Outside Lands fest about more than music
Sunday, August 14, 2011
The Outside Lands festival has acts like the Grammy-winning Arcade Fire and Muse as headliners, but co-promoter Rick Farman is just as excited about another attraction at the three-day event — its culinary delights.
“People (are) talking about what they’re going to eat and going to drink ... almost as much as what they’re going to see or hear music-wise,” he said about the event, which started Friday and wraps up Sunday.
Outside Lands, now in its fifth year, this year features acts including Erykah Badu, John Fogerty, the Arctic Monkeys and dozens more. Since its inception, the festival has played up its San Francisco food-and-wine connections. Its “Taste of the Bay” lineup includes numerous local eateries, and it also has a separate wine component.
“It was very much a part of the original plan of the event, to really incorporate some specific aspects of the Bay area culture into the event, and food and wine were two of those top things that we focused on right off the bat,” said Farman, whose Superfly Presents is one of the two promoters of Outside Lands.
“But that said, it certainly has grown each year, and this year, sort of the vision that we had first set out for the festival has really culminated.”
Many music festivals incorporate art, food and other elements to enhance the event. Superfly Presents also puts on the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, Tenn., which also has film, comedy and other attractions.
Farman said Outside Lands was inspired by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, which incorporates that city’s famous food fare into the festival.
“We really looked to that in some ways as a mode — how could we create an event that expressed the culture of the Bay area? So I think it is something certainly festivals in general can offer music fans other than something beyond (the) music experience,” he said.