Outside Lands 2016 Exceeds High Expections

Imagine yourself walking through a huge green field surrounded by plush trees. Now, imagine hearing the faint sound of base in the foreground while tasty aromas of food float by your nose. Tens of thousands of this year’s Outside Lands were welcomed with this magical cocktail for the senses last weekend, August 5-7 in San Francisco’s beautiful Golden Gate Park. Once visitor’s decorative arm bands were scanned, they were greeted with a large statue of the festival’s mascot, Ranger Dave, welcoming the crowd into the a weekend of a lifetime.

A good representation of how colorful the festival was
A pretty good representation of how colorful the festival was

This year’s Outside Lands, or OSL, proved once again that it is a world-class experience that is a force to be reckoned with. Not only was the overwhelming variety of food incredible and delicious, but the beer was also cold and crisp. The music was sublime and loud and the crowd was even louder. OSL’s guests danced and partied from morning until after sunset. Moreover, anyone could tell how much fun the performers were having with huge smiles on their faces and ecstatic energy while on stage. Clearly, this year’s festival was one for the books.

Our Experience at Outside Lands

At FestPop, we had the opportunity to experience this magical experience first hand. Our highlights were performances from Haelos, Zedd, Chance the Rapper, Major Lazer, and Third Eye Blind; not in that order.


Haelos is an incredible up-and-coming band that plays calming ballads. The crowd was lured into a zen vibe while listening to the band’s fresh sounds. We had the great opportunity to interview the band prior to their performance. We learned a lot from our brief conversation with them. The London-based group of musicians are starting to hit it big on the world stage. They were thrilled to be performing for the third time this year in San Francisco and have a busy schedule for the foreseeable future. Their talent has not gone unnoticed: with close to 7K followers on Instagram, 4K+ subscribers on Vevo, hundreds of thousands of YouTube views on most of their songs, and features on influential music platforms like KEXP. To view their exceptional music Vevo Channel click here. For their Instagram, click here.

Haelos enchants a large crowd
Haelos enchants a large crowd


Another performance that was a highlight for most guests, including FestPop staff, was Zedd. The EDM star put on an epic show that got the entire crowd of tens of thousands of people jumping up and down. We, along with the other 10K+ people around us, were mesmerized by the incredible stage screen graphics, lasers that reached in the crowd, and even a series of fireworks, smoke, and blasts of fire. The performance a remarkable and unbeatable performance that no one will ever forget. Talk about a show for all of the senses!

A glimpse of the mesmerizing Zedd set
A glimpse of the mesmerizing Zedd set

Chance the Rapper

Chance the Rapper was a highly anticipated performance on this year’s lineup, and he did not disappoint a single person in the crowd. The hip-hop phenomenon offers a fresh sound to the rap scene. His classic flow meshed with a jazzy back ground music and some singing to match is very pleasing to the ear. His audience was mesmerized by gentle voice, clever lyrics, and hypnotizing stage presence. One thing is definitely clear from his Sunday performance at Outside Lands, Chance is an artist that has superstar potential. Us audience members were lucky to join him in his element.

A snapshot a FestPop staff member took capturing just a moment in Chance's Performance
A snapshot a FestPop staff member took capturing just a moment in Chance’s Performance

Major Lazer

Major Lazer is a testament to the fact that whatever the iconic producers Jillionaire, Walshy Fire, and  DJ Diplo does, turns to gold. There is no other way to describe the performance than a raging party. The stage was filled with enthusiastic dancers, screens portraying exciting graphics, and a beaming DJ’s who was clearly had as much fun as his audience. Everyone in the enormous crowd was feeling the heavy beats and bass. Additionally, all 50K members in the audience were dancing. Every song hit the soul, enticing everyone’s inner party animal to show itself. It was basically impossible for anyone to not enjoy this set. It is clear that Major Lazer not only fulfilled, but also succeeded incredibly high expectations.

Major Lazer captures the crowd while creating a dance party
Major Lazer captures the crowd while creating a dance party

Third Eye Blind

Last but most definitely not least, San Francisco’s Third Eye Blind gave a memorable performance in their set at Outside Lands. The classic rock band that has been the soundtrack of generations not only played their biggest hits, but also introduced some of their inspiring new music. The crowd swayed in unison listening to the familiar sounds of the superstar band. One special moment that struck the audience is when the band brought out a complete chorus to sing along to a slow and passionate ballade.

Other Fun Attractions We Experienced at Outside Lands

One of the highlights of the FestPop team’s visit to this year’s OSL were the Heineken tents. Inside these dome-shaped constructions, we were greeted with heavy EDM music and base. Green projections lit up the tents’ walls and ceilings, while beer was served in plethora to visitors. Additionally, just in case, there were phone chargers available. I took advantage of this opportunity to refuel on a crisp beer while my phone refueled as well.

Another awesome experience we encountered as OSL were non-musical entertainers that were scattered throughout the festival grounds. One of the coolest of these entertainers were a series of stilt walkers in impressive and exotic costumes. Between two sets we encountered drum players who inspired hundreds of people to dance to their creative beats.

Me posing with one of the cool stilt walkers!
Me posing with one of the cool stilt walkers!

My personal favorite attraction that this year’s Outside Lands offered was more subtle than the scrumptious food, tasty beer, and world-class music. I enjoyed the colorful spray painted masterpieces the lined most of the park’s borders. Anywhere I looked, I saw amazing street-art inspired works by extremely talented artists. These masterpieces were clearly a favorite for many others, as people were constantly taking pictures in front of the unique works. There was even an area where viewers could watch while the spray-paint artists create their next piece that would be added to the OSL’s decor.

To Conclude…

If it was not obvious already, Outside Lands 2016 was epic, as usual. My entire Instagram feed the last 5 days have been filled with pictures of people celebrating all that the magical festival has to offer. Everything that Outside Lands is so incredibly unique that is nearly impossible to describe in words. The only possible way to understand how special OSL is to visit and enjoy firsthand. So get ready to fly out to San Francisco, you do not want to miss next year. I promise.

Ranger Dave thanks everyone to came to celebrate!

FestPop San Francisco Staff Writer  Mandy Losk
FestPop San Francisco Staff Writer Mandy Losk
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