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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Outside Lands Kicks Off In Golden Gate Park

Posted By on Sat, Aug 23, 2008 at 9:00 AM

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60,000 fans. 65 bands. 6 stages. 600 porta potties. One seriously crowded park.

By Tyler Callister

The sound of Radiohead's "Everything In Its Right Place" rumbled across the Sunset District last night as the first day of the inaugural Outside Lands Festival came to a close. Throngs of people had sardined into Golden Gate Park for headliners Radiohead and Beck, along with notable acts like Lyrics Born, The Black Keys, and Manu Chao. Despite the sometimes overwhelming amount of people and some complaints that it could have been better organized, the event was marked by great performances and positive vibes.

The Outside Lands Festival, conceived by Greg Perloff and Another Planet Entertainment, is projected to raise over $500,000 for the local park service.

As with all inaugural events, Outside Lands will teach us lessons to take into next year's event. Here's what we learned on Day 1:

1. The world is definitely, definitely overpopulated.

2. Cool, foggy festivals in San Francisco kick the shit out of blazing hot festivals that charge you six dollars for a test tube of water in the middle of the desert (ehem, Coachella...).

3. Having the two final acts play on separate stages is a bit awkward. The befuddled audience had to scramble to one side of the festival to watch Beck, then scramble to other side to watch Radiohead immediately after.

4. Regular chain link fences can't hold back tens of thousands of people from going wherever the hell they want to.

5. Unless you know someone who lives in the Sunset who's garage you can park in, for the love of god, just take public transit.

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Other random details:

- Lots people stood on the perimeter of the park drinking before the show.

- I watched one girl dash off into the trees then reemerge several minutes later announcing, "I peed and smoked weed!"

- As we tore through the underbrush in pursuit of Radiohead, I noticed several other people letting nature flow into the trees. So much for 600 porta potties!

- The fog occasionally floated across the stage lights and jumbo screen. That added a nice San Francisco romance.

The historic event will go on through the weekend, and for those of you planning to be there today, here are some lesser-known gems to check out:

- Dredg, 2:15 at the Twin Peaks Stage

- Two Gallants, 6:05 at the Presidio Stage

- Rupa and the April Fishes, 1:40 at the Panhandle Stage

As for you poor saps who chose to spend your 85 bucks on something silly like food instead of on a day's ticket to Outside Lands, stay tuned to All Shook Down this weekend for more vicarious living.

Oh, and by the way, Radiohead was amazing. Everything was indeed in its right place.

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Ty Callister

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