Festival Recap: Outside Lands 2023 - Local Wolves


Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, CA — August 11-13, 2023

Outside Lands returned to San Francisco last weekend despite Karl the Fog’s efforts. Armored in Patagonias and fur coats, festival goers danced, ate, and drank around Golden Gate Park August 11th through August 13th. Music isn’t the only activity offered, local businesses and artisans filled stalls in the Marketplace, Wine Lands brought the best wineries from the famous Napa Valley, along with Beer Lands, GrassLands, and even a Bubble Tea Party! With a diverse lineup of artists, the festival provided something for everyone to enjoy.

Friday kicked off with performances from San Francisco born artist, La Doña, and Americana Princess, Ethel Cain. Crumb, the psychedelic rock band, played fan favorites such as their songs Locket and Plants, captivating the crowd at the Sutro stage. Meanwhile, in the Twin Peaks area, DJ Diesel, aka Shaquille O’Neal, played an intense EDM set as the crowd head banged along (my neck is still sore). Indie fans gathered to see Alex G, Cuco and Interpol, K-Pop fans were ecstatic for Aespa, and Willow brought the dreamy, spacey R&B mixed with punk rock she’s known for. SOMA tent DJ’s were so wild that the crowd broke the floor resulting in the area closing for the rest of the night. Janelle Monae and Zedd, followed by Kendrick Lamar, closed out the festival for an unforgettable day one.

Lana Del Rey fans showed up early for day two, running to the barrier at the Twin Peaks stage, followed by security guards urging them to please walk. The afternoon’s lineup included No Vacation, VNSSA, TOPS and comedian/rapper/actor, Zack Fox. Bob the Drag Queen had everyone vogueing and Conan Gray gave a surprise performance. Alvvays filled the Land’s End meadow with their breezy, effortlessly cool surf-rock, while L’Impératrice held a French disco. Maggie Rogers, the Gen Z singer discovered by Pharrell, gave an exceptional vocal performance, combined with her charismatic stage presence– she was not one to miss. Lana Del Rey enchanted the crowd, filling eyes with tears as she swayed back and forth on a swing and dancers braided each others’ hair. Foo Fighters closed out the festival with a surprise guest that seems almost impossible to believe, the iconic Michael Bublé, hiding in the crowd with a sign reading “I love Michael Bublé.”

Fans started the third and final day of the festival attending “Sunday Service” with Gabriels. The afternoon kicked off with UPSAHL, Coco & Breezy, and Joy Oladokun. Ballerina and bedroom pop and grunge indie-rock artist, Beabadoobee, brought a ray of sunshine and energy to the foggy day. Cigarettes After Sex made me want to cuddle up on the couch and watch the fog roll by with their shoegaze indie rock. Lil Yachty lit the stage on fire (or screen, rather), proving he is more than just a rapper, but also a talented vocalist. Megan Thee Stallion brought out the Hotties, everyone shakin what their momma gave ‘em while she also conveyed messages about loving yourself and being on “Real Smart Girl Sh**”, taking time to sign a fan’s graduation cap. I don’t think there was one person not on their feet for The 1975, their show being equal parts a concert and a theatrical production. Odezsa’s lasers shined through the fog to close out the three day weekend.

Despite the cold, humid weather, fashion was still important to festival goers. Many dressed inspired by their favorite artist playing that day. Many wore streetwear inspired outfits for Kendrick Lamar, including baggy jeans, jerseys (especially those there to see DJ Diesel) and graphic tees. Saturday was taken over by ribbons, heart shaped sunglasses and long white skirts for Lana Del Rey. One fan even went as far as putting Lana’s trademark Diet Coke Cans in her hair. The 1975 and Foo Fighters fans brought the edge, wearing vintage band tees, leather and colorful hair. The Bay Area’s extensive techno and house community showed up for Odesza and Fisher, with beaded bracelets, body glitter, colorful leotards and tights, kept warm with big fur coats. From delicious food to stunning art installations, from yoga and meditation to silent discos, this festival was truly a weekend to remember.


Words & Photography: Hannah Sacca

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