plenty more to coming to Cannapolitan with world class entertainment and Cannabis to keep you groovin!
Check out the gallery below to see other scenes from Outside Lands
Photos by myself except for the image with the show posters is Alive Coverage.