Outside Lands Music Festival 2023 was a huge success with more than 75,000 people attending each day of this years event. The festival’s 15th gathering felt like the most extravagant one I’ve been to yet. It was both amazing and horrifying to have so many people gathered in the park for 3 days. So many amazing friends to see and fans to meet … but competing for a spot in the long food lines, overly crowded bathrooms, and ever pushing audience was no “walk in the park.” (NOT EASY!) However, August 11th to the 13th did contain 3 days of live music, excellent food, and a premier festival atmosphere in Golden Gate Park.
This year’s Outside Lands lineup featured Kendrick Lamar headlining Friday, with Zedd on the competing stage and Janelle Monáe in support. It was hard to sneak up close for Kendrick so I enjoyed my view from slightly too far away. Foo Fighters played on Saturday at the same time as Fisher and Lana Del Rey. The crowds all pushed to see Lana’s set … I think I tried to photograph her from the furthest vantage point of all the musicians I watched. Fisher had more fans than the Foo Fighters, his set was epic, but his fans were all cocked up jerks. I almost got in 3 fights while simply trying to shoot photos. (I actually had to push someone off me.) Sunday’s set by ODESZA was pure WOW! I don’t think I got a single good photo, but the fireworks, drum line, and DJs were spectacular. Some sets just don’t have good angles for shooting from far away. Loved the new music by Lil Yachty, but can somebody tell me why he looked so sad?
Outside Lands does a great job of booking up and coming talent. This year was no exception. I ran around trying not to miss my friends playing at all sorts of random times. When all was said and done I shot awesome photos of Mike from Geographer. Ran to the Panhandle set to catch the last 20 minutes of Sour Widows. Caught the beginning of Starfari’s set, left to catch the end of Megan The Stallions performance only to run back and see Starfari with a full dance floor. Also, the weekend wouldn’t have been complete without the music of Soccer Mommy. I loved seeing all of these epic performers get their moment in the spotlight! (I’m still mad about missing No Vacation.)
When the event is over each evening at 10P, each festival attendees begins to push on the attendee closest to them until the walls of the festival burst and let a slow leak of drunk festival attendees spew on to the unsuspecting avenues. Exiting is hard, but getting home is even harder. Thus vendors have set up random over priced street meat options to placate exhausted fans while they ponder their next move. Access to overly crowded festival shuttles is limited, ride share feels none existent, some fortunate attendees brought their bikes, while others give up and opt to simply walk through the park to their houses … which are nowhere near Golden Gate Park.
FRIDAY • AUG. 11
Kendrick Lamar • Zedd • Janelle Monáe • J.I.D • Interpol • Willow • aespa • Cuco • Alex G • Claptone • Monolink • Diesel (Shaquille O’Neal) • Raveena • Blond:ish • Becky Hill • Crumb • Justin Jay • Ethel Cain • The Dip • Samia • Disco Lines • La Doña • Yaya Bey • Nation of Language • Evan Giia • Matt Hansen • Westend • Nala • Miss Dre • Izzy Heltai
SATURDAY • AUG. 12
Foo Fighters • Lana Del Rey • Maggie Rogers • Fisher • Father John Misty • Orville Peck • L’Impératrice • Nora En Pure • Alvvays • Niki • Mariah the Scientist • Trixie Mattel • Daniel Avery • Lovejoy • Sama’ Abdulhadi • Jessie Murph • Zack Fox • Denis Sulta • Cobra Man • Tops • Orion Sun • VNSSA • manila grey • Donny Benét • Eddie Zuko • Kim Ann Foxman • No Vacation • Wednesday • midwxst • Adi Oasis • Erez • Sour Widows • Megan Thee Stallion
SUNDAY • AUG. 13
Odesza • The 1975 • Megan Thee Stallion • Lil Yachty • Noah Kahan • Cigarettes After Sex • Tobe Nwigwe • Beabadoobee • Poolside • Soccer Mommy • ISOxo • Holly Humberstone • me b2b Trikk • WhoMadeWho • Joy Oladokun • Inhaler • Tinlicker • Dope Lemon • Gabriels • The Jungle Giants • Mild Minds • Red Axes • Nanna • Coco & Breezy • Wild Child • Upsahl • Pretty Sick • Grace Ives • Fake Fruit • Loverground • Venus & the Flytraps
- More lasers and up lights were added this year.
- Lots of food vendors to choose from.
- Themed alcohol destinations.
- Muni added more N trains to get people out of the avenues faster.
- Grass Lands is a unique offering for those that desire it.
- Lyft brought extra city bikes to the park to help with leaving.
- Too many young people with bad attitudes.
- Never enough bathrooms. (THERE ARE A LOT)
- Hard to exit the festival grounds at 10P,
- Transportation limited once you leave the festival.
- Dolores (LGBTQ=) stage should return … but different location!
- Too many videographers on stage blocking the fans view of the artists.
View this years the daily lineups HERE. Hope to see you there next year!