Outside Lands festival adds Grass Lands area for cannabis product demos
By Aidin Vaziri
Outside Lands is going green.
The three-day outdoor concert in Golden Gate Park plans to introduce Grass Lands, an area dedicated to the exploration of cannabis products, at this year’s festival, according to an announcement Tuesday, July 24.
The event’s promoters, Another Planet Entertainment and Superfly, added that the 11th annual Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival, which takes place Aug. 10-12, will be the first major U.S. music festival to feature a curated cannabis experience.
“Every year when we do the festival, we look for new things to do to keep it evolving and fresh, and this is one area we’ve been discussing for some time now,” said Allen Scott, vice president of Berkeley’s Another Planet Entertainment. “With the legalization of recreational marijuana in California, this was an opportunity to move in a different area.”
The primary purpose of Grass Lands, which is being created with oversight from Oakland-based Highland Events, will be to educate festival attendees on the versatile uses of cannabis products.
Golden Gate Park currently serves as host to the annual pot smoke-out known as 4/20 at Hippie Hill every April 20, but Outside Lands officials said no THC products will be available for purchase or consumption on the grounds during the festival. The area will instead showcase goods by several cannabis companies, including Cookies, Flow Kana, Ona.Life, Kiva Confections, CannaCraft, Pax, Lemonnade, True Terpenes, Mesh Brands, Plus, Emerald Exchange, Barbary Coast and Sunday Goods.
“Outside Lands is the pinnacle of music festivals, both in the Bay Area and nationwide, and we’re thrilled to create this partnership at such a crucial inflection point of the cannabis industry,” said Salwa Ibrahim, chief operations officer of Highland Events and co-founder of Blüm cannabis dispensary, in a statement.
Ibrahim established Highland Events in April 2017, in anticipation of the legalization of recreational marijuana in California earlier this year, making the state the United States’ biggest legal marijuana marketplace. But Outside Lands promoters had to refine the idea for the 21-and-older area down to the last minute.
For the past 20 years, promoters for marijuana festivals throughout California, such as Emerald Cup in Santa Rosa, could offer cannabis for sale and consumption with the permission of venue management. As of Jan. 1, each event requires an annual license from the state, as well as the venue owner, city and county and another additional approval from the state.
“The laws around cannabis are constantly evolving as the state and local municipalities try to figure out how to regulate it,” Scott said. “We’ve been working very closely with the city to make sure we’re compliant with all local and state laws. It’s been a moving target, but we’re there now.”
Plans for Grass Lands, which will be south of the Polo Field, show that it will be constructed around a Town Square featuring an education center, confectionery, lemonade stand, flower shop and farmers’ market, among other cannabis-themed amenities. There will also be a Smell Wall, where attendees can sample scents from different strains of marijuana.
Grass Lands joins the festival’s lineup of other specialty experiences, including Wine Lands, Beer Lands, Cocktail Magic and other extensive gourmet food offerings.
“Just like the other areas at Outside Lands, we’re striving to celebrate something that’s important to Northern California,” Scott said. “Cannabis is such a part of the culture here — this is a way to have fun and educate people.”
Headlining this year’s festival will be Florence + the Machine, the Weeknd and Janet Jackson.