Outside Lands: Music and more

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Aidin Vaziri | Radiohead drummer Philip Selway wandered through the dense crowd gathered on Golden Gate Park’s Polo Field at the Outside Lands festival on Saturday, Aug. 6, inconspicuous to all, including the local radio station intern waving a giant banner just a few feet away from his face that read, “I’m here for Radiohead!”

It’s hard to think of any other concert setting where a member of the headlining act would go completely unrecognized by thousands of people implicitly there to see him.

But as it marks its ninth year, the focus at Outside Lands — which was scheduled to wrap up Sunday, Aug. 7, with headline sets by Lionel Richie and Lana Del Rey — continues to drift away from the music and more toward the wide scope of the overall concept.

Tickets for the three-day festival sold out in 45 minutes, long before the lineup was even announced, putting it in the same league as mega fests Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo and the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival.
Beyond the hundreds of music acts on offer, there were comedy performances, art exhibits and a selection of food and drink that could rival any gastronomically focused event in the country.

And then there was the weather.

“We have the distinction of being the only festival that takes place in the winter,” said Sherry Wasserman, president of Another Planet Entertainment, surveying the grounds earlier in the day.

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