National/World and People Editors
If you didn’t already know, your dearly beloved El Gato staffers Saya and Bridie, featuring Chiefs Ella and Nadia, went to Outside Lands (OSL) and made it our entire personalities for the past two months. While it looked like all fun and games, what our perfectly curated social media didn’t show was us in the trenches. Here are our top OSL moments, conveniently formatted so our misery entertains you.
On the first day we made the decision to spend four hours in the Soma Tent. What’s the Soma Tent? Heaven on Earth. This underground-nightclub inspired DJ tent slowly became a place of our highest highs and lowest lows. Why we willingly chose to spend four hours losing our hearing and the feeling in our feet while crammed between sweaty people wearing limited clothing, I frankly don’t know. The true mystery, though, is why it ended up being the best experience of our lives despite the elbows to Ella’s face and Saya being shoved into a group of sweaty teenage boys. Shoutout Soma Tent, we miss you. During our tragic last hour in the tent, the flooring caved in and we had to say a teary goodbye. But don’t fret, we returned immediately on day two ready to rally in a mended tent.
Just Saya here for this tidbit, and let me paint the picture: it’s the final day of OSL with one last show to watch. We chose between Odesza, the world-famous DJ duo who headlined the weekend, or this 26-year-old man from Stafford, Vermont, whose songs are currently going viral on TikTok. I think you can guess who we went to see (it’s not Odesza). This is not the shocking part, instead it’s the absolute insane events that occurred during this hour set. Bridie shouted probably around six times to Noah, “I WOULD MARRY YOU IN A HEARTBEAT.” I stared in shock as my friends fangirled harder than most 2016 Beliebers. But I wish I could detail to you how close my jaw was to the floor as I watched not one, not two, but all three of my friends sob their eyes out as this random hippie-looking dude stared directly into their soul. I wish I could understand what made Ella, Nadia, and Bridie break down into ugly tears over some fruit drink (shoutout Orange Juice). This was probably the most mind-blowing concert I witnessed all weekend, and that includes the heinous PDA couples at Megan Thee Stallion.
Here comes the plot twist: Swiper the fox nabbed Ella’s phone. Swiper, No swiping! The 30 minute walk (uphill) to our Uber was dead silent. Spirits were low, moms were called, debit cards were canceled, and rallying was temporarily postponed. Wildly, I (Bridie) was more stressed than Ella and was the one who had to be comforted. What can I say? I’m an empath. Fret not, we bought some street meat, sat on a curb, and were magically cured.
However, as we neared the end of our beloved weekend, the universe decided our experience was going a little too good, and made sure our PRE-BOOKED Uber failed to show up, leaving us stranded. Let me set the scene for you: all of our phones are below five percent, our portable charger is dead, Ubers are 400 dollars, and Lyft isn’t confirming our new driver. We looked on with begging eyes as groups fled into their respective rideshares. We huddled together in our overpriced merch as Saya danced in the street to scare off the crazy people. Random people began to offer us rides, and being desperate, cold, and tired, Ella immediately jumped up and said “let’s get in!” A ten minute lesson on stranger danger ensued. We reached hour two of waiting for a ride before we gave in and called our moms with the remaining three percent of phone battery. Being incredibly smart individuals, we decided to make a TikTok (to the “Where’s my dad. I’m all alone.” Finding Nemo sound) with our remaining battery and, actually quite surprisingly, Saya’s phone (with the Lyft info) died. I am going to leave it to you to figure out how we got home. Life lesson learned: Never trust Uber and always use Lyft.
Despite our many struggles throughout the weekend, Bridie and I (and hopefully Ella and Nadia), can attest that it was indeed the best weekend of our lives. While poor Nadia could not eat a single sweet treat due to her mouth surgery three days prior, the rest of us fine-dined on the pizza and sweets showcased by overpriced food stalls. See you next year for rallying round two and find us sitting comfortably in Lyfts.