Outside Lands 2018

Festivals

I would have traded seeing “Low Life” performed twice to see even half of GoldLink’s set. And although The Weekend and Future, respectively, were amazing performances, many of us Hip-Hop heads still have a sour taste in our mouth from last year’s Outside Lands when A Tribe Called Quest got cancelled – not just once, but twice in one weekend.

Sure, Berner filled in, but does Burner really compare to GoldLink? I wouldn’t say so. GoldLink’s last album, “At What Cost” contains several of my all-time favorite songs, not to mention the track, “Crew” which was released in 2016 and is still spinning on mainstream radio.  Rolling Stone even called it one of the 40 Best Rap Albums of 2017.

The weather was great. Typical San Francisco weather – warm in the sun, cold in the shade, foggy at times, and cold enough for fur at night. The grounds were well maintained (no porta-potty issues), minimal trash, and very polite volunteers and vendors. I spent most of my time at the Twin Peaks and Lands End stage with a few stops at Panhandle, but each day, I averaged 30,000 steps and 10 miles of walking during festival hours. The new clear bag policy made entry less stressful – I bought a $9 bag off Amazon that broke at the start of day two. Not recommended.

Some of my favorite sets:

N.E.R.D. – they played the track “Lemon” (yes – the one with Riri) like four times back to back. Sounds cheesy, but I was dancing just as hard to the fourth time around as I was the first.

2018 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival - Lands End Stage - Day 1

Odesza – not going to lie, all my friends went to Outside Lands for this set. Well, mid-hype, I ran away from the group to use the restroom, heard this song, stopped, and danced with strangers until I almost broke down and cried.

2018 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival - Lands End Stage - Day 1

Saba – I have seen “West Side Bound 3” live so many times and still, and I get level 100 hype every time I get the chance to see him again. Proof is here.

2018 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival - Panhandle Stage - Day 3

Smokepurpp – the mosh pit went crazy. He performed one of XXXTENTACION’s songs, “Look At Me” as a tribute. Being signed to Travis Scott’s label, Cactus Jack, everyone went wild (including me) when he did, “Fingers Blue”.

2018 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival - Twin Peaks Stage - Day 2

SOBxRBE – this has to be one of the best sets of the weekend. SOB brought out Nef the Pharaoh for “Bling Blaow” and shortly after the festival, their single, “Anti” went certified gold. Since the trio was also featured on the Black Panther Soundtrack, they ended their set with the heavy hitter, “Paramedic”.

2018 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival - Twin Peaks Stage - Day 2

Future – I mean, do I really need to say more?

2018 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival - Twin Peaks Stage - Day 2

Whethan – I saw this guy on accident walking from one stage to another, but he caught my attention when he mixed Childish Gambino’s “This is America” with some EDM. From then on, I’ve been hooked.

2018Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival - Panhandle Stage - Day 2

Caleborate – an intimate, daytime performance was delivered by a long-time featured artist over at KSJS. “Soul” is one of the best tracks to come out of 2017. And I got a chance to thank Caleborate later in the day when we crossed paths in the VIP area. Definitely one of my Top 5 Festival Moments.

2018 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival - Panhandle Stage - Day 1

DJ Snake – real trappy electronic music closed out the weekend. The casual mix of mainstream Hip-Hop with dirty house music was extremely lit. I enjoyed myself. My EDM friends, however, were not impressed.

2018 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival - Twin Peaks Stage - Day 3

Overall, the weekend was more than I think anyone could ask for. I enjoyed yelling out “you heard it first on KSJS” at the top of my lungs for several songs. I met up with all my friends (if you are a seasoned festival goer, you know how difficult this is). I made a bunch of new friends. I stayed out too late, I drank a little too much, but I have some of the best festie memories to date. Until next year Outside Lands. Peace.

All Photography courtesy of Outside Lands by FilmMagic.com

5 Reasons @NNMFestival Tops All Other Nor-Cal Festivals

Festivals

For some people, a festival is just another festival is just another festival. But in anticipation for Northern Nights, many of my close friends boasted about how “Northern Nights is the best festival” and for some, even their “favorite” festival. I was skeptical – I go to a lot of festivals – how could this one be so great?

Well. Okay – now I see…

The Location – there is a weird geographic anomaly about Piercy, CA.  Locals say there are some places where water runs upstream, gravity is “stronger,” and supposedly, a compass will flutter heavily at true North due to an overwhelming magnetic force surrounding this area.  Not sure if any of this is true, but once you arrive at Cook’s Valley Campground at the Mendocino – Humboldt County line, you can certainly feel a sense of belonging. The grounds are beautiful. The trees are so majestic that if you look up at the tallest branches, you can basically travel through time.  The overall sense of welcoming was incandescent.

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Photo by @kristinabaky

The River – the river was probably my favorite aspect of the entire weekend – partly because it was almost 100 degrees and it kept most of us from dying of heat – but also partly because it was a fun-festival-sea-of-floaties. I saw everything from swans, peacocks, and flamingos to donuts and popsicles. As a matter of fact, an entire group of friends each had a single slice of pizza to form one large pepperoni pizza (squad goals AF). Huge unicorn islands dominated the river, while rafts with built-in canopies and coolers floated by too. A river dragon made its way through smaller floats which made way for the gigantic rubber ducky. An incredible sight for sure. The river stage was strategically placed right along the riverbed so you could hear the music while you lay there chillin’… What other festivals even offer that?

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Photo by @kristinabaky

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Photo by @kristinabaky

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Photo by @kristinabaky

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Photo by @kristinabaky

The People – there were soooooo maaaaaaany peopleeeee. Organizers say this was the largest crowd EVER. It was insane the number of festivalers who attended this thing. And to be honest, I recognized a lot of faces (and totems) from previous festivals this summer, but everyone’s squad seemed to be bigger than before – including mine. The whole weekend, everyone I met was so extremely kind. Neighbors peaked into our camp to say “hi” and introduce themselves. People passing by stopped to compliment our setup. Some of my crew came all the way from Tahoe and attracted other Tahomies. Someone let me take over our camp’s aux so while I was blasting Mac Dre, pretty girls stopped to get a little hyphy. Even people working the festival made a lasting impression. From the guy who guided us to our camping spot (and then was so patient and flexible when we asked to move a few spaces over) to the lovely lady who took her smoke break at our camp in the shade after picking up trash all day in the scorching heat.  Yes – the people. You will NOT find these genuine people at any other festival.

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Photo by @kristinabaky

The Vibes – needless to say, with the environment and the people on level 100, the vibes were beyond outstanding. Obviously, the music speaks for itself (no need to include how great it was – you saw the lineup!) There was yoga, a forest full of hammocks (perfect for mid-day naps), a cannabis area, a silent disco, art galleries, and tons of things to spend money on: vendors, plenty of food options, and a general store stocked with everything you forgot. I’m not sure what consumes one’s soul when going to Northern Nights, but even the shyest people seem to have the courage to come up and tell you how beautiful you are.  Sometimes you just need that kind of energy and Northern Nights was just that. The vibes at the Bunker Stage were the strongest. I saw the sun set and rise from various spots at the Bunker. Weird-5am-shenanigans took place there, but during that time in space, it was anything but weird.

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Photo by @kristinabaky

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Photo by @kristinabaky

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Photo by @kristinabaky

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Photo by @kristinabaky

A New Family – so many crews linked up for this. I had my crew (who started festival season off at Serenity Gathering and kept screaming “Serenity Day 91” all weekend), my crew had their LIB and Buku crews, those crews had their friends. My friends ended up knowing their friends. My SnowGlobe squad reassembled… Never in my entire festival-going experience had I ever been in one place with so many loving people. Like it was impossible to get lost when everyone knew where to return you. I went with about 25 friends, I left with about 25 more, and I gained about a million new memories.

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Photo by @kristinabaky

All music aside – now I see why everyone claims this to be the “best” festival ever. And while some of us are still not unpacked, still a little sunburnt, our voices barely returning – we so anxiously await next summer when we return to do it all over again at the 7th Annual Northern Nights Music Festival in 2019. See you all on the river (or at Bunker). Peace out, festie fam.

All photography by Kristina Baky @kristinabaky.