Billy Idol and Outside Lands Music Festival Fashion Stole The Show
“What are you saying?! Billy Idol could drop dead at any moment; there’s no way we’re missing that show!” My overenthusiastic friend, hopped up on a palm full of Molly and chugging pints of Heineken like his life depends on it, gestures toward the Lands End stage with an aggressive wave, sloshing his beer across the grass.
“Dude, I already said I was down for Idol,” I say, shooing him gently. “Get going already!”
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity!” He continues, pivoting on his heels to survey his destination. “We’ve gotta’ get there now!” With a pointed nod, he takes off on a march, leading our large group of inebriated friends through Golden Gate Park and towards the Lands End stage.
I like to call the march between stages at Outside Lands the “Mass Exodus”. As each show ends, a huge surge of festival-goers crowd together elbow to elbow and stumble on towards their next favorite performer in the lineup. Billy Idol is Outside Lands 2015’s (OSL 2015) Saturday 5PM favorite, and anyone who appreciates a quality eargasm knows to be there.
“Everyone hold hands!” Our fearless leader calls, and one by one, we link up. We’ve begun a daisy chain, that classic festival move meant to help groups of friends snake easily through crowds without losing one another in the mayhem.
“Here!” One of my girlfriends reaches back towards me, shaking her empty hand insistently.
Smiling and more than a bit tipsy myself, I slip my hand into hers, letting her drag me along. I turn to look behind me and see my boyfriend cheesing, reaching for my hand and giving it a reassuring squeeze.
“The weather is perfect,” he says, pressing in to plant a kiss on my cheek.
“This is amazing,” I agree, squeezing his hand in return.
Billy Idol Is The Man
How inappropriate would it be to write an entire OSL 2015 review about how kick-ass Billy Idol’s performance was? How do I go back in time and relive it in all its awesome-ness? Even now, as I type this article, I’m playing “White Wedding” and going, “Yasssss!” to every perfectly played guitar chord, every well-timed drum beat, and every effortlessly belted rasp of Idol’s sweet, classic-rock-worship-worthy voice.
At a festival like OSL where the world’s newest and best performers flock in droves to peacock their latest albums in front of thousands upon thousands of music lovers, it’s no wonder classic performers shine.
Billy Idol has down what these baby-faced newcomers don’t: years upon years of stage experience, and a neverending reserve of performance enthusiasm stamina. He knows just how to work the cameras, just how to sashay his way across the stage, and exactly how close or far to slip the microphone away from his lips in order to skillfully scream everyone’s favorite classic verses at waves of equally-enthused fans.
I’ve seen some of my favorite “newer” bands absolutely bomb it on stage. One too many performances on MTV, at music award shows, and random festivals have made them complacent, lazy, and ungrateful. Idol, on the other hand, took the stage like he owned it. He belonged there. His performance said, “I’ve been rocking out since the 1980s, and I’m not going anywhere,” and damn it, he’s made me a believer.
If I could tip my hat to one performer who truly picked the perfect set and rocked out to his fullest, it would be Billy Idol.
Bravo, Billy (can I call you Billy?). Bravo.
When I wasn’t busy stuffing my face with carb-a-licious festival food or searching for friends pre-and-post-Billy, I managed to catch a few other stand out performers. These honorable mentions go to: G-Eazy (give it up for the Bay Area love!), Kendrick Lamar, Natalie Prass, Robert DeLong, Porter Robinson, Mumford and Sons, DJ Mustard, Hot Chip, Elton John (duh), and Sam Smith.
Doing Outside Lands Right
If I were a more thorough reporter who was less focused on having an amazing time and more concerned with providing FestPop readers with irritatingly-microscopic festival details, I’d break down everything there is to do at an enormous music-mecca like Outside Lands. Fortunately for the easily-bored article skimmer, I’m not going to do that. Instead, I’m giving you a step-by-step list of how to do OSL right.
- Prepare your outfits a day before. Pick out comfy shoes you can dance in that you don’t mind getting dirty, and make sure they go with everything (I suggest sturdy boots or ratty sneakers — both equally stylish and cool). Also, layer up! San Francisco weather is weird and ranges sometimes from the extremely hot, to the Karl-the-fog windy and cold. You definitely can’t go wrong in furs, tights, and stylishly thin cardigans.
- Either have a loose idea of who you want to see at the festival, or go with friends who have a plan. Though I personally didn’t have a lineup agenda in mind, all of my friends had music favorites planned. I can’t tell you how helpful having a destination to shoot towards when presented with tons of options was! Sticking with friends who have loose agendas or following your own at your leisure keeps you moving through the festival always entertained by the ever-shifting sights.
- Pre-game. I love expensive festival alcohol just as much as the next person, but a wise and frequent festival-goer will embrace the tradition of the pre-game. Stock up on 12-packs of Stellas, armfuls of BuzzBallz, and all the prescription-approved medical marijuana you can handle. Your friends will absolutely appreciate being able to stumble through the long festival entrance gate drunker than an Irish boxer rather than trudging their way sober in the heat. And if you don’t drink or toke, you should at least …
- Eat breakfast, damn it. It’s easy to lose track of how hungry you are when you’ve been distracted by dancing, music, and friends all day. Before you do anything, be sure to shove some breakfast-pizza, bacon, or eggs down your tonsils. You’ll be surprised at how much your body will thank you when you wake up the next day for even more raging. But don’t worry — even if you do miss breakfast, OSL’s gotcha’ covered with plenty of food tents to satisfy every hungry hippo. Vegetarians and omnivores alike will definitely get their money’s worth with food at this music venue.
- Hydrate. If Burning Man taught me anything, it’s the importance of H20. A good friend of mine blacked out and ended up in the OSL medical tent due to heat exhaustion and lack of hydration. I saw several people collapse while dancing, only to be aided with friends carrying huge water bottles. Don’t be a dope; gulp that precious clear nectar like it’s your job, and no amount of heat exhaustion or dancing will get you down.
- Have a Pre-Party & After-Party in mind. 10PM is not late enough to end the weekend, and with OSL falling on both Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, you can bet plenty of festival-goers have the itch to rage on way past the final stage performance. Hit up your friends in San Francisco pre-OSL or surf popular festival and music sites for secret post-OSL performances and cool venues for after-partying. You do not want to get stuck in a super-crowded local bar near Golden Gate Park where it takes an hour just to get a glass of water. Plus, your friends will thank you for having a plan in mind! For example, Sky Ferreira made a surprise visit Thursday, Aug 6th at members only social club THE BATTERY and Heineken had a killer after-party Sunday, Aug 11th at TEMPLE
Boom. Follow the above steps, and you will for sure have yourself a merry little Outside Lands. In fact, if you follow Step 1 just right, you may even end up in a popular fashion blog.
Oh hayyy gurrrrlll. That’s me, rocking my furs and smiling for the cameras of Racked.
A little cheek never hurt anybody, I always say. Also, that fanny pack I’m wearing has been with me to multiple festivals, and even into the dusty desert of Black Rock, Nevada. I stand behind the idea that fanny packs can be totally cool again (assuming they were cool in the first place) if worn the right way! Plus, they’re just so darn convenient.
But enough about how cool I am.
Popular style blog photographers are always scoping out huge music festivals for stand-out attendees with rocking fashion, and Outside Lands is no exception. You can find everything from retro hippie-wear, to punk-rock mohawks with patched-up denim jackets, to lace-and-combat-boots on dark makeup’d goth babes melting under the sun.
Don’t believe me? Check out these photos of some of our FestPop friends rocking their own OSL flavor:
Outside Lands, like every good music festival, is absolutely your excuse to slip into something that represents you. This is San Francisco, after all, where butt-naked men wearing nothing but socks on their penises roam the streets while hipsters in plaid cavort with yuppies in pastels. Anything goes in this beautiful city of love. Have a new floppy hat you want to test out? Rock it! Just got your hands on some crazy new Milky Way Galaxy tights? Shimmy into ’em and frolic through Golden Gate Park without a care in the world!
But above all, have fun. That’s the whole point of this hot mess, isn’t it?
See you next year, Outside Lands.
Written by FestPop Sr. Staff Writer
Sherilynn “HeyCheri” Macale
Check Out Cheri’s Blog at: www.HeyCheri.com