The Blog

grow’s insider take on outside lands 2016

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Outside Lands may have ended on Sunday, but we’re still reliving all the awesome fun of this year’s festival. We could spend all day rehashing the excitement, but if we had to pick only a few highlights…

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Photos via Instagram

It was authentically SF.
From stilt-walking artists to psychedelic interactive art displays, San Francisco’s creative (and wacky) spirit was out in full force during the festival. The food options were a cross-section of Bay Area favorites, from Azalina’s curry chicken nachos to Rich Table’s porcini doughnuts with raclette cheese to vegan ramen from Itani Ramen.

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Left: Interactive art display by TooFar Media; top right: Tito’s camper lounge; bottom right: Steamer Trunk Bar presented by Hendrick’s

Buzzworthy libations were flowing.
Outside Lands was blessedly free of watered-down beer or sketchy margaritas—instead, guests visited a full-scale beer garden with craft brews from all over California, not to mention Wine Lands, with pours from over 40 local wineries, including Claypool Cellars (yep, that’s Les Claypool’s label). Those looking for something higher-proof sought out Cocktail Magic, tucked away into the forest and offering options both shaken and stirred.

And as if that wasn’t enough of a variety, several brands elevated the experience for festival-goers with themed spaces, such as Hendrick’s classic steampunk-inspired gin joint and Tito’s laidback camper lounge.

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Top left: Castland by Google Chromecast; top right: YouTube Creator, Arden Rose, receiving face jewels at The Get Cast-Ready Station; bottom left: guests inside the Castland experience; bottom right: GIFs Cast to the stage screens

Brands brought their A-game.
Castland by Google Chromecast drew crowds with hands-on demos with Chromecast and Chromecast Audio, a sensory-packed GIF experience with some guest GIFs Cast directly to the big stage screens for their moment of fame, a face jewel and temporary tattoo bar and special appearances by Outside Lands favorites, The Knocks and Major Lazer, in addition to YouTube Creators, Jenn Im and Arden Rose.

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Top left: Stubhub Sound Stage; top right: The House by Heineken; bottom left and right: The Arcade by PayPal

Along with offering hair chalking and flower crowns, the Stubhub Sound Stage was a “festival within a festival,” hosting surprise mini sets by bands like Haelos, Rogue Wave and Fantastic Negrito. Another favorite was The House by Heineken, which kept us on our toes with pop-up shows, namely the Bay Area’s very own E40. The Arcade by PayPal provided guests with the opportunity to play old school arcade games for prizes, bringing them back to their childhoods, while their heated patio was a perfect way to escape the cold and still enjoy the music.

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Photos via Instagram

The beat goes on.
Although the food and drink is always a draw, the music was truly the hero of the weekend. Major Lazer killed it with an experiential performance, while LCD Soundsystem was an enormous dance party. Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem delighted the millennial crowd with a slightly raunchy, grown-up version of Sesame Street, featuring a motley crew of puppets jamming out covers of songs by the Beatles, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, The Band and The Mowgli’s.

Peaches got up close and personal with her fans in a spontaneous crowd-surfing moment, while Zedd and Radiohead infused dynamic light shows into their sets, illuminating the park and enhancing the overall festival experience. Lettuce had the most talented drummer we saw all weekend, and wowed the crowd with a few awesome solos. Whatever you jam out to, you could find it at Outside Lands.

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Posing with Diplo during Major Lazer’s special appearance at Castland

Here’s to another outstanding year of our favorite festival––we’re already counting down the days until next year!