SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) — The Outside Lands Music Festival makes its comeback in San Francisco starting on Friday after organizers last year canceled the star-studded annual music festival due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The three-day festival, happening in Golden Gate Park, is set to include artists like Lizzo, Vampire Weekend, The Strokes, J Balvin, Nelly, Kehlani, and many more.

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The festival preparations came together less than a week after a historic storm.

“Honestly, five days ago, six days ago, I didn’t think this was going to happen,” said SF Recreation and Parks Department General Manager Phil Ginsburg.

Organizers say the festival is sold out. They are expecting 70,000 attendees each day.

They hope people will look for ways to cut down the congestion over the weekend.

“People really need to plan ahead for their transportation. I really recommend people getting here early,” said Outside Lands co-founder Rick Farman.

Eventgoers will be required to either show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or proof of a negative COVID-19 test result, conducted within 72 hours of the event.

For entrance into the SOMA Tent, where some performances will be held, only fully vaccinated individuals will be allowed in and masks will be required, according to event organizers.

On Thursday, city officials said the city has been working closely with event organizers to ensure eventgoers stay safe and COVID-free, as the event is happening the weekend of Halloween and several other large events will be taking place.

“San Francisco’s hard work, sacrifice and commitment to keeping each other healthy and safe is paying off. This weekend kids can go trick-or-treating, families can celebrate loved ones who have passed, and concert goers can enjoy one of the premier music festivals in the world — all in person,” San Francisco Department of Emergency Management Executive Director Mary Ellen Carroll said in a statement. “Let’s keep our momentum going by making smart decisions and taking the necessary precautions to ensure we all remain healthy and safe.”

“The health and safety of our community is our highest priority. As we mark the beginning of the holiday season and return to many social activities and gatherings, it is paramount that we take measures to avoid a new wave of COVID-19 cases this winter,” San Francisco Department of Public Health Deputy Director of Health Dr. Naveena Bobba said.

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City officials are reminding those attending Outside Lands or celebrating Halloween to continue practicing social distancing and wear masks when indoors or when outside and social distancing isn’t possible. Also, trick-or-treaters are encouraged to carry hand sanitizer, as well as flashlights or glowsticks so they can be seen by drivers.

According to Outside Lands organizers, Halloween costumes are encouraged at the festival but toy weapons of any kind and first responder costumes, such as firefighters, medical staff, and law enforcement, are banned. Also, organizers ask that people who wear a costume respect other cultures, adding “no headdresses permitted.”

New vendors include almost 40 additions to the food options this year, all at a time when both the entertainment and restaurant industries still can use the extra help.

“We’re supporting these local restaurants who have had an incredibly difficult last year and half during COVID,” said Outside Lands Food Curator Tanya Kollar

Residents who have lived in the neighborhood for decades say they’re happy to see the city coming together.

“I think it’s a lot of joy after a long time of being cooped up. It doesn’t inconvenience me too much,” said neighbor Suzanne Berkman.

Others who won’t be attending said it comes with the territory.

“I think that’s just the reality of living in any big city,” said Brendon Deblasio.

KPIX spoke to one area resident who said in the past people attending the festival have damaged his truck and vandalized his driveway. He worries with the later hours and it getting darker earlier there may be more concerns this year on his street.

More information about the festival, tickets and the full lineup can be found at the festival’s official website.

Outside Lands attendees can also sign up for safety alerts from SFDEM by texting OUTSIDELANDS to 888-777.

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