On the GastroMagic stage at Outside Lands on Friday, Aug. 10, drag performer Shangela of RuPaul's Drag Race fame marveled at the number of LGBTQ people who came to her cooking demonstration-turned-drag show.
"That's why I love being home," said San Francisco-raised chef Tiffani Faison, onstage teaching Shangela to make fried fish while the drag queen cracked cheeky, innuendo-filled one-liners.
"And I love being homo," Shangela retorted without missing a beat.
Outside Lands' first-time inclusion of female headliners (with Florence + the Machine on Saturday and Janet Jackson on Sunday) has been a hot topic since the lineup was announced in April. But as the fest kicked off on Friday in Golden Gate Park, it became apparent that the many LGBTQ artists and performers at this year's Outside Lands attracted a queerer, more diverse audience, changing the tone from the bro-y vibe of years past.
After Faison laid the fried fish onto an enormous, baking pan-sized biscuit for an impossibly huge sandwich, the DJ hit play on RuPaul's vogue house tune, "Call Me Mother," and Shangela stripped off her chef outfit, revealing a Beyoncé-esque gold beaded leotard that glistened in the afternoon sun. The audience erupted with cheers and shouts of "yaaasss" as Shangela lip synced, twirled, kicked and death-dropped to the floor.
In addition to Shangela's second set at the Barbary, the festival's comedy tent, Friday's lineup also included a sultry performance by Perfume Genius, the queer electronic pop balladeer. Perfume Genius, clad in vintage dress pants and a loud, blue-and-white button-down, sauntered across the stage like a sexy cowboy to reverb-laden guitar that evoked a Quentin Tarantino soundtrack. As his band built up instrumental layers to a crescendo of synths, he popped his hips and writhed suggestively on the floor as the many gender non-conforming, creatively dressed audience members cheered.
Later in the afternoon, pop singer Carly Rae Jepsen, who has a massive, loyal following in the LGBTQ community, ignited an epic dance party consisting mostly of gay guys and their gal pals at the Twin Peaks stage. Groups of teenagers skipped and tossed their ponytails to "Boy Problems" and "Call Me Maybe." Jepsen's cotton-candy tunes, delivered with the bubbly attitude of a modern-day Cindy Lauper, elevated the mood with their uncomplicated expressions of infatuation and joy.