Outside Lands, A.

In April, some friends and I realized that going to Outside Lands was a thing. So many incredible bands! It'd been a year since we'd all hung out together! Wonderful food, company, booze, hot girls, lovely August weather! The possibilities were truly endless, but so were the inevitable lines for the toilet, so it was decided that nothing less than 3-day VIP passes would do. Tickets, parking passes (tip: skip it and use the nearby school lots next year - helps them raise money and it's much cheaper, too), and flights for certain people from Las Vegas were procured.

It started on Friday. One of us was concerned solely with The Black Keys. Another solely with tUnE-yArDs. M & I are obsessed with Beirut, so really, the rest of it was all fun and games. We had no plan, aside from certain attendance at the above-mentioned shows. For once, I let someone else do the driving and didn't concern myself with plans or arrangements or an agenda.

We were miserable at first. We grossly underestimated how cold it would be, how poor the map was, how disorganized the event seemed (compared to bigger festivals like Coachella and Lolla). We discovered there would be no Ins & Outs, that a tiny, subpar cocktail would cost $13; mediocre beer would set you back $9. One of us had to bus into the park after work, but it only took her as far as 8th and Fulton, so she unexpectedly had to walk all the way down to 36th and JFK to meet us carrying her big, heavy overnight bag the whole way. ALL WHILE ENDURING THE WRETCHED SOUND OF PHISH, which seems to be comprised solely of douche + patchouli + fans who dance very, very poorly.

We threatened not to come back the next day, but then MGMT, Erykah Badu and The Shins happened. A magical fried chicken sandwich in the Food Truck Forest happened. Funnel cake fingers happened. Things were looking up!

Sure, the "other" VIP area had a single toilet with a 45-minute long line and no lighting whatsoever in the dark of night, and we left through an exit which was the point of no return and forced us to walk all the way around the park very crankily for, oh, I don't know, a few miles? But we decided to learn from Friday and go guns blazing into Saturday's festivities. When we got home, I made quesadillas and sidecars for everyone, and we all got into our PJs, made fun of The Real L Word, and got some much-needed shut-eye.

Saturday! OK GO! Arctic Monkeys! The Black Keys! The Roots! Armed with caffeine, flasks full of bourbon and other contraband, heavy sweaters, blankets and fingerless gloves, we had knowledge and we meant business. We marched into the center of it all and I did something I never, ever do: I had lunch for breakfast and chicken tikka masala never tasted so good so early in the day. Home had a booth selling two amazing kinds of mac + cheese and a killer limeade, which was heaven on earth with a heavy pour of bourbon added in. The others followed suit, and soon we had a smorgasbord of chicken and waffles, samosas and burritos before us, all prepped by some of SF's most popular and tasty restaurants.

We wandered around this magical forest you see here, peeked into some of the other tents, explored a fort, sat on a questionable orange couch with a tattered parachute as its striking backdrop, wandered through the cheerfully creepy Choco Lands, listened to spooky clown opera, became mildly sunburned and sought refuge as needed in the posh VIP Polo Club area. When all our missions were accomplished for the day, we left early to sup at Emmy's Spaghetti Shack, and then we came home to our little slumber party and slept like fat, happy babies.

I really loved all of these flowing kite ribbon flag things in the woods. We first stumbled through it all late Friday night, with very little light, twigs snapping underfoot, music echoing through the trees, and the outline of this massive, two-story structure silhouetted against the black sky. We decided to call it a fort, and wandering through it in the dark was super magical and romantic.

It was imperative that we explore it again in the daylight, which resulted in the photos above! I have no idea who built it or why or what it was called, if anything, but it was beautiful and terrible all at once. Crazy kids were climbing all over it, despite the rusted nails poking out of it, the flimsy, jutting structure - M leaned ever so gently onto part if it and it swayed wildly! - the tangled, handmade nets and sharp horns and bones used to adorn it. We wondered if it would make it through the night, and agreed it wouldn't.

It didn't last. (I'll post the Sunday version soon.) This is why we can't have nice things, kiddos!

Anyway, this felt like the perfect music festival outfit. I swapped out the tiny white Topshop flats I'd worn Friday night for my well-loved cowboy boots, a trim pair of Asos trousers and fringed Lovebyrd tank (ponies!), topped with a denim vest, heaps of gold jewelry, and a bag big enough to hold my cooler layers - including a chunky Asos sweater - lots of booze, my camera, makeup bag, etc. It felt like I didn't compromise style for comfort, and isn't that always the goal, femmes?

Look how well-behaved we are! I think this is also the debut of my new Made Her Think cuff and new Mariele Ivy necklace! More Outside Lands coming soon (including the charmed moments I spent backspage while Beirut played their set), and then - no really, I swear - I'll wrap up the summer vacation posts in Edinburgh and Dublin.

I've never been so backlogged with blog posts before! It's insane. And did y'all see that I was on the Fashionist last week? They liked my vintage dressing gown so much they called it "a huge statement outfit mid-afternoon at the Indie Mart." Hot-cha-cha! Check it out here.

Love, FFAF