Two Generations, One Music Festival: Outside Lands

Outside Lands
Two Generations Enjoying Outside Lands in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco~ Craig, 55 – Suzanne, 54 – Clint (our nephew) 21, – Alexandra (our daughter) 27- Nick (our son) 22- Alec (our son’s best friend) 22


Outside Lands reigns supreme in my new world of music festivals. A three day, thoroughly engaging, eclectic, excessively HUGE, outstanding music festival for all ages. Who knew that two people in their mid-fifties could mix and mingle successfully with the hipsters, hippies and young music lovers in their 20’s and 30’s? Designed to showcase over 100 bands and offer headliners like Elton John, Mumford & Sons, The Black Keys, Sam Smith and even Billy Idol. I expected to like it, but I honestly loved every morsel.

Elton John - Still fabulous
Elton John – Still fabulous

I went to Outside Lands for three reasons:

To Experience:

To gain entry into the world of my twenty-something children and experience their passion for music from the inside. It was so special to see how by teaching and sharing his passion for music, my husband fueled the musical interests of our children. From the time they could talk, Craig would quiz them, share stories and play all kinds of music for them.


Outside Lands
Marcus Mumford on the big screen

To participate on such an intimate level with a younger generation of music fans was such a privilege. For the three day festival, we managed to adjust our schedules to please all involved. One day of concerts for me, three days for them. They could investigate and enjoy the music of their choice and I could listen to many bands I wasn’t familiar with (but still enjoyed) and focus on the spectacular food-lover’s feast. The musical reason for my attendance was Mumford & Sons and they were phenomenal. Fortunately, I have been to hundreds of concerts in my life, but have never had the opportunity to see them. Professional and lively, Mumford & Sons made my long day of walking, overwhelming crowds, sometimes sunny, cold and windy San Francisco, worth every minute.

To Eat and Drink:

Outside Lands
Just a few of the many food stalls.
The food was over-the-top fabulous. Organic, artisanal and sometimes creative junk food, the foodie experience was unlike any concert food I had ever eaten. Since we traveled in a small group, we shared and sampled and photographed each others snacks. There were so many food stands and trucks, it just wasn’t possible for us to try them all, however, we made a substantial effort. Forty-nine Bay Area restaurants, thirteen food trucks and thirty-five wineries were there for the sampling! Here are some of the highlights:
Grilled Cheese and Smokey Tomato Soup @ Outside Lands
Grilled Cheese and Smokey Tomato Soup
Fried Chicken, Mac N Cheese and Waffle @ Outside Lands
“Sweet mother of God” Fried Chicken, Mac N Cheese & Waffle (Photo and quote by Clint)


Tacos from Tacolicious
Two Kinds of Tacos from Tacolicious


Brownie Sundae
Brownie Sundae


Spicy Tater Tots
Spicy Tater Tots
"Best thing you have ever eaten"(Photo and quote by Alexandra)
“Best thing you will ever eat”(Photo and quote by Alexandra) Donut Bacon Cheeseburger
Wine Lands – Besides the typical beer options at the festival, we frequented Wine Lands – A huge burgundy and gold tent housing the different wineries. We tasted some great wine in fun, plastic, refillable glasses. It seemed to sophisticated and adult and with Napa Valley so close by, made complete sense.
Winelands Tent
Wine Lands Tent


For the full list of participants click === Here!

To Observe:


Because of my height challenge (not very tall) and possible Enochlophobia or “crowdphobia”, I spent a great deal of time watching from afar. My daughter and I sat off to the side to watch Robert DeLong (I had never heard of him) and truly fell in love with his performance and his music. What you are able to observe from a distance is the raw excitement of the (mostly) younger generation enthusiastically jumping, dancing and singing to the music. Don’t worry though, I did venture in much closer to see Mumford and Sons. We stood on the side next to a fence and I felt safe and had a great time.
Outside Lands
Robert De Long concert from the sidelines
With over 200,000 attending, at times the smell of weed permeated the air (yes I remember what it smells like, we used to call it Pot) and lots of alcohol was consumed. That being said, I thought the crowds were respectful, fun loving, amiable groups of all ages. We never had one issue or difficulty, except perhaps a bit of anxiety (me) from the massive crowds.
However, I do think I only counted 15 heads of grey hair… it was a decidedly young crowd, but I never felt out of place.

Extra bonus:

Colorful and clever, The Polo Fields of Golden Gate Park were transformed into an adult Disneyland of sorts. It’s kind of Ranger Rick meets Candy Land with a cartoon map and creative marketing. Walk over to Choco Lands for dessert at the Candy Bar Lounge, or go to Cheese Lands next door to Wine Lands and finish with a trip to the Pan Handle Stage or Twin Peaks, there is something to please every taste.

Outside Lands
The Colorful Map of Outside Lands


For other posts about music:

A Spectacular Evening with Elton John in Hawaii

Coachella From an Empty Nester’s Point of View

The Eagles Concert – Hotel California


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13 thoughts on “Two Generations, One Music Festival: Outside Lands”

    • Irene: I wouldn’t have touched the donut burger, that is the beauty of traveling with young people who are willing to eat junk food! I could live vicariously. Elton is amazing and I am lucky the kids were happy with me tagging along. I hope I get invited next year…

  1. I knew you’d love Mumford. I had two other friends posting from the concert over the weekend too! Great times, and you’re right, it’s fun to meet our kids where THEY are. And here’s the mom of a third Alexandra.

  2. I love Mumford & Sons and think Billy Idol would have been interesting. Did he do White Wedding. Actually all of the acts look amazing. I was at a concert last week, and the music was good but the people watching was awesome.

    • Paula- The people watching was fantastic at Outside Lands as well! Yes Billy Idol sang White Wedding – Billy is 59 years old and looks great.

  3. Great article – sure sounds like fun – I have yet to go to a music festival but it is on my bucket list! Cheers to you and your adventures!

    • Sara: You and Mike would like Outside Lands, just go for one day like I did and you will have a great experience. We thought of you in Napa too!


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