2016 Neighbor’s Guide to the 9th annual Outside Lands Music Festival, August 5-7

Elton John performs at Outside Lands 2015. Photo by FilmMagic

Elton John performs at Outside Lands 2015. Photo by FilmMagic

This Friday through Sunday is the ninth annual Outside Lands Music Festival in Golden Gate Park, when nearly 100,000 concertgoers visit the park every day to see an eclectic lineup of rock, country, electronic and hip hop artists.

This year’s headliners include Radiohead, Lionel Richie, Big Grams, Duran Duran, LCD Soundsystem, Ryan Adams, and Lana del Rey, plus several dozen more artists performing on four stages in the Golden Gate Park venues. All three days of the festival are sold out. View the lineup by day or view the daily schedule.

There is also an Outside Lands mobile app for iPhone and Android.

If you live near the park and will be welcoming people to the neighborhood each day, here are some tips to help you negotiate the crowds and traffic – and give the best advice to the thousands of concertgoers that will be visiting the festival every day this weekend.


The festival runs for three days, beginning Friday, August 5 through Sunday, August 7. Venues in Golden Gate Park include the Polo Fields (main stage), Hellman Hollow, Marx Meadow and Lindley Meadow. On all three days, gates open at 11am, music begins at 12noon, and music ends at 10pm (9:40pm on Sunday). The festival is officially sold out for all three days.
Download the festival map (17MB)

The festival box office will be located in Marx Meadow, off of JFK Drive in between 25th and 30th Avenue. The box office is open Wednesday and Thursday (12pm-8pm), and on festival days from 9am-9pm.

Entrances into the festival are located at 30th Avenue and Fulton on the north side of the park, and near 36th Avenue and Lincoln Way on the south side of the park.

If you’re entering the Park from the north (Richmond District), enter at 25th Avenue and Fulton Street and walk along the pedestrian path to enter at the Main Entrance. You can also enter at 36th Avenue and Fulton Street and walk up John F. Kennedy Drive towards Lindley Meadow. The Main Entrance will be on your right.

If you’re entering the Park from the south (Sunset District), enter at 25th Avenue and Lincoln Avenue. Turn left, then bear right onto Middle Drive to access the South Gate Venue Entrance.

This year, the wristbands are back which once registered/activated, cannot be removed from the concertgoer’s wrist. And this year you can go cashless – the wristband can also be used as a digital wallet for attendees to make purchases at the festival via “Bison Bucks” ($1 USD = 1 Bison Buck). All unspent credit is refunded back to the concertgoer after the event (less a $5.00 refund processing fee). But note that all food, beer and merchandise stands will still accept regular credit card and cash payments too.

2016 Outside Lands Festival map (click to enlarge)

2016 Outside Lands Festival map (click to enlarge)


Didn’t snag tickets or just want to listen in while you do your weekend chores? Tune in to a stream of the festival beginning at 4pm on Friday, August 5th. “The stream will offer high-quality views of over 35 live performances throughout the weekend including sets from J. Cole, Grimes, Duran Duran and many more to be announced – along with unique behind-the- scenes experiences.” Catch the stream here


During the festival, the venues and roads around them are closed to the general public and all car traffic due to cyclone fencing which has already started going up. If you want to get through or around the park this weekend, plan on using Park Presidio / 19th Avenue, Stanyan, or the Great Highway (and don’t expect it to be quick).

Here’s a map of the entrances to the park that will be closed to car traffic during the festival:

Several areas of the park will be closed prior to the start of the festival and afterwards for festival setup / teardown:

Polo Field Complex: Monday 7/25 12:01am – Friday 8/12 11:59pm
Middle Drive Between MLK to Polo Field to Overlook: Monday 7/25 12:01am – Friday 8/12 11:59pm
McLaren Path: Tuesday 7/26 12:01am – Wednesday 8/10 11:59pm
Hellman Hollow: Saturday 7/30 7pm – Wednesday 8/10 11:59pm
Lindley Meadow: Sunday 7/31 12:01am – Tuesday 8/9 11:59pm
Little Speedway Meadow: Sunday 7/31 12:01am – Thursday 8/11 11:59pm
Marx Meadow: Sunday 7/31 12:01am – Monday 8/8 11:59pm

Photo by Misha Vladimirskiy

The Polo Fields in 2015. Photo by Misha Vladimirskiy


There is no official car parking for the Outside Lands Festival, so expect parking to be really tight in the Richmond District this weekend. Concertgoers will also be arriving by festival shuttle, by foot, MUNI, taxi, or bike. The festival offers free valet bike parking beginning at 10am every day.

Schools in the neighborhood also open up their lots and raise money by charging for parking. Below is the list of school lots that should be open; except where noted, this information is from previous years so fees and hours may vary once you’re at the lot:

1) Argonne Elementary – 680 18th Avenue @ Cabrillo Street
Hours: Friday – 11am-11pm, Saturday & Sunday 10am-11pm
$40 per car (credit cards accepted) [CONFIRMED FOR 2016]

2) Lafayette Elementary – 4545 Anza Street @ 36th Avenue
Hours: Friday thru Sunday, 10am-11pm
$40 per car [CONFIRMED FOR 2016]

3) Washington High School- Enter on 30th Ave between Geary & Anza
Hours: Friday through Sunday, 11am–10:30pm
$30 per car

4) Jefferson Elementary – 1725 Irving Street @ 19th Avenue (SUNSET DISTRICT)
Hours: Friday & Saturday – 10am-10:30pm, Sunday 10am-10:15pm
$30 per car

5) Lawton School – enter on 30th Avenue between Lawton & Kirkham (SUNSET DISTRICT)
Hours: Friday through Sunday – 10am-11pm
$40 per car. Credit cards or paypal accepted. [CONFIRMED FOR 2016]

Looks like classic "SF Summer" weather during the festival

Looks like classic “SF Summer” weather during the festival


The festival has set up a community hotline again this year to take calls from neighbors – “to respond to any issues that may affect you during the festival”. The number is (415) 965-8001. It is open from 10am until 11pm Friday through Sunday.

In addition to hotline staff, the city will add 2 dedicated tow trucks and 1 Parking Control Officer on each side of Golden Gate Park to quickly respond to any blocked driveways or any other parking issues related to the Festival. You can also call SFMTA Parking Enforcement directly at 415-553-1237 or 415-553-1200 if you need to have a car towed.

Have a rocking weekend, Richmond District!

Sarah B.

Photo by Misha Vladimirskiy

Photo by Misha Vladimirskiy


  1. Who was the genius that timed the Fulton St. construction to work its way to the festival area this week?

  2. Ah, nostalgia. I kinda pine for the days when the Outside Lands haters would jump on here whenever this guide was posted and demand it be canceled or moved. Seems like most folks have learned to grudgingly accept it, at least for the weekend. Enjoy your weekend, folks.

  3. @JER That is the whole reason I have checked this three times. Those were some of the most entertaining comments…

  4. Now we just have the yearly trolls who try and bait as many people as they can into starting arguments.

  5. My gripe in prior years is that street closures were not listed nor marked until I ran into them. Nice that they are posted them this time. Still ran into one barrier

  6. My gripe in prior years is that street closures were not listed nor marked until I ran into them. Nice that they are posted them this time. Still ran into two though, where closure was not marked until you went several hundred feet and then had to turn around and go back.

  7. It is NOT the concert itself that upsets people. Most would be fine with the three days, plus a few days of park closure on either side. But the amount of time that that Another Planet is allowed to monopolize a huge section of our public park is out of control. That is what needs to be changed. Every year, they add a few more days, and it is unacceptable. A concert/festival is fine, but impacting the surrounding area and the users of a PUBLIC park for over three weeks is not. Nor is their lack of attention to clean-up after the event. That’s what people “gripe” about, and it is 100% legitimate.

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