Oh boy, I have festival withdrawals already. Last weekend was so much fun at Outside Lands. I got to see friends I haven’t seen in months and make some new ones while listening to some awesome music.
I third wheeled with these two for the majority of the time.
Not Prepared for SF Weather
I posted last week about what I packed and normally I’m a good packer, but the weather was just not what I was expecting. I definitely should have packed more hats and things to layer with under my sweaters and jackets. I had to borrow clothes from friends to supplement my outfit so I didn’t freeze by the end of the night.
It’s funny because my outfits from the beginning of the day compared to the end look completely different because I added new layers as the day progressed. I would add the sweater and then a scarf, then a hat, and so on.
Golden Gate Park is near the bay, so I was told it’s usually colder than other parts of San Francisco. I wish I brought mittens because my hands were usually the coldest by the end of the night.
Tip: Wear shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty. And don’t wear sandals if you hate the feeling of sand and dirt between your toes. There was dirt everywhere. The paths between each stage were all dirt and it would get kicked up by people walking. Be sure to bring a bandana or scarf to use to cover your face when walking through, it got in our eyes and was not fun.
Outside Lands is also an arts festival so there were tons and tons of graffiti art. Each day different graffiti artists made a new panel board to be added along the borders between each stage. As we walked back and forth between stages throughout the day we could see the artwork coming together as the day progressed.
Ahh, so happy I got to see Ben Howard. He played at the Sutro stage which did not have big screens for people too short or too far back to see him. But there were hills on either side of the stage that allowed for some viewers to get a good look at the stage. So I got to see a mini Ben Howard jam away for an hour Sunday.
Tip: Both the Sutro stage and the Twin Peaks stage had little hills on the side that allowed for people to get a better look at the performers. But at the Twin Peaks stage people stood on the hill, while at the Sutro stage it was more of a sitting community.
Don’t use the restrooms nearest the entrances or nearest the stages. Those were the ones everyone uses. Usually there were a second set or bathrooms a hundred feet down that have less of a line and weren’t as gross. Strangely not all the bathrooms had portable sinks next to them. Some did, most didn’t, so bring your own hand sanitizer or wipes. There were some kinds souls at the festival that shared theirs with me when hand sanitizer alone would not have cut it.
Layer up! I still can’t grasp how some people survived in shorts and a tank all day last weekend, because it got seriously cold once the sun set or the fog rolled in. Covering your extremities goes a long way. I felt infinitely warmer once I put a hat or beanie on.
Pick a meeting spot that isn’t obvious. Whenever we decided to split up as a group we would choose a meeting spot that was easy to remember, but not a popular spot like the windmills or Ranger Dave. If it was too popular it would be just as hard to find each other in the crowds that gather around them.
Firechat was useless to us. Maybe we never fully understood how to use it. It didn’t work when we needed it too. Luckily some of our phones worked and no one got lost. Try bringing a pair of walkie talkies instead.
Security checkpoints changed from day to day. I’ve been to a few festivals and have gone through the security lines before entering the grounds. Usually they check your bag fairly thoroughly and maybe pat you down (depending on the festival). But here it changed from day to day and from person to person. For some people they barely looked into bags. Other days security took things more seriously, shaking out the blankets and unzipping pouches. I’m not sure what changed their attitude, but I sadly lost my favorite water bottle because of it.
Overall, my first experience at Outside Lands was a fun adventure. How did your Outside Lands experience go? Any tips you agree with or ones I missed? I’d love to hear about it in the comments section below!