Home Music festival Outside Lands bleeds into Halloween on the last day of the sold-out festival

Outside Lands bleeds into Halloween on the last day of the sold-out festival



Kaya Johnson (left), Paulo Anzures and Brittany Garcia, all from Texas, celebrate the last day of Outside Lands on Halloween. Photo: Bronte Wittpenn / The Chronicle

After dressing up as characters from Netflix shows the first two days of Off the land, Bakersfield’s Ryan Jones saved his best costume for Halloween.

He walked through the doors as the festival’s headliner in 2015, Elton John, decked out in one of the singer’s most famous stage costumes of the 1970s, which was recently echoed by Taron Egerton in the John biopic. 2019 “Rocketman”. The only problem was, it wasn’t exactly appropriate for San Francisco – he wore a shimmering Los Angeles Dodgers uniform.

“I might be risking my life here,” said Jones, 33, behind oversized glasses. “I haven’t had too many dirty looks yet, but it’s still early days.”

Sunday, October 31, the third and final day of the San Francisco Music Festival, was a cool, semi-sunny day at Golden Gate Park, and it had already been a remarkable success. According to the co-producers of Another Planet Entertainment, pent-up demand for the city’s first major festival created the first all-out sale in Outside Lands history.

Perhaps it was Grass Lands, a site-specific marijuana dispensary that finally allowed on-site consumption after it was introduced as a demo space in 2018. Maybe it was the $ 50 bowl of ramen. Regardless, crowds estimated at 75,000 a day have adhered to strict COVID-19 controls and safety protocols as well as cold fall weekend weather to celebrate the return of live music to the park. .

“We’ve been looking forward to this for two years,” Jones said.

Participants take photos at sunset during Outside Lands on Saturday. Photo: Stephen Lam / The Chronicle

While the festival usually takes place in August, Halloween weekend wasn’t much different in terms of the weather, as Outside Lands is known for its foggy nights. Even Friday’s unusually warm sunny day was not immune to the thick fog that filled the park long before sundown. Sunday was foggy and chilly, with just enough sunshine for afternoon revelers to show off their costumes, from aliens and sexy skeleton crews to Beetlejuice and other creative ghouls.

Of course, a summer concert is easier for festival goers who love the lingering western sun that adds drama when the lights come on for the headlines. But this weekend, when it was dark at 6 p.m., it added to the spooky Halloween weekend vibe.

Indeed, no one at the festival complained. They were just happy that Outside Lands made their long-awaited return after pandemic delays, as most were sitting on tickets long before the 2020 Outside Lands cancellation. It was also clear throughout the weekend just how excited the festival performers must be back on stage after waiting backstage for over a year.

Among the Bay Area artists on the line-up to debut at Outside Lands after the pandemic break was mxmtoon, raised in Oakland, who took to the Sutro stage on Sunday afternoon with staunch fans – including family and friends – in the crowd who sang along with her hits like her 2019 hit, “Prom Dress”.

Outside Lands attendees watch rapper Rico Nasty and chef Roy Choi lead a cooking demonstration. Photo: Stephen Lam / The Chronicle

Outside of Golden Gate Park, of course, there was a mixture of love and hate about the mega festival and Halloween holiday converging.

On 30th Avenue at Fulton Street, just a few blocks from a main entry point to the Outside Lands, there was no trick or caterer. Resident Shirlene Lim has loaded her own children, Scott, 8, and William, 12, to drive them to Sea Cliff, where all the children of Outer Richmond appear to have gone.

“Due to Outside Lands, there are no little kids walking around,” she said from her post outside where she could hear the concert all weekend. “We love to have the concert, but not on Halloween.”

At 30th Avenue and California Street, Tory Francisco, who was escorting his 5-year-old son, Ethan, disguised as Thing 1 from “The Addams Family,” didn’t seem to care.

“A group of drunk 20-year-olds wandering around in costumes adds to the mood,” he said.

Céline Altamura (left) and Diane Ambrose walk through the tunnel on the last day of Outside Lands. Photo: Brontë “Wittpenn / The Chronicle

The Bay Area’s festival season as a whole changed later this year, as coronavirus vaccines continued to become more widely available. After the free Stern Grove festival, which ran for several Sundays throughout the summer, BottleRock Napa Valley returned from its pandemic hiatus in September. And this month saw the return of the Huichica Festival to Sonoma and the birth of new outdoor music dubbed Halloween Meltdown in Oakland.

But Outside Lands was the closest season, and those who had been on the tour gave it high marks.

“I expected a Coachella vibe, but Outside Lands is way better than Coachella,” said Brittany Donaldson, who was selling hand-picked raw crystal products through a pop-up window of his online store, Creator.

Cupertino’s Katie Cornett also described it as “very different from other festivals. It’s colder and more relaxed. It’s easier to stand up in front of the performers. Cornett, 25, had worked his magic to be at the first plan for Vampire Weekend and the Strokes – here to see Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas complaining about the city’s COVID-19 precautions and the festival’s sound system.

Rapper Nelly performs on the last day of Outside Lands. Photo: Brontë “Wittpenn / The Chronicle

Between Sunday’s opening at noon and 8 p.m. headlining, there were 35 acts on seven stages. While they don’t have the usual legacy like years past – like Lionel Richie, Janet Jackson, Paul Simon and Radiohead – to close the three-day festival, headliners Tame Impala have performed on the stage. of Lands End for the last day of the festival. But not before playing a prank on festival goers with an announcer saying they had been knocked out of the “Squid Games” and should be replaced by the Wiggles. The crowd took a collective hiccup and then quickly applauded when the psychedelic Aussie band finally hit the stage just after 8:15 p.m.

Still, there were a handful of unofficial legacy acts, like rapper Dirty South Nelly, who brought a sense of nostalgia as he walked through a heavy tight set of his early 2000s hits “EI” and “Batter. “, 2002” Air Force Ones “and” Hot in Herre “as well as the fan favorite song” Dilemma “.

Later that evening, east of Polo Fields in Heineken’s renovated home, the electro pioneer known as the Egyptian Lover, who changed the scene in the 1980s, held on with his 1984 hit “Egypt, Egypt” and a Halloween-themed interpretation of his 1994 hit “I Need a Freak”.

The only scheduling glitch of the day came when Scarypoolparty, the 27-year-old Southern California musician and reality TV star whose real name is Alejandro Aranda, canceled his set to “give priority to his mental health”, according to the promoters of the festival Another Planet Entertainment and Superfly. It was the third cancellation of the weekend, joining Atlanta rapper Young Thug and electronic music producer and YouTube star Marc Rebillet as a no-show.

For more updates from Outside Lands 2021, visit datebook.sfchronicle.com.

Mariecar Mendoza, arts and entertainment editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, and pop music critic Aidin Vaziri contributed to this report.