The 2012 Outside Lands Survival Guide :
Step 1: Download the App
There you can find a map of the venue, menus for the foodstands, and of course, the lineup. You can customize your own lineup, and set alerts for when your favorite acts are coming up. Though given the lack of cell service you shouldn’t rely on push notifications.
Step 2: Be an Early Bird
Try to hop on the 5 in the afternoon, and you’re better off walking to Golden Gate Park. Acts don’t start until 1:00 p.m., but there’s still plenty to do in the meantime. Winelands opens at a cool 12 o’clock, so you can spend time tasting before the crowds come.
Step 3: Check out Beer Lands
Last year, the festival added Winelands and it was a rousing success. This year, they’ve has Magnolia Brewery’s Dave McLean create a curated lineup of some of Northern California’s best brews from Lost Coast, Mad River, Pacific Brewing Laboratory, and Linden Street. Also, Sierra Nevada created a brew just for the festival: Outside Lands Saison (We’re not joking).
Step 4: Pace Yourself (Not Just with the Beer)
Nothing is worse than having too ambitious schedule and being disappointed by not seeing your favorite act up close and personal. It’s impossible to get from the front of Sutro to the front of Panhandle stage in under twenty minutes, and if you want to get close to any act on the main stage, Twin Peaks, you’re going to have to stake your claim for a couple of hours prior. Choose your bands wisely, and enjoy them for all they’re worth.
Step 5: Have an Exit Strategy
If you thought getting in was hard, getting out is even harder. Everyone rushes to the N Judah, traffic is always a mess and it will be freezing. Map out your escape route before the end of the night so that you don’t wander about the park aimlessly until some friend with a car take pity on you and comes to pick you up two hours after the final set.
Let’s face it: With 65,000 other music-crazed fans per day, seventy-two bands— not to mention the comedians and DJs—and forty-four food vendors, Outside Lands can be a bit intimidating if you don’t know what you’re doing. Here are five easy steps to help you get the most out of your weekend.