What is Outside Lands?
It is a music festival held once a year at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, CA. It is a 3-day event that started from Friday, August 11 - Sunday, August 13. Each day, it starts from noon until 10ish pm. (No camping. By the way, I barely took pictures and videos. I wanted to conserve my cell phone's battery life. Sorry.)
It reminds me of a mini-Coachella, even though I have not been there just yet. (People I met at OL agreed with me though.) Finally, I have experienced OL.
Last Thursday night, I signed up as a volunteer for OL right before I hit its deadline. (It was last minute.) Before I confirmed the full details as a volunteer, I had to pay a $20 cover, and a security deposit of $355. ($375 total.)
Why become a volunteer? FYI, volunteers keep the park clean. Once festival ends, my security deposit will be returned.
Here goes my OL experience story...
I missed Day 1 on Friday. Why, so? I had work. Then, I picked up my wristband (or ticket) at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in SF. I told the wristband lady, "I can only serve one voluntary shift on Saturday from 4:30-10:30pm." Then, she said, "Yes." (It seemed like she had no idea what I was talking about.)
Day 2 on Saturday: My OL arrival was at 4:30pm. I went to the voluntary area. The leader told me something like, "I missed yesterday's shift. So, you are marked as 'no show.' It is highly unlikely you will get your security deposit of $355 back. I will check on my boss if you can possibly receive a partial amount of your security deposit."
(This is the dumbest mistake I have made in a while. How, so? I read the full details quickly. Why, so? Again, I signed up last minute. As an OL volunteer, you must serve 6-hour shifts on day 1, 2, and 3.)
As I waited for my status, I volunteered cleaning trash for an hour. Finally, the leader reached back to me and said, "I am so sorry. You are not cleared." Then, I told her, "It's fine. It's my fault anyway." (I was given only a free OL water bottle. Then, I wandered off Golden Gate Park at 5:30 pm.)
Obviously, it got to my head and I told myself, "Here I go with me and my dumbest mistake." I did not want to feel like this the whole night. Thus, I told myself, "You are not perfect. It is done. Let it be, and be free."
Anyway, I was looking forward to see heavy metal band, Metallica. (They performed at 7:55pm though. Thus, I had about 2 hours and 25 minutes to spare.) I was holding my pee, since I arrived at OL. Finally, I used a portable restroom over there. (Blame it on the coffee.)
As I wandered off, I ran into this great spot, Beer Lands. (They served beer from about 25 different breweries in Northern California. I love exploring IPA beer from different breweries. Yuh, cheers.) One small beer cup each was about $10-13. I chilled at a standing area, as I drank my beer and people-watched.
After 30 minutes, I moved to a sitting area. Then, I approached and met this couple in their late 40s. I told the man, "You have a nice Metallica shirt. I assume you will be seeing Metallica, then." He laughed at me.
I vented to him and his wife about my dumbest mistake as an OL volunteer. They told me that they have the 3-day wristband as well. They missed Day 1 because they were out of town. (I felt better.) I also told them, "I am going to see Metallica as well. On my way here riding Uber, I met two passengers, and they are looking forward to see Empire of the Sun. I believe they perform at the same time."
The man answered me, "Now these days, it is rare to see Metallica." I told him, "Yuh, you are right." I wanted another round of beer. Thus, I told them, "It was nice meeting you two."
I walked to Beer Lands for a different IPA beer. Then, I met two girls from Los Angeles. (They seemed like they were in their early 20s.) They liked the weather over here than LA. Although, they liked the people in general at their hometown than over here. Also, I vented to them about my dumbest mistake as a OL volunteer.
They were looking forward to see Empire of the Sun over Metallica. (I am assuming the younger crowd went for Empire of the Sun, while the older crowd was for Metallica.)
I told them, "I'll take a picture of you two at the OL windmill sign." They agreed. Then, one of them took a solo picture of myself. (Picture shown above.) Then, we watched Metallica together. After 20 minutes, I told them, "I gotta pee, and have another last round of beer." We parted ways. They wanted to see Empire of the Sun anyway.
Again, I walked to Beer Lands for a different IPA beer. Before I headed to Beer Lands, I unexpectedly ran into my neighbor and his friend. We talked a bit, then I went to get myself beer.
As I picked up my beer, I ran into this attractive lady. (This was my best moment of OL.) She had the cute smile and gorgeous eyes. I told her, "You look very curious." She asked me, "How?" I answered, "You make me want to meet you." Then, we started talking as we drank our beers together. (Yuh, cheers.)
She was alone. Why, so? She lost her friends. Her phone was dying. So, I took her to the phone charging station. I felt their was a connection and vibe between us. I can see the look in her eyes, and her body language. (Yes, we exchanged phone numbers.)
Apparently, I somehow meet women, who live far away from me. She lives in Arizona, and she will be moving to Austin, Texas. After OL, she will be traveling to Bali.
When OL ended, she had to find her friends. She still couldn't find them. So, she requested Uber to pick her up and drop her off at friend's house. I told her, " Let's walk further away from OL, where there will be less foot traffic. That way, it will be a cheaper Uber ride as well." She agreed.
Before Uber driver picked her up, she told me something like, "Thank for you for spending time with me, and staying with me until the end. Let's meet up again tomorrow!" I gave her a hug, and told her, "Yuh, I'll see you tomorrow."
Day 3 on Sunday: No word on attractive woman from last night. I texted her a message. (Still no word.) It goes back with that quote from old MTV show, "Diary," saying, "You think you know...but you have no idea." I thought last night was "magical."
Again, it got to my head. Start of Day 2 was my dumbest mistake as a volunteer. Now, start of Day 3 was no word from woman.
It is very tough to control and calibrate my mind. Yes, I have feelings. (I am better now than before. As I write this blog post now, I have cooled off from thinking about that "magical" moment with woman.)
Throughout Day 3, I began meeting more people. People seemed to connect with me a bit, then they wanted their own space. Possibly, it was the last day of the event. They wanted to spend more time with their friends than a stranger, like myself.
Obviously, I continued on drinking beer at Beer Lands again. I ran into 2 people, and I told them, "Who are you looking forward to see tonight? The Who, or Above and Beyond?" They answered, "The Who! Because they might die soon." (This reminded me of Day 2 between Metallica and Empire of the Sun.) I agreed with them.
Then, I was hungry. So, I aimed for the heart attack meal, "Donut cheeseburger." (2 donuts as hamburger buns.) A few years ago, I ate this at Sonoma County Fairgrounds. (I forgot the taste though. The donut cheeseburger is delicious.)
As I was slowly eating my donut cheeseburger, I enjoyed watching The Who. Day 3 was my solo day. Once The Who finished, I ended my night.
My Outside Lands experience was almost like riding an up and down roller-coaster ride.
Day 2: I started excited as almost a free volunteer to get in park. Then, I did not read their rules carefully. In that case, no full refund of $355. I had to control my mind. (Do not get shut down from my dumbest mistake throughout the night.) I bounced back from meeting an attractive woman to end my night.
Day 3: At first, I was bummed and frustrated. Why, so? No word from woman. Again, I had to control my mind. (Yes, the past is remembered. Live in the moment. The future is in you.) Thus, I met more people, even though they did not want to stay and connect with me longer. Did you keep meeting more people? No, I stopped. I enjoyed my solo adventure, as I relaxed and watched The Who.
What are you trying to say? You can never always get what you want, according to plan. Things happen. You cannot force the issue. Slowly move on, and enjoy life. One day, I will find my "one and only."
(Panoramic picture shown below of Outside Lands views.)
(Video shown below of Metallica performing their great hit song, "Nothing Else Matters."
(Picture shown below of free OL water bottle given to me on Day 2.)
Blogger, College grad, Hiker, & Traveler.