The 10 best things we saw at Outside Lands

  • Scenes from the Outside Lands music festival in San Francisco, Aug. 8-10, 2014. (Photos by Gabe Meline)

The people-watching alone is worth the price of admission at San Francisco's Outside Lands festival in Golden Gate Park, but luckily, there's more on tap at this annual soiree than ubiquitous flower crowns and bombastic hipster getups.

Amid the insufferably huge crowds, loud radio rock and overpriced food, there were plenty of features at this year's Outside Lands that made the experience worthwhile.

Here are 10 of the best from the Aug. 8 to 10 festival:

Outside Lands Music Festival


1. Big Freedia's Booty 'n' Beignets

Outside Lands introduced the GastroMagic stage this year, pairing music and food together in interesting combinations: butchery and breakdancing, skateboarding and Skittles, and chefs reading their own bad reviews on stage.

But by far, the greatest combination came with New Orleans' booty-shaking Queen diva Big Freedia performing and tossing out beignets to the crowd. A nonstop dance party of audience members paraded across the stage amidst constant twerking and hyperactive Bounce music.

At one point, Big Freedia grabbed a powdered sugar shaker from the chefs to shower his own derriere mid-twerk, punctuating the uproarious fun of the wild performance.

2. Tom Petty's Garcia Tribute

Opening with “So You Want to Be a Rock 'n' Roll Star” and breezing through a mix of new material and several hits (“Freefallin',” “Last Dance With Mary Jane”), Tom Petty seemed poised to turn in a trademark festival set.

That all changed when he noted that the date, August 9, was the day that Jerry Garcia died — 19 years ago. Dedicating it to Garcia, he and the Heartbreakers launched into a cover of the Grateful Dead's “Friend of the Devil.” It was a classic Golden Gate Park moment.

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