This ultra-luxe Outside Lands ticket is $1,600. Here's what it gets you.
This weekend at Outside Lands in San Francisco, some might splurge for a $25 plate of Creole surf-and-turf. Some might throw down for a munchie-caliber $7 doughnut at Grass Lands or spend $15 for a locally-brewed craft beer.
But the super elite will go far beyond that, by spending $1,600 — or close to $1,700 after fees — for a Golden Gate Pass, the ultra-VIP pass that puts them literally above those who purchased the $815 VIP ticket. The 3-day general admission ticket, for the sake of comparison, costs buyers around $385, before fees.
Stage left of the main Polo Field stage is the primary VIP area, lined with a cocktail bar and a lounge area. Above that this year is an added second story, providing ticket-holders with an elevated view of the Lands End stage.
The view isn't the only thing that's billed as better: there's also a full, high-end bar, and curated food — free of charge.
While the VIP area bustled below, the Golden Gate Pass area was sparsely populated on Friday afternoon. During the gap between main stage sets starring Lil Wayne and blink-182, roughly 30 people were lounging upstairs, undaunted by large crowds on the Polo Field and the surrounding stands.
Everyone in the ultra-VIP section was handed clear, Outside Lands-branded backpacks, and noshed on complimentary food provided today by Cassava, a critically-lauded Outer Richmond restaurant. Restaurant owner Yuka Ioroi said her staff was specially cooking up an oyster and mushroom dish for everyone in the section. (Downstairs on Polo Field, she adds, they served popcorn chicken and a popcorn shrimp rice bowl.)
Daily dishes like these could be paired with drinks provided by a professional mixologist behind the private bar, or, if a Golden Gate Pass holder arrived at the section between 3 and 4 p.m., the individual could take part in a guided wine tasting from a local winemaker. Saturday's spotlighted restaurant was Pacific Catch, and Sunday's is the recently Michelin-starred Sorrel.
This area is so exclusive, in fact, that not even all senior festival staffers can get up here without clearance. That's to make sure the area remains uncrowded.
But other than providing a rare quiet, carpeted space, unlimited cocktails and carefully curated fare, the Golden Gate Pass area doesn't offer a whole lot more than VIP. There's the free bag and a commemorative poster, but there are no dedicated bathrooms or lockers in this area (there are, however, VIP area bathrooms). There's an excellent view, to be sure, but only of the main stage.
So is it worth a ticket price of almost double Outside Lands' normal VIP ticket, or around four times the regular general admission cost? It depends on your outlook. Compared to the exclusive $5,000 BottleRock experience ticket, it's a steal, but it's much pricier than Coachella's $999 VIP pass.
But for those seeking luxury, it's the best you can get at this year's Outside Lands.
"It is a little more elevated experience; you see the crowd is [more] grown up," Ioroi says. "It's elegant – they're more interested in the luxurious food and everything."