Explore San Francisco

A Guide to Outside Lands 2018, San Francisco's Major Summer Music Festival

What to expect at the three-day celebration of music, food and art

The foodie music festival Outside Lands returns to Golden Gate Park in 2018 (Aug. 10-12) with a packed lineup of performers and about as many local food and drink vendors. Headliners include The Weeknd, Florence and the Machine, Janelle Monáe and Janet Jackson, who will share the stage with countless other big-name acts, local bands, comedians and artists. Now in its 11th year, Outside Lands attracts more than 200,000 fans and has become one of the most popular and successful festivals in the country. Here’s what to expect this year.  

Outside Lands crowd
(©Andrew Jorgenson/Outside Lands)

Music

The festival is known for its diverse lineup of established and emerging acts spanning a variety of genres. Beyond headliners, other top draws include Future, Beck and Bon Iver. Catch local artists including Tash Sultana, Illenium and Caleborate. If electronic dance music is your thing, head to the giant white igloo known as the House by Heineken. In addition to four main stages, there’s a dedicated comedy and improv tent, The Barbary, featuring Chelsea Peretti, Michelle Wolfe and Phoebe Robinson. And if you’re on a budget or can’t get enough live music, catch one of the Outside Lands Night Shows at venues around town.  

Bar at Outside Lands
(©Andrew Jorgenson/Outside Lands)

Food + Drink

Featuring 83 local restaurants, 41 wineries and 30 breweries, Outside Lands is as much a destination for foodies as it is for music fans. Truffled brie grilled cheese sandwiches, Taiwanese snow cones and liquid chocolate bars are just a few of the hundreds of menu options served up at multiple venues: Cheese Lands, Wine Lands, Beer Lands, Outside Clambs and GastroMagic—a stage dedicated to food and drink themed performances. Food trucks like Johnny Doughnuts and The Chairman, along with a host of popular eateries like Little Star Pizza, Dumpling Time, Hawker Fare, Rosamunde Sausage Grill and Proposition Chicken, join upscale restaurants like Ayesha Curry's International Smoke, Trestle, A16 and Rich Table to round out the mix.

Beer Lands
Beer Lands (©Tom Tomkinson/Outside Lands)

Tips

Navigating Outside Lands isn’t easy, so here are a few tips and resources to help you prepare. First, rent a bike. Buses are packed, taxis are scarce, rideshares are overpriced and parking is nonexistent. Alternatively, purchase a pass for the official shuttle that runs from Bill Graham Civic Auditorium to the festival entrance, starting at 11 am and ending at 11-11:30 pm. Past years have been notoriously chilly, windy and sometimes wet, so be sure to bring layers. And be sure to claim a locker early to stash those layers once the sun comes out. If your phone dies, there’s a charging station and convenience store selling essentials like lip balm, blankets, ear plugs and more.  

Outside Lands
(©Andrew Jorgenson/Outside Lands)