So I Went to Outside Lands…

For context – Outside Lands is a 3-day music festival held in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, it is huge and causes the locals to avoid the Sunset district like the plague during that weekend.

At first, I had thought this was my first music festival, then I was like “well, did San Diego street scene in the 90’s count? Did that one day at warped tour count?”. Either way, this was my first big music festival. I am *gasp* not a huge music person, I have only recently realized this after sitting between two huge music lovers at work. These are the people who actively try to find new artists and go to shows constanstly. I, on the other hand, listen to whatever crosses my path and will only pay to go see The Matches (who I have seen over 10 times).

So here I am now, a month after Outside Lands, reflecting on my experience. I have been living in the Bay Area going on 9 years now and have never been interested in going previously. So what brought me to this festival in 2018? Tbh, work. I work in the start-up world so get spoiled often. For our interns last day, my company bought a ton of one-day passes as a going away present to the interns. Folks who worked with the interns were also offered tickets. I was excited at the opportunity to go simply to say I had been once in my life. After this experience, it is safe to say I wouldn’t buy a ticket with my own money. To be fair: 1. I wasn’t super interested in the artists that were performing 2. I was with work people and not friends 3. I don’t like big crowds 4. I was wearing the wrong shoes that started killing my feet 5. I was hungover and threw up during the pre-game.

Now that I laid out all my cards….here was my experience:


I would like to thank the little baby angels for my work friends who have Chase Sapphire cards and got me into the lounge. This was a haven. It had bathrooms that flushed and running water. They had free bougie coffee (as pictured in the main photo) with free snacks and water. You could also stay in here as long as you wanted, which for me was a collective 3 hours throughout the day.


Drinks: Again I was hungover and SUFFERING. Turns out hair of the dog makes it worse for me, but also this dumb drink was $16. Be prepared to pay a lotttttt for everything once you are inside.


“So Ximena, which artists did you actually see?”, you ask. Honestly, I saw like 5 minutes of Bill Nye and the Mountain Goats. I think I saw most of N.E.R.D. But that is about it. You realistically spend the entire event being seen, standing in line, or looking for your friends.

But the art is pretty cool.


Pros: Delish food. Throughout the day I had some mac and cheese and huarache which were both very filling. The highlight of the day, food-wise, were these donut sundays from Hook’t on Sugar and Spun. I shared the bacon and strawberry with co-workers, it was amazing.


End of the night: I was getting super exhausted after walking and standing around all day. I knew that public transit and ridesharing gets insane after the final headliner, so I dipped out around 7:30. I got some takeaway from the bf and I’s favorite Indian place in the Sunset, hopped in an Uber (only $20 for a 40 min ride) and was home in Berkeley by 9. Yes, I missed seeing The Weeknd but I heard that he didn’t end up being that good.

So, that’s it, my whole one-day Outside Lands experience.



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