EDM Rules Outside Lands 2014
Seven years strong, the San Francisco-based festival came and went with undeniable success. Despite thousands of hopeful attendees being scammed with fraudulent tickets — there were a reported 35 arrests associated with the epidemic — the festival went on with contagious feelings of peace and love amidst the fans that were able to get into the venue successfully.
In terms of the atmosphere, the music wasn’t the only thing that pervaded the OSL culture. The festival was riddled with beer and wine gardens, and food stands of all tastes were found everywhere, including an entire section in the woods with seven food stands dedicated to chocolate. There was pizza, soup bowls, empanadas, and sushi burritos, amongst many, many other delicacies. Because of Outside Lands' unique take on festival culture, the crowd consisted of people from all walks of life. Some attendees were young EDM fanatics stopping at the tiny House of Heineken more often than not, while on the other spectrum, some were older, there for Tom Petty and the intrigue of the other amenities the festival brought.
But without sounding biased, EDM ruled the night. Some of the acts that were found amongst the coveted line-up included: Tiesto, Disclosure, Duck Sauce, Chromeo, Flume, Boys Noize, Green Velvet, and Gorgon City.
On Friday, Disclosure and Chromeo headlined the festival, closing down the main stage with The Arctic Monkeys. Chromeo brought together one of the most playful and loving crowds of the entire festival. People boogied and sang along to every one of the Funk Lordz jams. Disclosure was slated after, and played to an even larger crowd. Their rhythm and stage presence was stellar as usual, and their single “Latch” was one of the most recorded moments of the entire day. It was remarkable – the second the brothers played that famous ‘da daduh da,’ hands all over the massive crowd were thrown up, clutching their phones as they sang along. Unfortunately, there were no special guests during their set, something HARD Summer attendees were able to witness when Mary J. Blige came out to sing with the boys the weekend prior in Los Angeles.
Saturday brought Duck Sauce, Boys Noize, and Gorgon City to the festival. All three played at different stages, but were monumental in their own respective corners of the festival. Gorgon City was slated at the House of Heineken and brought to the stage one of the largest crowds it saw all weekend. Because the stage was a tiny dome-shaped room, the experience of being inside was unmatched to any other place in the entire venue. LEDS beamed above and all around the room and the sound system literally vibrated every bone in your body. For Gorgon City’s set, there was a line of hundreds of fans hoping to see the duo play for at least a little bit. Duck Sauce played at Twin Peaks, which was the second to largest stage the festival hosted. The crowd was massive as expected, and everyone danced through the entirety of their set. Some of the favorites the duo played were “Heads Will Roll,” and “Barbara Streisand.” Duh. The duo also threw out hundreds of rubber duck beaks at the beginning of their set, which fans happily wore for the rest of the day. Finally, Boys Noize played a set in the middle of the fairgrounds at one of the smaller stages. That didn’t stop him from bringing a huge crowd though and hyping them straight into the dark with his twilight set.
The final day of the festival was monstrous for EDM, as Flume, Tiesto, and Green Velvet were all on the lineup. The day started with Flume, whom undoubtedly brought together one of the largest crowds of the entire festival – no matter what stage you were at. This was in main part due to Chvrches cancelling their set at the last minute, but no matter why you were there – people were in ecstasy. The up-and-coming DJ played live many favorites from his self-titled album, as well as some What So Not tracks. He ended the set with his remix of Disclosure’s track “You and Me,” and you could tell as you looked around his massive crowd that no one wanted him to stop. Green Velvet played at the House of Heineken. But while his crowd was nowhere near as cramped as Gorgon City’s, the fans dancing around him looked happier and stayed longer. The last set of the night (and weekend) was Tiesto. He played against The Killers main stage set, but was still able to bring together another larger than life crowd. People jumped, held hands, and bonded when they realized the festival was actually over with his final beat. Tiesto waved goodbye and fans began to slowly shuffle away.
As a southern California native, I have only been to the Bay Area once in my life, and never to the beloved Golden Gate Park. But after the wonderful experience of Outside Lands 2014, with the culture and purpose of the people up North, I have fallen in love. Outside Lands is a melting pot of sophistication, and people who truly love and know the music. You will be able to experience bliss from all genres of music, eat amazing food, and drink even better beer and wine, all while still staying true with your EDM roots. Outside Lands was a breath of fresh air, quite literally, and we at elektro look forward to next years visit.