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Friday, August 1, 2014

Outside Lands: More Water, Safer Totems, and Surveillance Cameras This Year

Posted By on Fri, Aug 1, 2014 at 1:36 PM

click to enlarge outsidelands_logo14.jpg

With Outside Lands quickly approaching, we spoke briefly with Allen Scott, executive vice president of Another Planet Entertainment, about a few updates and changes to the 2014 festival.

In addition to Outside Lands, Another Planet Entertainment produces the Treasure Island music festival (now in its eighth year), and the Life is Beautiful festival in Vegas (happens in October, now in its second year). They are the exclusive operator of Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, the Greek Theatre in Berkeley, the Fox Theater in Oakland, the Independent in San Francisco, and Harveys Lake Tahoe.

SF Weekly: The Canadian music festival Bass Coast decided to ban Native American headdresses – common at outdoor music festivals – this year, calling them offensive. Have you considered the same?

Allen Scott, Another Planet Entertainment: We don't have any policy on headdresses.

Are there any bans or restrictions festival attendees should know about?

We don't allow weapons, illegal substances, large backpacks, strollers, fireworks, lawn furniture, umbrellas, or video equipment. One thing that came up this year is totems, those flags that people carry into the festival. It's a way to express yourself but also a way for people to find you. They're very prolific in Glastonbury. This year we decided that totems can be no taller than six feet, half an inch thick, and must be made of light material like swim tubes, light plastic, or balloons. No wood or metal or PVC.

Any changes to security this year?

We added video surveillance on-site this year. We continue to add tools to be able to respond and become more efficient at addressing any problems. As always, we'll have security staff in coordination with the San Francisco Police Department's Richmond Station, we'll have bike cops, and security on horseback, motorbikes, on foot, in squad cars. Last year we added a dispatch center on site, with people on radio calls dealing with security, trashcans overflowing, medical issues. And we added a police command post on site.

Any technological changes this year?

We're bringing in a big IMAG screens for our Twin Peaks stage. More people want to see these artists, and will enable more people to see through the screen on the side. We've always had a screen on the main stage.

Any other changes people should know about?

We're upping our refillable water stations. We'll have three tanks throughout the festival with eight kiosks on each tank. In the past we used five-gallon tanks like what you have in your office, this year we're using 2,000-gallon tanks. Out waste diversion rate, at 84%, is the best in the city and keeps increasing. That's waste diverted from landfill.

How are bands chosen, exactly?

Lots of ways. Certain acts want to play and reach out to us. Others we pursue. Its timing with many of them. This was a good year to have the Arctic Monkeys back as they have blown up this past year. We try to reflect the tastes of the Bay Area. We're having our first hip-hop headliner this year (Kanye West). We've had many hip-hop artists over the year, but Kanye is our first headliner.

Tickets, which now appear to be sold out, were running $115 for one-day general admission up to $249.50 for one-day VIP. Have prices gone up?

Tickets prices went up about 10% from last year. All of our production costs continues to increase. We've given the park $8.3 million in our first six years. This year will surpass 10.5 million, from portion of ticket sales. That goes into the park's general fund. We also give the park $85,900 a year for a gardener.

Outside Lands 2014 is August 8 - 10 in Golden Gate Park.
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Gary Moskowitz

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