Are Coachella and Arise next? Outside Lands is biggest festival with weed sales

Are Coachella and Arise next? Outside Lands is biggest festival with weed sales

MusicAugust 12, 2019 By Reilly Capps

At one of the biggest concerts in America, legal weed headlined. 

Nearly as big as Coachella, the San Francisco event Outside Lands became the largest music event, possibly ever in the world, with weed stands and open use this weekend. 

And it might be a vision of the future, as more concerts and festivals mull marijuana. 

Outside Lands happens at Golden Gate Park, right in the middle of The City. The chronic was sold at a roped-off section of the venue called Grass Lands. Bouncers checked wristbands for 21 and up. Inside, about 20 pot companies slung edibles, weed-infused sodas and non-alcoholic beers, plus blunts, flower and concentrates. 

photo - Grass Lands

Other than the fact that you couldn't see the stage from where you could smoke, Grass Lands was cannabis Valhalla. Stoners had augmented reality to play with, and donuts to snarf. 

No medical or security issues were reported. 

Weed has been sold at a few California events before. But most of the events were cannabis-centered. And none were this big. Outside Lands had 90,000 concertgoers Saturday. That's almost as big as Coachella. Childish Gambino played. So did Paul Simon. 

Inside the Grass Lands area, weed brands flogged their products as hard as roadies sell t-shirts, trying to hook new customers who might never have been to a dispensary before, but didn't mind wandering into a weedy world between sets. Sales were in cash. There were competitions to, for example, carve bongs out of vegetables. Good fun. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

We heard @olgrasslands is pretty lit. (: @mindofchrisreeder) #OutsideLands #OLGrassLands

A post shared by Outside Lands (@outsidelands) on

Touts still reportedly sold joints illegally inside the festival, and regular partiers still snuck in their own weed, just as people have at Woodstock and Electric Forest and, roughly, every music event since the first caveman drum circle. 

But legal sales is history. A landmark. Surreal. 

The Golden State ganked Colorado's crown as the weed-friendliest state sometime in the last year or two. San Francisco is maybe the pot-chummiest city, with pot cafes and lots of dispensaries. 
Colorado is trying to catch up to Cali. A new bill just passed the legislature that would allow concerts to apply for a permit to allow some pot sales. The new law takes effect at the beginning of 2020. There is no word yet on which Colorado festival or concert could be the first to sell you weed.

[Cover photo: Outside Lands music festival, from Shutterstock.]