Five things GreenState is excited for at Outside Lands

outside lands entrance

The biggest party of the year is returning to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. Preparations for the long-running music festival Outside Lands are underway, and people are carefully planning their itineraries. 

Iconic performances from headliners like Kendrick Lamar, mouthwatering local fare, and West Coast libations are just a few of the highlights of the three-day soiree. But the Grass Lands area, a cannabis-friendly section with on-site product sales thanks to Embarc, will certainly be the highlight for fans of the plant (make sure to catch GreenState live on stage!).

What are some of the things our team is looking forward to most? Here’s what’s on our must-do list.

RELATED: New York opens the door for on-site cannabis sales at events

Mainstage music 

Outside Lands is all about the tunes, first and foremost. There are dozens of acts on the Outside Lands agenda, satisfying every musical taste. While this year’s bill is a bit techno-heavy, performances from rock legends Foo Fighters and neo-country icon Father John Misty help balance out the vibes.

In addition to Foo Fighters, we’re looking forward to the legendary Kendrick Lamar, genre-bending Janelle Monae, rap queen Megan Thee Stallion, and the brooding stylings of Lana Del Rey—to name a few. Seeing Shaq’s hip-hop persona Diesel should also be a treat for the Millennial-plus crowd.

Weed smorgasboard

When not bouncing between the eight music stages, Grasslands will be home base for the GreenState media team. With two dozen cannabis brands and ancillary companies activating, there should be plenty of fresh green on display.

We’re planning to scope out every company at Grasslands, but are particularly excited to sesh with futuristic hookah brand OOKA, scope out the latest fashions from Sundae School, and taste a bit of Thailand with our friends at Dee Thai.

Lauren Carpenter, co-founder of Embarc Events, has worked on the cannabis sales portion of Outside Lands since they began in 2018. She’s looking forward to increasing awareness of Bay Area social equity brands at this year’s event.

“We really try to create an experience that feels unlike any other,” Carpenter told GreenState. “But this year, we’ve worked in close partnership with the equity trade network, and Martin Olive at The Vapor Room to really bolster the local and socially equitable components of the festival.”

Carpenter adds that the dynamic programming on the Grass Lands stage will also be a highlight of the weekend.

grass lands area at outside lands
Grass Lands has set the bar for integrating cannabis into mainstream festivals. Photo: FilmMagic / Getty

Ice cream and other delights

A San Francisco-based friend of GreenState forwarded an article last week outlining some can’t miss foods at Outside Lands and our mouths are already watering. 

One dish that’s for sure on the list to try is Dungeness crab garlic noodles by iconic Bay Area soul food chef Edward Wooley (aka Chef Smelly). The chicken tikka masala burritos from Curry Up Now also look promising while a return to the Humphry Slocombe ice cream truck is also in order—the frozen delight was well worth the wait at BottleRock Napa.

A sip of Napa

Speaking of wine country, Outside Lands will have plenty of grape goodness flowing throughout the weekend. While this reporter tends to lean heavily on Oregon pinots, a little California vino is definitely in order.

In addition to a number of notable Napa wineries, there will be a bevy of intriguing bevs being poured. The Foo Fighters sake collab with Tatenokawa is definitely getting a taste, hopefully refreshing many during the band’s headline set Saturday night. A collection of non-alcohol wines will also be available thanks to The Zero Proof, a perfect option for all the Cali sober folks in the crowd.

Parties, parties, parties

Outside Lands may end around 10 p.m. every night, but folks who want to keep the high vibes going will have plenty of chances. A number of after-hours shows are on the docket at venues across the Bay, featuring acts you can’t see at the main event like indie favorites Interpol.

There are a dizzying number of unofficial after parties, from all night raves to stand-up sets. Check out Eventbrite if you don’t have a local to get you in.

Outside Lands is a San Francisco institution, bringing a world of sound to the City by the Bay for well over a decade. The festival has set the standard for the integration of weed in the mainstream music scene and as more states come online, Outside Lands is the model to replicate.

“It’s showing people that come from all over the state and across the country in the world, that cannabis sales can be responsibly and legally integrated into events in a way that really enhances the experience, both for festival attendees who are interested in purchasing and consuming cannabis, but also for those who are simply curious because it gives them direct access to the farmers and the creators of these brands,” Carpenter said.

rachelle gordon

Rachelle Gordon is a cannabis journalist, Emerald Cup judge, Budist critic, and editor of She began her weed writing journey in 2015 and has been featured in High Times, CannabisNow, Beard Bros, MG, Skunk, and many others. Rachelle currently splits her time between Minneapolis and Oakland; her favorite cannabis cultivars include Silver Haze and Tangie. Follow Rachelle on Instagram @rachellethewriter