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Inside Outside Lands

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The Flaming Lips performing their interpretation of Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club by The Beatles

The Flaming Lips performing their interpretation of Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club by The Beatles

Alexa Westlake

Alexa Westlake

The Flaming Lips performing their interpretation of Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club by The Beatles

Alexa Westlake, Reporter

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If you like laid back live music in the San Francisco Polo Fields coupled with great artisan food, then Outside Lands is the place to be on the first weekend in August. Going into the the concert with zero festival experience, and as a non-drinking teenager, I was quite intimidated. I’d heard that, depending on the bands playing, the crowd could be pretty tough.

Outside Lands in Golden Gate park has been a San Francisco tradition since 2008. It attracts music lovers alike and combines the city’s desire to produce a Coachella experience a bit closer to home.

Walking in the gates I noticed a lack of security, and that is an understatement. The entrance was a free for all, with hordes of people flooding into two grimy turnstiles, the only rule being don’t bring any liquids or other contraband in. This resulted in people slamming down drinks left and right. Being guarded by my father, we finally made it into the park.

Once in, I got to see the unique atmosphere of Outside Lands. Moving from the EDM stage to the obscure jazz stage, you could really get a feel for the style of the fans through fashion and dance style. There were fans from all walks of music and with each stage came a new attitude.

In the end, the best part of Outside Lands is the music, so branch out and see a band you haven’t heard of! If Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers play the same songs they do every year so check out the dubstep beats of Tiesto. If you’ve had enough of Flume, listen to the calming reggae of Paolo Nuttini. Just remember, the Killers are always good live and if you push hard enough, you could end up front row grabbing the shoulder of the lead singer of Cut Copy, an electronic group.

I had the amazing opportunity to be front row for Cut Copy and Tiesto which was an unforgettable experience. The way that the bass pounded through the stage and the energy that the crowd had was electrifying. My favorite part about the packed schedule was that there were so many different opportunities to see different styles of performance. Every artist seemed to work to out-do the one before. With more elaborate props, more backup dancers, and more difficult choreography, the night just got better and better.

The food was generally affordable and absolutely delicious, I had the best macaroni and cheese of my entire life. Helpful tip, bring a blanket, plenty of water and a winter coat. It gets to be very chilly when the San Francisco fog and wind roll in and is very hot during the day, so be sure to layer. It is always more fun to go in a group, making sure you can leave your stuff in one spot and not carry around three bags in the mosh pit. Another piece of advice, wear shoes unless you don’t mind getting muddy.

Overall, it was a great atmosphere with great music and the ticket prices are 100% worth the investment. I plan to attend every year I can.

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Inside Outside Lands