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Outside Lands music festival returns to SF’s Golden Gate Park amid monkeypox outbreak

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — The Outside Lands music and arts festival kicked off Friday at Golden Gate Park.

“It’s amazing. It’s awesome,” said Poline Chuon, who made the trip from Sacramento. “The atmosphere is great, the people are great, the people are friendly.”

The three-day music festival features over 100 artists on nine different stages.

“The shows were all great. I just got back from Sampa the Great and she was amazing, the support band was amazing,” said Los Angeles resident Julia Fink.

RELATED: Excitement Grows as Outside Lands Returns to San Francisco

“I’m from Wisconsin and decided to come for the weekend. It was a great time,” said Ali Vaseem, who is at the festival for the first time, making him one of more than 220 000 people expected. “I’ve been here for a few hours, I like the atmosphere – everything is super nice,” Vaseem said, adding, “We had the lobster roll. It was dope.”

Food and drink are also taking center stage with nearly 200 Bay Area restaurants, wineries and breweries – business is picking up.

“It helps a lot. It actually helps because it gets your name out there,” said Anna Cobarruvias, owner of Son’s Addition. “All of a sudden it’s like where are you located? Or, it’s unbelievable.”

The festival returns to its summer date for the first time since the start of the pandemic and safety precautions have disappeared.

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“I think everyone is vaccinated now and people who are not vaccinated are wearing masks, so I think everyone is a bit relaxed because everyone is taking care of themselves,” Cobarruvias said.

And, as the festival kicks off amid the monkeypox outbreak, some people are more worried than others.

“We kept our distance from everyone,” Chuon said. “It’s a bit crowded so we kept our blankets out to create a little bubble as monkeypox is prevalent, especially in the Bay Area”

“Right now I’m just trying to enjoy the festival, it’s always something on everyone’s mind,” Fink added.

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