Best Places to Watch Outside Lands for Free
The Outside Lands festival (Aug.11-13) has gotten increasingly aggressive about expanding the enclosed fence areas and discouraging any lookie-loos from catching bits of the show for free. There are fewer good spots than ever to stand and watch Outside Lands for free in Golden Gate Park. So let’s start with the very best place to avoid this problem and watch Outside Lands’ best acts unobstructed at no charge…
WATCH OUTSIDE LANDS ONLINE FREE
You guys. Outside Lands 2017 is streaming online for free. (The livestream starts at 3:30 p.m. PT each day of Outside Lands, though the livestream lineup has not yet been announced). You can just watch it from home and it’s perfectly legal and free. There is no reason to lurk through the park looking for holes in the security detail because the official Outside Lands livestream offers 2 different channels and live action from all your favorite stages.
I realize this totally obliterates the whole premise of this article. You do not need to sneak in or find a good vantage point in Golden Gate Park because you can watch it at home all weekend with cheap booze and affordable food. But we here at Broke-Ass Stuart have great integrity on providing full and complete listicles, even if it means going to Taco Bell 10 times in a row. In that spirit, here are the best lame, shitty-ass places in Golden Gate Park where you can see or hear one of the stages without paying…
ALONG MARX MEADOW PATH
There is a view provided from a pathside vantage point along Marx Meadow Path. This is the Twin Peaks Stage where Alt-J and Empire of the Sun are playing. The sound quality is impeccable but the view will be marginal. The area has been made smaller in recent years by encroaching gate restrictions, but you can grab this spot if you’re here by Noon or shortly thereafter.
SPRECKELS LAKE / BISON FIELDS
You will only see the top portion of the lighting show on the Lands’ End Stage from here, but the music of Gorillaz, Metallica, and “The Who?” will be flawlessly audible. You can get even more elbow room, losing view of the light show but still hearing the concerts crystal-clear, by relocating to the fully-accessible Chain of Lakes Drive behind this stage.
THE TRAILS BETWEEN MIDDLE DR. WEST and MLK DR.
There are some weird and awesome little trails between Metson Lake and Mallard Lake (or in plain English, between Middle Drive West and Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive) that will place you in the trees seen above. You will be engaged in a cat-and-mouse game with security here if you try to get too close. You can’t see shit but you’ll hear the Twin Peaks Stage with great clarity, Is that worth it? Chase your diminishing (or outstanding!) returns and see what happens.
Know of any more great free Outside Lands viewing spots? Let’s hear ‘em in the comments! But seriously, it makes the most sense to just watch it online.