Imagine a 3-day music festival in the middle of Golden Gate Park during San Francisco’s cool August days. Here you will find 4 different music stages, scattered amidst food trucks, wine and beer kiosks, vendors and at least 40,000 people. Now imagine being bundled up in layers of clothing while waiting for artists like J Cole and Major Lazer to perform; praying they get through their set before your legs give out from under you because of the constant pressure from dancing and standing. This, my friend, is Outside Lands.
This year has been a first for me in a lot of different facets, including Outside Lands and the experience I had while being there.
The concert started on Friday, and although they had performances during the day, my crew and I didn’t make it there until Friday evening. Since it was my first time, I walked around the park in awe, totally not anticipating what they did with Golden Gate Park. There were lanterns hung in trees, pop up hot chocolate and coffee shops, impromptu stair cases in certain sections to make travel from one stage to another easy; the whole place had been completely transformed into a musical wonderland.
That Friday I had been most excited to see J Cole perform. I had recently seen him, in all his glory, at the Pemberton Music Festival in beautiful British Colombia, Canada and he had completely blew me away. As the sun set and the natural light dimmed, I could feel the momentum and excitement building inside of me. He burst onto the stage, in this watch me awe you for the next hour type of way, and started rapping while simultaneously hyping up the audience. As I sang his lyrics and danced with the thousands of people surrounding me, I had, for the first time ever, an out of body experience that I had never felt before.
Let me rewind and preface why I felt so amazing.
Earlier that day, I had completed an energy healing session with my spiritual guide, and my core focus was going to be working on my relationship with Mother Earth. I wanted to feel the energetic pull of what She was offering me, while making sure I circulated that force throughout my mind, body, soul and spirit.
As J Cole was in the middle of his set, the music decreased, and he started rapping acapella during his performance of the song No Role Modelz. He talked about women wanting more for themselves, society fighting together to control the negativity immersed in the media, and keeping our faith strong when things didn’t go our way. It was at this moment, while I stood there, on a lyrical high, that Mother Earth decided to speak to me.
All of the sudden while I was watching J Cole on the stage I had the urge to look up , and there, I saw the lights bouncing off the trees. While looking at these beautiful and magnificent trees, I felt this sudden surge of energy travel up through my feet, fueling my legs, and emanating heat from my hands. As I looked into my palms I immediately felt compelled to touch the ground, in the middle of 40,000 people, to let Mother Earth know I saw her, could feel her and to give her a confirmation that She was working through me. Then, I proceeded to have an even bigger revelation.
I stood up straight after touching the cool grass next to my feet, and I noticed something I had never seen before. The beautiful trees that were reflecting all the different colored lights, suddenly looked as though they were elephants standing guard over every person listening to J Cole at Outside Lands. The trunk of the tree looked like an elephant’s trunk, while the leaves formed together to look like an elephant’s ears.
Thinking I was losing my mind, I turned around to look back as far as I could see, and all I saw, was a sea of thousands and thousands of people loving J Cole. As I looked at these trees again, they transformed into a herd of elephants standing tall and proud, watching us, watch J Cole in the most protective of manners. I imagine them thinking that they couldn’t understand why we were there that day, but it was their duty, as directed through the Universe, to make sure no one was hurt that weekend.
And of all those people, no one was hurt.
More than 40,000 people gathered together to sing and dance, and show love to the artists who created their favorite songs, while being protected by a force greater than any one of us understands. In that moment, with J Cole, I was able to get a glimpse of my protectors, protecting me, and I am forever filled with gratitude.
For most people, music festivals are just that, music festivals. For me, Outside Lands happened to the avenue I needed to connect with Mother Earth. We pull from Her, and take Her energy on a daily basis, while doing little to replenish Her, but She continues to give to Her children because, in reality, that’s what Mothers do.
If you were waiting for the right moment to go to your first music festival, the moment is now. I urge you to find a lineup that you love, and book it; everything else will somehow magically fall into place… it always does.
Filled with love,
Published by Vaishali Rana