Just like that, San Francisco bid adieu to its annual Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival held at Golden Gate Park. We needed a few days to come to terms with it but we’re back ready to share with you who or what were the clear winners of this year’s festival. There were a lot of great contenders but let’s get right into it.
WINNER: Kacey Musgraves spent golden hour with the crowd
Despite all her notable awards like the GRAMMY she won for her album Golden Hour, Kacey was not one of the main headliners of the festival but that didn’t rain on her parade. She kept the entire audience completely in awe of her set as she sang songs off her latest album and even treated us to her cover of Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive.” And to fit in with the spirit of the first year of Grasslands, at around 4:20 pm she performed “High Time” an absolute appropriate song for the moment. Spacey Kacey, we see you and come back again real soon.
WINNER: Ear Hustle: A Conversation with Nigel Poor & Earlonne Woods moderated by Snap Judgment’s Glynn Washington
Not music related but definitely needs to be highlighted especially for lovers of podcasts. Ear Hustle is now in its season four and over the course of these seasons, listeners have been able to hear the ins-and-outs of prison life told by those living it and experienced it. Co-hosts Nigel Poor and Earlonne Woods kicked off the morning inside The Barbary to do a quick Q&A with moderator Glynn Washington and also took a few questions from the audience. A huge treat for longtime listeners to see how far Earlonne has come!
WINNER: Twenty One Pilots were ready for the main stage
If you’ve never been to a Twenty One Pilots concert, heard about it, or just happened to pass by the stage while making your way to another set, it was hard not to stay and look away. Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun came a long way from a few years ago when they were set to open up Outside Lands. This year, they took on the main stage as Friday night’s headliner which was just as wild as you imagined. From fans carried Dun’s drumset to Joseph literally monkey climbing up a pole in the middle of the crowd, the crowd was raging for more.
WINNER: Childish Gambino brought in the biggest crowd ever
Saturday was completely sold out and we think we know why. After performing a few songs during his set in his iconic stage outfit (no shirt, white pants), Gambino announced this year’s day 2 brought in the largest crowd in Outside Lands history. Meaning, he took almost more than half of the crowd to church while others dispersed and listened to the other acts performing at the same time. Bay Area fans were delighted when he played his Bay Area favorite track, “Telegraph Ave.” Knowing that this may be one of his last shows ever (he’s since announced he’ll soon retire Gambino), fans most likely did anything they can to catch him perform in real life.
WINNER: Grasslands was a hit
Making its second annual appearance, Grasslands exploded into a whole new area full of enthused attendees were ready to celebrate the fact Outside Lands is the first U.S. music festival to sell marijuana. Once you placed your order with the budtender, the area had tons of activities scattered around that you almost forgot you were at a music festival in the first place.
WINNER: Anderson .Paak and The Free Nationals deserved more
We all knew that Anderson .Paak would put one hell of a show so it was a bit disappointing to find him on one of the smaller stages. It was clear to see by the size of the crowd that people were psyched to see .Paak perform. Let’s not forget, his Bay Area show back in June sold out in less than minutes. This was perfect for those who wanted to redeem themselves for missing out and dancing their heart out with the hyped-up crowd.
WINNER: Say hey to Ella Mai
Hearing the soothing sounds to Ella Mai on Saturday afternoon was just what everyone needed to kick off the night. It was hard not to stand entranced with her voice even when she broke out into a spiel in-between sets. Outside Lands has been known to add in some up-and-coming artists on their stages (hello, Lizzo and Billie Ellish), we wouldn’t be surprised to see even more of Ella Mai in the near future. Likewise for Tierra Whack who performed on the same stage as Ella earlier in the day.
COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER: Lil Wayne disappoints
We weren’t there to witness this ourselves but according to our sources (AKA Twenty One Pilots), Lil Wayne missed the entire first half of his set. Huge bummer to those waiting for him especially when he was surprisingly scheduled much earlier in the day than expected.
COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER: More love for Wyclef Jean
In a surprise appearance, Wyclef Jean took on the small stage near the Heiniken tent featuring fan-favorite DJs. While it was exciting to see him headline the small but mighty stage, more time should have been given him. It felt all too short.
THE WORST: Getting home was a nightmare
You’d think getting in and out of a park would be a breeze but it’s really not. Even after walking 4 blocks to designated carpool pick-up areas, rates were going as high as $70 to head deeper into San Francisco. Shocking since in year’s past, rates were generally in the $20 range. Hope everyone’s bank accounts look OK.
Through all the ups and downs, it was yet another successful year for the festival. See you in 2020, Ranger Dave.
Did you attend Outside Lands 2019? Let us know what you thought!