For the second year in a row, I made the journey up to San Francisco to experience one of Northern California’s largest and most popular music festival!
Located in the undeniably beautiful Golden Gate Park, Outside Lands delivered yet another weekend adventure packed with top-notch music, stellar production, amazing food/ drinks, and that special NorCal atmosphere that I love so much!
For three jam-packed days I was astounded by all the amazing artists I got the chance to listen to, soaked up the Chase Sapphire Lounge / Sapphire at Six Happy Hours, and was constantly surrounded by so many incredible friends (old and new).
While it was extremely hard to narrow it down to just my Top 9, here are my highlights from my second experience at Outside Lands Festival!
1) Florence + The Machine on Saturday Night
“The dog days are over. The dog days are done. The horses are coming, so you better run.”
I honestly still get goosebumps when I think of the jaw-dropping headlining performance of Florence + The Machine on Saturday night. Her voice is so utterly powerful and emotional that she had the entire audience in a complete state of awe. The way she ran across the stage in her flowing white dress was truly angelic, and her stage presence/ interaction with the crowd was something special.
In the most delightful English accent I’ve ever heard, she asked everyone to put away their phones, and simply enjoy this magical moment together. I grabbed my friends, swayed left to right to their incredible songs, and (for me) it was easily the best performance of the weekend.
I’m kind of a techno snob…but she completely blew me away! Thank you Florence!
2) The Feast In The Trees
This year Chase Sapphire hosted a few different events called “Feast in the Trees” exclusive to cardmembers, and I was so stoked to be able to experience the three-course luncheon by International Smoke on Day 2!
This was easily one of the BEST MEALS I’ve ever had at a music festival, and I was super fortunate enough to sit with an awesome group of people (as it’s family style). We spent an hour tucked away in the trees, feasting on delicious avocado quinoa salad, curry cornbread, Korean sesame pork sliders, St. Louis ribs, key lime tarts, and chocolate cream pies.
The wine was also flowing quite regularly, which was a HUGE money-saver as alcohol costs at Outside Lands can definitely set you back.
After finishing up the final drops of the “Motel Nacional” cocktail, we said farewell to our new Chase Sapphire Feast in the Trees festival friends, and then made our way to the dance floor!
3) Epic Artwork Everywhere
Outside Lands is a massive festival, and I was stage hopping all over the venue pretty frequently to catch as many artists as I possibly could. The best part about stage hopping at OSL is that there is jaw-dropping artwork everywhere you look! There were live artists as well, and really fun to see them in action!
There are large stretches of art that are perfect for “the gram”, and I also loved how they lit them up at night! The artwork mixed with the colorful trees was such a beautiful combination!
4) Sapphire at Six Happy Hours
At six o’ clock on the dot, there was no better place to be at Outside Lands than the gorgeous Chase Sapphire Lounge! Each day they partnered with local hotspots and prepared a delicious pairing of a tasty snack and adult beverages exclusively for Sapphire cardmembers.
While everyday was amazing, I must say that the Jalapeno Bacon Grilled Cheese on Sunday was particularly incredible (although spicy as hell), and the ice cream they served on Saturday could not have been more necessary to battle the extreme heat that surprisingly hit San Francisco.
5) MAKJ & Woflgang Gartner at the Heineken House
Every day I made my way inside the Heineken house for at least 30 minutes, but on Saturday night the tunes were absolutely bangin’ I couldn’t help but extend my visit. MAKJ played a super crowd pleasing set chocked full of throwback hip-hop tunes, heavy EDM tracks, and a very special 10-minute bay-area rap tribute. I’ll never forget the moment hundreds of people all joined together in doing the “thizzle dance” while reciting Mac Dre’s infectious lyrics. #RIPMacDre
Wolfgang Gartner was my #1 DJ back in the days when I listened to heavier electronic music, and it was honestly so fun to hear all his popular tunes again. His sound is so unique, and he threw one wild party for the lucky people who made it inside the HOUSE for his set.
6) Mesmerizing Production At Night
WHY DOES OUTSIDE LANDS END AT 10 P.M!?
Okay, dumb question…I already know why! It’s basically in the middle of the city, and all the nearby residents can hear the music all weekend long.
With that being said, it’s just so sad that the festival attendees don’t have more time to appreciate the absolutely mesmerizing festival production at night! The way Golden Gate Park is transformed into an LED wonderland is a sight you must see for your own two eyes! The MASSIVE trees are changing colors as the fog rolls between them, and when you combine those pounding basslines, smoke machines, and lasers, and you’re really partying it up in such a cool atmosphere.
7) Discovering New Artists
What I love about Outside Lands is that the line-up is always really diverse, and there’s a little bit of something for everyone when it comes to music! As previously mentioned, I was stage hopping left and right, and was stoked to discover some really amazing artists.
A couple that I was digging were Quinn XCII, LAUV, Aquilo, Tash Sultana (first time seeing her perform live and WOW), Gryffin, Whethan, and Monophonics.
I didn’t hear a single bad set at Outside Lands, and I was pretty much constantly dancing! Even with all the food, drinks, and Sapphire Six Happy Hours — I’m pretty sure I lost a few pounds over the weekend!
8) Odesza & The Weekend on Friday
These were the two acts I was most excited to see on Day 1, and WOW did they bring their A-game to the mainstage. They kicked off the festival with stunning performances, and I feel bad for everyone who missed these 3 hours of impeccable music.
Odesza is one of my favorite acts to see live, and The Weekend really shined by performing all his hit songs to the massive crowd.
9) The Chase Sapphire Lounge
Last, but most certainly not least, was soaking up as much time as possible at the exclusive Chase Sapphire Lounge. Offering free water, delicious custom coffee bar, various snacks, Sapphire at Six Happy Hours, and luxury bathrooms — this really became my home inside Outside Lands.
The rooftop viewing area overlooked the Panhandle stage, and I loved feeling like a VIP while watching a few sets from above the massive crowds.
Clearly, this was on most people’s top 9 because there was typically a line to get inside (especially around Happy Hour), but it was always worth the little wait! I have to give the biggest shout out to all the staff at Chase Sapphire for being so fun and welcoming. Such a perfect little safe haven to escape the festival madness for an hour or two.
THANK YOU OUTSIDE LANDS
While Saturday may have been a bit hot and overcrowded, and my Chase Sapphire credit card statement is filled with food and drink purchases from some of the amazing vendors — it was another epic weekend for the record books!
If you haven’t already, make sure to read about my experience last year for more photos of all the beautiful stages, artwork, and my 2017 festival highlights: Outside Lands Music Festival: The Ultimate Golden Gate Party!
I have to give the biggest thanks to everyone I had the pleasure of meeting this year at OSL. I only knew a few people going, but left that park with some really awesome new friends!
Until we meet again….
“The dog days are over. The dog days are done. Can’t you hear the horses. ‘Cause here they come”
This post was written in collaboration with Chase Sapphire who invited me to Outside Lands for another top-notch weekend experience! All opinions are my own! #SapphireInsider