Outside Lands 2018 gets political as Gavin Newsom talks Trump

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Outside Lands is known for its world-famous music headliners, food and drink vendors and foggy, chilly weather. But this year, the San Francisco festival added another new element: politics.

California gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom appeared Saturday, Aug. 11, on the Barbary stage as part of a new talk series called D.A.V.E., for Discussions About Virtually Everything. Newsom, currently California lieutenant governor and a former San Francisco mayor, talked with Wired magazine magazine co-founder John Battelle about state issues such as the homelessness and housing crises, sanctuary cities, the water shortage and education.

The talk felt like a restrained campaign rally at times, with the crowd of supporters cheering as Newsom touted California’s robust economy and counterweight against President Trump.

“I’m not just running to be the head of the resistance. I want to be a positive alternative to Trump,” said Newsom, who is the front-runner going into November’s governor election against Republican candidate John Cox.

But Newsom was quick to point out that there’s “not a chance” that he would run for president in 2020. He added that there has been too much focus on the presidential races and not enough turnout in local races, which has led to the Democratic Party’s decline on the local level.

Newsom also said he supported more housing production, rather than more shelters, as a solution to mitigate homelessness.

On a lighter note, he said his music idol is Peter Gabriel, the English former frontman of Genesis. He also has been listening to Kanye West and said he was looking forward to Saturday headliner Florence + the Machine, as well as DJ Snake.

“Don’t think I’m that guy in the suit,” said Newsom, who was wearing a sport coat, jeans and blue Golden Goose sneakers. “I’ve still got a little left in me.”

Roland Li is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: roland.li@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @rolandlisf

More Information

For more of The Chronicle’s stories from Outside Lands 2018: www.sfchronicle.com/outside-lands





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