Outside Lands 2021 Made Fans Leave Their Hearts in San Francisco



Halloween weekend brought an exciting return of San Francisco’s annual Outside Lands festival. Started in 2008, this year was the festival’s 13th time running. Along with headliners such as Tame Impala, The Strokes, and Vampire Weekend, the event also highlighted Bay Area restaurants and artists. Held in downtown San Francisco, the festival was sold out and completely packed all three days. Many fans were there for their first Outside Lands experience, along with some who have been attending since the beginning. Overall, it was a great return to “normal” after COVID affected the music festival scene. Keep reading to see our favorite sets of the festival:

Day One

The Hu

Number one Mongolian rock act The Hu definitely lived up to their name. Their blend of modern rock with traditional Mongolian instrumentals and throat singing was an innovative combination that had the crowd excited and intrigued. They played tracks off of their debut album such as “Wolf Totem” And “Yuve Yuve Yu”. If you weren’t a fan going into the set, you were almost definitely a fan leaving.

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Atlanta native rap duo EARTHGANG took to two different stages on day one. Their first act was on the Gastromagic stage, which combined music, comedy, and food. After stealing the crowd’s heart with kale salad, they left to get ready for their nighttime performance. They later performed their songs on a larger stage to a much larger crowd. Playing hits such as “Sacrifices” and “This Side”, they opened up pits in the crowd and made sure everyone was dancing along as they had a great time on the stage.

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Glass Animals

As the sunset, English alternative band Glass Animals took to the main stage. With their signature neon aesthetics and high energy, you wouldn’t know this is a festival set instead of their own show. They played their new song “I Don’t Wanna Talk (I Just Wanna Dance)” as well as fan favorites such as (the now Billboard Top 10 Hit) “Heat Waves” and sophomore album classic “Youth”. Many fans had been waiting there all day to get a good view of their performance, and it was impossible to be disappointed after their high-energy set.

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Tyler, the Creator 

Arguably the most highly anticipated act of Friday was Tyler, the Creator. As the San Francisco fog rolled in, his infectious energy was a bright light through the gray. His late-night set was a massive achievement, and spoke to his insane growth in popularity over the past decade — the Tyler of Odd Future is gone, and the thrilling persona of Tyler Baudelaire is here to stay. Playing songs such as “See You Again” and plenty of new songs off of his album CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST, Tyler had the crowd hanging off of his every word. His set design was exquisite as well; from a firework finale to a literal boat on the stage, his set might have been the most exciting of the festival.


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The Strokes

New York’s finest The Strokes were one of the premier headliners of the festival and drew out a massive crowd. The green of Golden Gate Park was practically gone from how many people squeezed in to get a look. The band definitely did not disappoint, although they did push the limits of San Francisco’s sound limit. They closed out the night with hits such as “Last Nite” and “Someday” ringing throughout the foggy park.

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Day Two

Melanie Martinez

Early in the day, Melanie Martinez obliterated the main stage donning her iconic bubblegum aesthetic and intricate set design. She said she was going to throw it back to 2014 and played beloved tracks such as “Soap” and “Dollhouse”, which the crowd made sure to loudly sing along to. Her performance was amazing and definitely felt like its own little show.

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Although he was a last-minute addition to the lineup due to the departure of Young Thug, Aminé put on an amazing performance. He talked about not knowing that he was playing the festival the morning of, and said how great it was to be able to see the crowd. Fans singing “Caroline” along with the rapper could be heard from across the park, which was certainly not a bad thing.

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Vampire Weekend

A highly anticipated day two act was indie-alt band Vampire Weekend in their only set of 2021. Their light indie vibes and impressive guitar riffs captivated the large crowd that waited to see them. Playing songs such as “This life” and “Oxford Comma”, they pleased both new and old fans.

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Day Three

Sofi Tukker

After the sun set on day three, duo Sofi Tukker took the Sutro stage and brought out a huge crowd.  They shared how it was their one of their first shows back since COVID and how happy they were to finally see their fans together again. Playing the appropriately titled song “Best Friend”, they said that everyone in the crowd was their new best friend.

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Tame Impala

Closing out the festival was Tame Impala or, as they were known for the spooky Halloween night, the Wiggles. Not only did they nail the Halloween costumes, they also played a phenomenal show. With hits such as “The Less I Know the Better” and “Let it Happen”, their psychedelic rock was a perfect way to close out the festival.

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