When Drunk Teenagers Took Over Outside Lands 2017

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Outside Lands was 1 week ago. I usually like to write my festival coverage on the Monday following the event. However, this festival took a long time to recover from. With 50,000+ in attendance each day, it felt like everybody from the Bay Area was there. I saw your mom, she was drunk, I haven’t seen her since BottleRock. Saw your dad, he’s doing well, even your last festival girlfriend was present. It was great seeing them, but nothing prepared me for the number of High School students in attendance on Friday.

I was in line for the festival early and was amazed how drunk the High Schoolers were before the festival had even started. Perhaps they drank at home or maybe they purchased beer, mushrooms, molly, nugs, prerolls or edibles from one of the many unofficial vendors lined up at the gate. Not everybody was buying the variety of vendor goods. While in line to enter I heard one girl say to her friend, “I can’t wait to get inside, I’m going to make a guy buy me shots.”

“I can’t wait to get inside, I’m going to make a guy buy me shots.” – high school girl at outside lands 2017

Friday’s energy was established by the teenagers. The vibe was overly sexual and extremely ratchet. It was almost like 10,000 young females just discovered boys. The possibility of staying classy was out the window when I witnessed a girl squat and pee in a crowd of people watching Little Dragon at the main stage. I literally couldn’t decide whether to be impressed or disgusted.

The vibe was weird, I felt like I was witnessing summer reunions as well as summer flings. All the High School drama I haven’t seen in years was on full display for everybody to see. It felt like a bunch of kids playing games with each other’s hearts. A girl ran across the festival grounds to hug a guy from her school and screamed, “OMG, I haven’t seen you in 4 weeks!”

When I entered the gate on Friday I literally heard a guy say, “That’s what I love about these high school girls, man…” If you don’t know this quote, I’m not wrecking the punch line for you. Do yourself a favor and watch Dazed and Confused. Later I think I saw that same guy peeing on the back of a porta potty … he got so close. Perhaps he’s taking notes from a 17-year-old student on summer break?

The difference between all age festivals and venues is that all the minors have black x’s on their hands at venues. A luxury not given to festival attendees. A bunch of black X’s would help me know which direction the teen migration was going and I could walk the other way.

In addition to under age drinkers, I also saw 3 dudes jump the barrier fence and race down the center of the festival grounds. A few seconds later 6 overweight security officers pushed through the crowd, I heard them shouting, “move, move, get out the way.” Of the 3 runners, only 1 got caught, he still had a smile on his face. My friend told me, it’s just a game, he’ll try again from a different spot. It reminded me of the statement about running away from bears. I don’t need to run faster than a bear, I just need to run faster than my friend.

I was having a good time, however, in order to handle the chaos I had witnessed, I needed a drink. Beer at Outside Lands is $14 per plastic cup. I opted to drink some Tequila my friend snuck in between her boobs and the Whiskey my friend hid next to his balls. If it was going to be amateur hour at Outside Lands I was going to fully partake.

Once I got over the shock of a sold out festival being filled with High School students I was able to appreciate the immense amount of production that went into setting up Outside Lands 2017. Almost all of Golden Gate Park was transformed to accommodate the 50,000+ fans in attendance. I was impressed with how efficient the paths were to all 5 stages, but I felt like a tourist due to my need for an official festival map.

This years lineup was great, I heard music from Metallica, The Who, Gorillaz, Lorde, Alt-J, Cage The Elephant, Fleet Foxes, Rebelution, Young The Giant, Little Dragon, Thundercat, Warpaint, Real Estate, Rac, K.flay, Sofi Tukker, Foxygen, How To Dress Well, and Joseph.

After 3 days at Outside Lands + DJing 2 after parties at Neck of The Woods, I was exhausted. I went back to my room at Music City Hotel and slept for a week. I only just left my room in order to write this blog post.

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Stefan Aronsen

Stefan Aronsen

I am the co-founder of Balanced Breakfast, a meetup for music industry professionals. No, I do not sing or play any instruments ... but I have tried! My passion for music began at 7 when my parents bought me a drum set. I was BAD at drums. So I moved on, joined the school band, and played clarinet. I was BAD at the clarinet. Trying and failing at instruments continued through elementary school and into college. It turns out that while I could recognize good music; I lacked the skill to make it.

Now I'm broke, beautiful, and writing about music for Stuart...