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Outside Lands Festival in San Francisco 2021: One of the Most Popular Music Events in SF

Jill on a windy day at the Golden Gate Bridge

by Jill Loeffler  •

Updated: August 2, 2021

The highly anticipated Outside Lands Festival in San Francisco this year will take place in October 29 - 31, 2021 (instead of in August), on the western side of the city in Golden Gate Park.

Headliners for 2021 include The Strokes, Lizzo, and Tame Impala. Other top bands include Tyler, The Creator, Vampire Weekend, and J Balvin. This will fall on Halloween Weekend this year.

A view of Golden Gate Park from an airplaneA view of Golden Gate Park from above - the location of the Outside Lands Festival

Disclaimer: I receive a small commission from some of the links on this page.

2021 Performers

Around 70 bands will perform again this year. Here is a list of some of the top performers for each dayThis list may change including additional performers throughout the Outside Lands Festival in San Francisco 2021.

Friday, October 29, find tickets

  • The Strokes
  • Tyler, the Creator
  • Glass Animals
  • Kaytranada
  • Khruangbin
  • Earthgang
  • Sharon Van Etten
  • Plus 19 others

Saturday, October 30, find tickets

  • Lizzo
  • Vampire Weekend
  • Zhu
  • Young Thug
  • Lord Huron
  • Melanie Martinez
  • Plus 20 others

Sunday, October 31, find tickets

  • Tame Impala
  • J Balvin
  • Rufus du Sol
  • Kahlani
  • Nelly
  • Brittany Howard
  • Burna Boy
  • Plus 17 others

Dates & Times

Friday, October 29:

  • Gates open at 11am
  • Music lasts from 12pm to 10pm


Saturday, October 30:

  • Gates open at 11am
  • Music from 12pm to 10pm

Sunday, October 31:

  • Gates open at 11am
  • Music from 12pm to 9:40pm

Tickets

Click the links below for ticketing information.

Other Festival Details 2021

The 2021 Outside Lands Festival in San Francisco will follow all health guidelines to keep everyone safe. They will release more information a few weeks prior to the event, so they can implement any new guidelines necessary at the time for a safe event. 

In addition to the music, Outside Lands does plan to offer several experiences as it's one of the most talked-about food, wine, and beer festivals in the country.

The information below is from 2019, but will give you an idea on what to expect again in 2021. I'll update this portion of the experience as they release this information closer to the start of the festival.

Food Vendors, Outside Clams, & Cheese Lands

The Outside Lands Festival in San Francisco draws several high-end restaurants and food trucks to the park. You can find everything from classic grilled cheese sandwiches to Malaysian nachos.

This year, there are more than 50 restaurants and 10 food trucks signed up. Each one offers their two to three most popular dishes.

In addition, this year also features areas dedicated to chocolate (Choco Lands) and cheese (Cheese Lands).

Here are just some of the vendors you will find at the Outside Lands Festival.

  • Curry Up Now: Sexy fries and deconstructed samosas
  • Escape from New York Pizza: Pesto, potato, and garlic pizza
  • Freshroll Vietnamese Rolls & Bowls: Vietnamese sandwiches, taro chips
  • Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream: Secret Breakfast ice cream, bourbon coke floats
  • Little Star Pizza: Samplings of some of their top pizzas
  • Lucca Foods: BBQ pulled pork, rice krispy treats
  • Proposition Chicken: Fried chicken sandwiches with spicy slaw
  • Rich Table: Porcini doughnuts with raclette cheese
  • Rosamunde Sausage Grill: Beer sausage, nürnberger bratwurst

Wine Lands

This year's Wine Lands area will include almost 150 wines from more than 20 producers. The list includes tasty wines from producers such as Atlas Wine Co., Martine's Wines, and No Fine Print. Others include Preston Farm & Winery, Dry Creek Vineyard, and Rodney Strong Vineyard. 

Beer Lands

You will also find some of the best craft beers on the west coast. In total, more than a dozen breweries are already signed up to serve their frosty concoctions.

Local breweries such as 21st Amendment Brewery, Anchor Brewing Company, and Magnolia Brewery will have their beers for sale. You can also find others from Lost Coast Brewery, North Coast Brewing, and Fort Point.

Outsider Art

It wouldn't be a true festival in San Francisco without pieces from local artists on display. This year, you can see live painting, three dimensional installations, and visuals from other surprise guests.

Outside Lands Weather

What should you expect from the weather during the Outside Lands Festival in San Francisco? The great thing about our October weather is that it's sunny, yet still cool and pleasant. 

If you plan to stay all day, you will want to wear layers. I recommend long pants with a medium length short or long sleeved shirt. In addition, I would bring a jacket or sweater to throw on over that as it cools down.

>> Find additional tips for preparing for the weather this October in SF

More Tips to Enjoy the Festival

With thousands of people attending, you will want to either grab a hotel near the park or find a good route via public transit. Here are a few details to help you decide.

Hotel Options

There are very few hotel options right next to the park. If you want to stay close by, you will find a few in the Haight Ashbury District or near Ocean Beach.

Your next best option is to stay near the city center, where you can easily catch public transit to the festival. Click the links below to find very centrally located recommendations.

Getting Here

The festival is in three areas of the park: Polo Field, Hellman Hollow, and Lindley Meadow. Here is a map showing its location.

A map showing the location of the Outside Lands Festival in San Francisco

Driving: There is VERY limited parking in the area during this event. If you need to bring a car into the city, I'd find a parking garage in another neighborhood (Union Square or Civic Center) and use public transit to get to the event. This will save you a lot of time and hassle (unless you arrive hours before the gates open or don't mind walking a mile or more to the park).

Public Transit: Your two best public transit options are the N-Judah and the 5-Fulton.

  • N-Judah Light Rail: The N-Judah is the fastest way to get here from Union Square or downtown San Francisco. Take it all the way to the 25th Avenue & Judah stop. If you aren't sure which stop you are at, just get off the train with the rest of the crowd.
  • 5-Fulton: The 5-Fulton will take a little more time, but drops you closer to the gates. Take it all the way to the 30th or 36th Avenue stops. Both stops offer access to the park and are near the gates.
  • Special Trains & Buses: Each year, MUNI also offers express (called "X" or "L") trains and buses. Look for special NX Judah Express or 5L Fulton Limited buses. Both offer fewer stops to get people to and from the festival faster.

More About Golden Gate Park

If you decide you need to take a break from the Outside Lands Festival in San Francisco, you can check out some of the other great attractions and activities in Golden Gate Park. These include everything from the California Academy of Sciences to Ocean Beach. Discover more things to see and do here.

History of Outside Lands Festival in San Francisco

The Outside Lands Festival in San Francisco got its start in the summer of 2008. The name comes from the location of the festival. This area was referred to as the "Outside Lands," in the early 19th Century as the neighborhoods were inaccessible and mostly covered in sand dunes.

In the first year, some of the headliners including internationally recognized bands such as Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Radiohead, Beck, and The Black Keys. Even in its first year, it attracted more than 40,000 to 60,000 attendees each day!

The event has grown in popularity over the years and tickets are almost always sold out!

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