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Outside Lands

Ok, I will freely admit that I have always been partial to the Outside Lands Music Festival, which is held every August in Golden Gate Park. I’ve gone to the festival every year since it started in 2008—you know, back before going to music festivals was the trendy thing to do—and I have never walked away thinking, “Gee, I really wish I wouldn’t have gone this year.” I’ve checked out some of the other music festivals over the past few years but in my opinion, Bonnaroo, Cochella and Lollapalooza combined don’t compare to Outside Lands. When you have acts like the Black Keys, Mumford and Sons and the legendary Sir Elton John all coming together for one epic weekend it’s hard not to be in awe. But this year I met a girl who told me a story that really solidified why I love this Bay Area music festival so much…

Let me tell you about my new friend, Katie. First of all, the fact that I met a stranger and knew within a matter of hours that I would be calling her a friend speaks volumes about the good vibes that flow through Golden Gate Park all weekend. Anyway, back to Katie’s story. On Saturday night she lost her purse after being separated from her friends. She told me that she put her purse down for what seemed like seconds and when she turned around it was gone; but with all the chaos of the festival it’s easy to lose track of time and things. At any rate, Katie is a super positive person so she did not let this incident get her down. She checked the lost and found first and then, thanks to the kindness of multiple strangers who lent her cash and helped her find a cab, she made her way back to SOMA (coincidentally, the same San Francisco neighborhood where Hotel Via will be opening next spring) where she was staying with friends.


When Katie was finally reunited with her friends they informed her that they had called her phone looking for her and when a stranger answered he told them that he had her purse and her phone and he intended to get the lost items back to their rightful owner. So Katie called her own phone once again, and the stranger answered AGAIN. They arranged a time and place to meet in the morning and Katie went to bed in high spirits.

The next morning Katie and her friends hopped in a Lyft and headed for the diner where the gracious stranger said he’d be eating breakfast. Sure enough, he was there eating his pancakes and Katie’s bright red purse was sitting on the table beside his plate. The exchange was apparently lovely. Katie offered to pay for Mr. Purse Finder’s breakfast but he insisted that it wasn’t necessary. She said thank you a million times and went on her merry way. Then came the kicker… Katie pulled her phone out and saw that her battery was charged to 98%. 98%! Any festival goer knows how valuable a fully charged battery can be and this complete stranger took the time to make sure her phone was charged for her.

So here’s my point: It’s the friendly, generous people that gravitate to San Francisco every year that make Outside Lands the best music festival around. Beyond the legendary music acts, delicious food from local eateries and groovy vendor booths it’s really the people that make this one extra special. Believe me, if you’ve never been to this epic weekend-long event, you won’t want to miss 2016’s 9th Annual Outside Lands Music Festival. And don’t forget, when you’re planning you’re trip out to San Francisco for this magical weekend be sure to check out Hotel Via. Our elegant boutique hotel is set to open in SOMA in spring of 2016. Who wouldn’t want to stay at the city’s newest and most charming hotel while attending the summer’s most wondrous music festival?

Posted August 25th, 2015

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