By Jenna Scatena
August 06, 2015
Tom Tomkinson

Elton John, The Black Keys, and Mumford & Sons will be there. As will 200,000 selvedge denim-clad, posy-haired concertgoers. But this year’s Outside Lands festival—which turns Golden Gate Park’s grassy knolls into a music megalopolis August 7 through 9—is not just about the music.

With an increase in focus on other art forms, like visual art and comedy, there are more reasons to check out this festival beyond the beats. Taking center stage is its expanded culinary program. This year, celebrity chef (and longtime local) Michael Mina is setting up a tailgate for attendees, featuring the likes of smoked coconut sugar brisket with sorghum pickles. Joining Mina are more high-ranking San Francisco chefs and restaurants hawking their coveted dishes: Wise Sons Deli, Tacolicious, and Rich Table, to name a few (plus about 56 more). That doesn’t even include the food truck roster and chocolate lounge.

Don’t miss the GastroMagic stage, back for its second year, where Bay Area chefs collaborate with musicians, dancers, and comedians. Lewis Black will lead a beer and barbecue tasting, a breakdance troupe will bring the beats while butchers bust their moves, and a pizza dough-throwing smack down occurs to a DJ spinning tunes.

Wash it all down with a glass of wine (or three) from around two dozen Napa and Sonoma wineries at Wine Lands in Golden Gate Park’s lush Lindley Meadow, or kick back with a local craft brew at the equally laid-back Beer Lands tent. You might not even realize you’ve missed the headliner.

Jenna Scatena is on the San Francisco Bay Area beat for Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram

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