It’s hard to believe that Outside Lands, San Francisco’s Music and Arts Festival, just celebrated its 8th year. It was just yesterday when Another Planet and Superfly teamed up to stage a new music festival at Golden Gate Park in 2008. Fast forward to 2015 and OSL is on easy street, with crowds topping 70,000 and a huge line-up that included Mumford & Sons, Axwell & Ingrosso, Kendrick Lamar and Sir Elton John which took place August 7, 8 & 9th. Everything seemed to be going right as sunny vibes kicked off day 1 with highlights from opening act, Natalie Prass showcasing her singer songwriter chops. Other highlights included Sweden’s folk duo First Aid Kit who did a great cover of Black Sabbath’s “War Pig” and on the Twin Peaks stage, Alt dance act, Robert Delong got fans moving early. St. Vincent took the stage with a sexy attitude and delivered a guitar driven, haunting set that mesmerized fans. Closing things out were Mumford & Sons showcasing their newfound love of electric guitars and on the Sutro stage, R & B’s black messiah D’Angelo took fans on his soulful ride. Music lovers seemed eager to get an early start on day 2 to catch highlights from Rockers Angus & Julia Stone, but it wasn’t until charismatic Punk Rock God Billy Idol that things kicked into high gear as he ripped through a face growling set of classic hits that spanned his 30 year career. Producer Giraffage had rave kids fist pumping and swaying to his monster remixes and Psychedelic rockers Tame Impala entertained with their chill vibe tunes as crowds lounged on the grassy Lands End field. Day 2 closed out with highlights from two of the biggest acts, The Black Keys who did their best to hold the crowd, but the night belonged to the superstar rapper Kendrick Lamar, as fans jammed into Twin Peaks to catch his energetic set. The sunny weather returned for lots of closing day highlights that included Fun lead singer Nate Ruess, who sang a mix of his bands hits along with new songs off his solo album, Electro act Hot Chip had thousands grooving to their dance pop tunes and that energy seemed to carry over as fans rushed to catch a jam packed set by DJ duo ODESZA on the other side of the park. Most EDM fans stayed put to continue their dance frenzy to DJ’s Axwell & Ingrosso, but the biggest crowd planted themselves firmly at the Lands End area to catch singing sensation Sam Smith warm things up for the most anticipated act of the evening, Sir Elton John. Elton could have easily played for 4 hours, as his catalogue of music is so deep, but he crammed in one classic after another that included favorites, “Tiny Dancer”, “Rocket Man’, “Your Song” and many others. It was one of the most magical sets ever and the perfect closeout to a weekend of spectacular music.

Hats off again to Another Planet and Superfly for another stellar year and to San Francisco and Golden Gate Park for hosting such an amazing festival that is now part of the Bay’s annual tradition.

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Photo Credits: Sharina Bianka