Mercedians are everywhere, including ‘Outside Lands’
The Outside Lands festival at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco came to an exciting close on Sunday with unforgettable performances by Odesza, The 1975 and Megan Thee Stallion.
The three-day event — filled with music, food and good vibes — reportedly drew 75,000 people each day, though it was also reported more than 250,000 tickets were sold in total.
Incredibly, among all those lucky enough to attend, the Times found several fans from Merced making a little impact on the festivity.
Yanira Ledezma, a former County Times reporter who moved to San Francisco a year ago, never thought she would be modeling official merchandise at the start of Outside Lands, but there she was in front of several cameras on Day 1.
“They put a ‘call for models’ on their Tik Tok app asking ‘Do you have what it takes to be the next Outside Lands model,’ and I commented on it — and I got picked,” she told the Times. “It’s exciting. I’ve been coming to Outside Lands since 2016. I love it. It’s like a big party in Golden Gate Park.”
Ledezma was one of only four amateur models who were chosen out of about 500 responses. She believes she may have been chosen due to a video she made on her Instagram social media account of her creating a custom, handmade Outside Lands cell phone case.
Despite being a little nervous at first, it didn’t take long for Ledezma to gel with the other models during a shoot that lasted about an hour at the festival entrance. For her efforts, she also received a $40 gift certificate at the Outside Lands merchandise store.
Inside the festival grounds, Merced resident Javier Sanchez, along with a team of other workers contracted from his hometown, were helping to direct pedestrian and vehicle traffic along the heavily traveled routes behind the stage venues.
“I’m livin’ the dream man,” he said with a smile. “We make sure staff and performers can move to place to place as people walk by. … We come out for the weekend, we get inside the festival, but with as much fun as we are having, this is an important job that we have to do.”
Sanchez was in awe of the magnitude of the event.
“There’s like the population of the city of Merced right here in Golden Gate Park,” he said. “That’s pretty crazy.”
He added, “And the weather isn’t hot like it is in Merced right now.”