Outside Lands returns to Golden Gate Park with new health measures in place

The Outside Lands, an annual music festival launched in 2008, was last held in August 2019 in Golden Gate Park. The three-day outdoor event returns this weekend after a COVID-related hiatus. (Photo courtesy Josh Withers/Outside Lands)

San Francisco’s Outside Lands is making its comeback starting on Friday after organizers last year canceled the star-studded annual music festival due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The three-day festival, happening in Golden Gate Park, is set to include artists like Lizzo, Vampire Weekend, the Strokes, J Balvin, Nelly, Kehlani and many more.

Event goers will be required to either show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or proof of a negative COVID-19 test result, conducted within 72 hours of the event.

For entrance into the SOMA Tent, where some performances will be held, only fully vaccinated individuals will be allowed in and masks will be required, according to event organizers.

On Thursday, San Francisco officials said the city has been working closely with event organizers to ensure event goers stay safe and COVID-free, as the event is happening the weekend of Halloween and several other large events will be taking place.

“San Francisco’s hard work, sacrifice and commitment to keeping each other healthy and safe is paying off. This weekend kids can go trick-or-treating, families can celebrate loved ones who have passed and concert goers can enjoy one of the premier music festivals in the world — all in person,” San Francisco Department of Emergency Management executive director Mary Ellen Carroll said in a statement. “Let’s keep our momentum going by making smart decisions and taking the necessary precautions to ensure we all remain healthy and safe.”

“The health and safety of our community is our highest priority. As we mark the beginning of the holiday season and return to many social activities and gatherings, it is paramount that we take measures to avoid a new wave of COVID-19 cases this winter,” San Francisco Department of Public Health Deputy Director of Health Dr. Naveena Bobba said.

City officials are reminding those attending Outside Lands or celebrating Halloween to continue practicing social distancing and wear masks when indoors or when outside and social distancing isn’t possible. Also, trick-or-treaters are encouraged to carry hand sanitizer, as well as flashlights or glowsticks so they can be seen by drivers.

According to Outside Lands organizers, Halloween costumes are encouraged at the festival but toy weapons of any kind and first responder costumes, such as firefighters, medical staff and law enforcement, are banned. Also, organizers ask that people who wear a costume respect other cultures, adding “no headdresses permitted.”

More information about the festival, tickets and the full lineup can be found at sfoutsidelands.com. Outside Lands attendees can also sign up for safety alerts from SFDEM by texting OUTSIDELANDS to 888-777.

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