Outsidelands 2021: What Music Festivals Are Like During COVID

WOW, what an interesting new normal we live in today, COVID has changed the way we think and experience. How much has this affected outdoor festivals? The reality is, it was business as usual in San Francisco’s iconic Outsidelands Music Festival. It’s been a minute since I’ve been to a populated event like music festivals, so I was excited and anxious to attend again!

When you enter the grounds they do check for vaccination. However, as the weekend went on, the “strict” requirement became a little more lax as the crowds increased. Within the festival, it felt like Outsidelands pre-covid times. Crowds of people laughing, hanging out with friends. A sense of normalcy for many of us.

If I’m being honest, I was still hyper sensitive to proximity next to crowds so I kept my distance and wore a mask. Overall, I’m glad we as a society were able to experience something we were nostalgic for, and this was actually the best Outsidelands experience so far!

Now onto the most impressive part of Outsidelands other than the artists: the food! Let me tell you, the food did not disappoint! If anything it was better than the last year, I was truly blown away by the selections. Whoever is managing the food and beverage vendor choices at Outsidelands, I bow down to you!

Outsidelands 2021:  Food & Drink

Check out some of the vendors! You can find them on social media platforms (ie. Instagram) and follow each business for how you can still experience their full menu all year round!

Chef Smelly came in HOT with the garlic noodles. It was the perfect food to eat while dancing to Nelly’s set.

Outside Lands (garlic noodles topped with Dungeness crab & sweet chili prawns) from Chef Smelly
Trifecta (garlic noodles topped with chicken, steak, prawns) from Chef Smelly

Lumpia Company was located next to Zuma stage which at one point was completely blocked off. Luckily, we made it in so we tried all the lumpia. It was so insanely good, we even shared it with the people next to us. Remember to pair this deliciousness with calamansi drinks.

Trio of Lumpia from Lumpia Company
Elote Lumpia from Lumpia Company
Chicken Tinola Lumpia from Lumpia Company (Highly Recommend!)

When doors opened to the grounds, even before the musical acts were on, Smish Smash already had a line! You know you need to try it when that happens, and I heard the Pho Burger is out of this world amazing! Follow them to see when they have that next.

Original burger and curly fries from Smish Smash Burger

From the mastermind Chef Chris Oh (Um.ma SF), Seoul Brothers offered Korean fried chicken. They have a lot more in the works so follow them for updates!

Umma SF brought their fried chicken sandwich concept, Seoul Brothers.
Fried Chicken Sandwich from Seoul Brothers

Bay Area already knows the WORLD FAMOUS Hot boys fried chicken sandwich, and they offered the Long Boy as a special just for Outsidelands. Most recently, they released their newest item: chicken and waffles! 

Hot Dog Chicken Sandwich from World Famous Hot Boys

Respectable Bird offered the perfect combo of fried chicken and churros. All of their food’s made from scratch so make sure you go and try some ASAP!

Churros from Respectable Bird
Fried Chicken Sandwich From Respectable Bird

I was thrilled to see Urban Ritual back again offering their incredible boba drinks! They always offer the most innovative combinations. 

Boba from Urban Ritual

Whatever you do, visit Woodhouse Fish Co’s many locations. I was so happy to see them as a vendor at Outsidelands. What a treat! Every dish is made so well – we definitely devoured everything quickly. The lobster roll’s an absolute must!

Clam chowder from Woodhouse Fish Co.
Lobster roll from Woodhouse Fish Co.

While these items were served at Outsidelands, all these business owners are incredible people and you can truly see the passion put into the making of all these dishes. Especially in times like these please go support them all!

For more foodie adventures, follow my Instagram, @TheFoodiemon. Happy to connect on more events and food!  To see more dope SF content, check out this tab HERE.


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