The 8th annual Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival kicked off on Friday with thousands of people flooding Golden Gate Park to dance, gorge on options from the food and beverage paradise, and enjoy a diverse mix of live rock, soul, and electronic tunes.

Friday’s lineup, arguably the most robust of all three days, brought welcome sunshine during the day and featured a wide range of appealing acts such as folk rock band Mumford and Sons, R&B neo-soul singer D’Angelo, alternative group Wilco, and art rock multi-instrumentalist St. Vincent. A noticeable trait of this year’s festival was the capacity crowd, with approximately 70,000 attendees swarming the park to see musicians perform across six stages.

All photos by Abe Coloma

The intimate Sutro stage in particular felt more packed on Friday than previous years, specifically during performances by English singer-songwriter George Ezra, indie rock band Glass Animals, and electronic act Chet Faker. A few pleasant surprises included Leon Bridges, who kept things classy with a moving rendition of his hit single “Coming Home,” and Glass Animals’ unexpectedly bouncy remix of Kanye West’s “Love Lockdown.”

The highlight from Friday came from headliner Mumford and Sons, who emphatically proved that their recent transition to harder rock on their recently released third studio album, Wilder Mind, was a wise decision as their new, more upbeat music kept the massive crowd energized despite the freezing wind and fog.

The next two days of the festival are expected to be nearly as spectacular, with Tame Impala and Black Keys topping the bill on Saturday while British music titans Sam Smith and Sir Elton John closing things out on Sunday.

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