Outside Lands kicks off in San Francisco

August 12, 2011 11:19:54 PM PDT
The annual Outside Lands festival has crowds rocking all night on Friday and throughout the weekend.

The festival offered an unrivaled group of musicians as well as a taste of California. People lined up to see bands like Phish, Arcade Fire and Muse, just to name a few of the bands that are lining the five sound stages at Outside Lands.

"This is really exciting for both the bands and the audience, to have that discovery element," said Rick Farman with Superfly Productions. "It's a big part of what a festival's all about."

Fifty-two percent of the people who come to Outside Lands are from out of town. For one New Jersey family, it was a trip worth making from a long distance.

"We came originally in 2008 when it first opened," said Aaron Willadsen.

Visitors are pouring money into the economy. Hotels, restaurants and cab companies feel the benefit. So does Lafayette Elementary, which has opened the playground to cars. For $25, people can park at the school and the money goes to the PTA.

Outside Lands is also a food and wine festival for people seeking the Northern California cuisine experience. Fifty-four restaurants and thirty-four wineries have opened along with popular food trucks.

"Outside Lands speaks to all of our sensibilities," said Peter Eastlake with Wine Lands. "Music is a big part of San Francisco's history along with food and wine."

Performance art took place not too far away from Outside Lands as well.

When it comes to festivals, Outside Lands sets a standard followed by others across the country. It is always a sellout, which means 180,000 people will journey to Golden Gate Park over the course of three days.

The advantage is for the parks and recreation department, who will receive over $1 million from the event.

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