While some locals run away from Outside Lands, others run toward it.
If you’ve got your tickets and are ready to go to the three-day music festival descending on Golden Gate Park Aug. 11 to 13, here’s your guide on how to get there and out of there, whether by bike, car, ride-share, transit or foot.
If you’re looking for an eco-friendly and less headachy way to get to Outside Lands, biking might be the way to go.
The festival has two free bicycle parking areas by the eastern and southern festival entrances.
Pro tip: You can also hitch up your bike to a street sign post outside the festival grounds, such as 25th Avenue's.
BART doesn’t offer direct service to Golden Gate Park, but if you’re coming in from the East Bay or elsewhere, you can take BART to Civic Center Station and transfer to the appropriate Muni line or catch the Outside Lands pre-paid shuttle from the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium (more on that below).
BART will run as usual all three days of Outside Lands, agency spokesperson Chris Filippi told The Standard, and also offer bolstered service on Sunday, including five-line service until 9 p.m.
BART will run until about midnight, and BART parking is free at most of the system’s lots after 3 p.m. Friday and free on Saturday and Sunday, according to Outside Lands’ website. You can plan your specific trip using BART’s trip planner and figure out how to connect to Muni from there.
Just a heads up that San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency won’t be updating its Outside Lands webpage until 72 hours before the event, although the agency will be providing supplemental service, said SFMTA spokesperson Stephen Chun. But looking at last year’s webpage can give you a sense of how to get there by Muni.
The N-Judah light-rail train will drop you off two blocks from the south side of the park, then you can walk to the South Gate entrance at Middle Drive West and Metson Road.
The 5R Fulton bus will drop you off on the north side of the park near the festival’s Main Gate Entrance at 30th Avenue and John F. Kennedy Drive.
If you’re staying in or near Downtown during the festival or commuting from BART, you may want to take advantage of Outside Lands’ pre-paid shuttle service, which goes between the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium and Golden Gate Park, delivering passengers to the festival’s south entrance throughout the day.
Shuttles start running at 11 a.m. each day with limited coverage between the prime-time concert hours of 5 and 8 p.m. The last shuttle from the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium to the festival leaves at 8 p.m., and the return shuttles run for one hour following the last concert of the night.
Single-day passes are $26 plus fees, and three-day passes are now $63 plus fees.
Shuttle passes can be purchased here.
Conventional wisdom holds that you should probably avoid driving to Outside Lands, as parking is extremely limited around the park. But if you must, be prepared to hunt down parking like it’s the Hunger Games.
A cursory search of SpotHero and car services platform Way.com found no available parking spaces for rent during the duration of the festival.
Street parking is available on residential streets around Golden Gate Park, but parking enforcement will be watching like a hawk, warns the Outside Lands website, which also encourages would-be parkers to be good neighbors.
“Be aware of various parking restrictions in nearby neighborhoods, especially along Fulton, Lincoln, La Playa, and Lower Great Highway,” the website cautions. “Also be cognizant of impinging on driveways and handicap access ramps. The SF Department of Parking and Traffic is on high alert during this period of time.”
However, you could try your luck at Argonne Elementary. The San Francisco public school at 680 18th Ave. in the Richmond District is renting out parking spaces in its lot as part of a school fundraiser for $50 a car per day, according to the elementary school’s Parent Teacher Organization website. The entrance is off Cabrillo between 17th and 18th avenues, and spots are first-come, first-served with a Venmo or credit card payment only.
Lawton Alternative School at 1551 30th Ave. in the Sunset is also renting parking spaces to raise funds for students. The cost is $40 per vehicle.
A page on San Francisco Recreation and Park Department’s website dedicated to Golden Gate Park road closures will also be updated closer to the event, so check that webpage before you head out.
You could avoid the trouble of parking at all by calling a Lyft or Uber. Balboa Street and 30th Avenue and Irving Street between 25th and 27th avenues are designated pickup and drop-off points. But be prepared for potentially eye-popping prices and lengthy wait times after the concerts end.
Autonomous vehicle service Waymo will also be offering rides during the festival and have dedicated pickup and drop-off locations around Golden Gate Park, Waymo spokesperson Chris Bonelli told The Standard. Drop-off and pickup points have not yet been finalized yet, he said, but riders will be prompted to select their preferred location in the app when requesting a ride. Cruise did not say by publication time whether it would offer rides during the festival.
Ultimately, the most economical and eco-friendly way of getting to and from Outside Lands may be by foot.
If you decide to hoof it, entrances are located at JFK Drive and 30th Avenue on the north side of Golden Gate Park and Middle Drive West and Metson Road on the south side. VIP ticket holders can enter at 36th Avenue and JFK Drive or Martin Luther King Jr. at the southside entrance. Pedestrians should also take care around Lincoln Way on the south side of the park, which is one of the city’s busiest and most dangerous corridors and has parts undergoing construction.
The Americans with Disabilities Act entrance is located at 36th Avenue and JFK Drive, and more info about ADA accessible parking, pickup points and drop-off points can be found here.
Look under the “Travel & Transport” section at outsidelands.com/info for additional details.
An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Outside Lands had partnered with JUMP Bikes to offer promo ride codes.
Christina Campodonico can be reached at email@example.com