So you’re headed to Outside Lands, one of California’s trendiest, alternative music festivals. You bought your ticket, you planned your outfits, you’ve made your OSL pregaming playlist and you booked your hotel. But that’s not all you need. Make sure to read my Outside Lands survival guide before heading to one of the greatest festivals on the West Coast!
1. Get the App (And Print the Schedule)
OSL’s app has everything a festival-goer would need. The app provides you with a map of the festival, live stream performances, a list of vendors and the scheduled talent, and updated news about the event. You can even make your own line-up and share it with friends who are attending! It’s pretty handy if you’re juggling a ton of must-sees. But in case #7 happens (and it will), make sure to print the schedule and bring it with you so you know when and where to see your favorite headliners.
2. Try to Walk or Bike as Often as You Can
This part of town is PACKED. If you leave early enough, you can take a Lyft there. But trying to get one out of the festival is basically impossible. And while the public transportation system isn’t hard to navigate, it’s a pain. Continue the party with Outside Lands’ bike party departing every night at 10:30 pm. You can park or valet your bike nearby or at the park.
3. Avoid the Crowd by Drinking at Wine Lands
If you’re anything like my husband, you hate crowds. Luckily, there’s a place for you to seek refuge and chill. Wine Lands, while amazing and delicious, is a tad expensive. Thus, there are less people. But you will be tasting some of the finest wines California has to offer. You can still find shady spots with less people throughout the park, it’s just not as boozy.
4. Be Prepared to Spend a Ton of Money on Amazing Food
When it comes to OSL, the foodie scene ain’t messin’ around. They’re pulling out the big guns with donut cheeseburgers, bourbon coke floats, and lobster rolls, not to mention all of the craft beer and imported wine on site. They’re also adding a fine dining experience known as Trestle that requires reservations. So bring your wallets and your empty bellies to prepare for a feast like you’ve never had before! BTW, Charles Chocolates has THE BEST HOT CHOCOLATE I’VE EVER HAD!
5. But Maybe Watch Your Spending
If you really can’t afford to be eating and drinking so much (and know your drunk self will run with your wallet until you’re broke), take advantage of the new Cashless program. You can add money to your wristband that acts as a wallet! Put a certain amount of money on there and make sure not to use your Venmo or Paypal to buy more stuff!
6. Pregame, But Also Hydrate
With the fairly expensive cost of beer and wine at the festival, you’re going to be spending a lot of hard earned dollars. Try to decrease that spending by whooping it up with your friends at the hotel or airbnb. But you also don’t want to get blackout drunk and miss the headliners at the end of the day. Make sure you drink as much as you can before you head out, but chug water every other drink.
7. Dress the Part
Whatever you packed in your suitcase is probably not enough. Don’t get confused, this festival isn’t like Coachella where festival-goers spend as much on their outfits as their hotel rooms and tickets. But with the 50-degree weather and artsy vibe, make sure to incorporate leather jackets, hats, scarves and sneakers in your outfits. You can never have enough layers!
8. Wifi Will Be Spotty
Like any other major event, wifi is wah wahhh. The more crowded, the less bars. So make sure you figure out a meeting point and time if you happen to split up with friends. And always be sure to have extra copies of your tickets, just in case.
9. Unplug, For Like, A Minute
Thanks to the festival’s Digital Detox Zone, you can experience a moment of tranquility by working with typewriters, scraps of paper and free spirits to pass a positive message onto other festival goers. You can also use this time to plug your phone in at the AT&T station and load up on battery!
10. It’s OK to Skip the Music
OSL didn’t include all of the food and comedy shows for nothing! Sure you want to keep tabs on some up-and-coming bands you might not have heard of, but your ticket includes so much more than music. See a comedy show at The Barbary, watch live artists create masterpieces or learn some cooking techniques at Gastro Magic. You might walk away liking this part of the festival more than the music-I know my husband did.
Have You Been to OSL? What Else Should Be Included on the Outside Lands Survival Guide?