Building a Festival: How Outside Lands uses Dropbox

2017’s Outside Lands festival in San Francisco is the result of a now decade-long partnership between co-producers Superfly and Another Planet Entertainment. Beyond these two entities are the 70+ bands, 20+ comedians, 80 food vendors serving over 200 menu items, 40 wineries, 30 breweries, visual artists, and more. And behind those is a vast network of vendors, operations managers, producers and freelancers. While musicians and chefs are creating collaborative performances across the diverse genres of food and music, the teams behind the curtain have been in lockstep year round to create the stage they stand on. With the sheer number of teams involved, a tool tying these networks together is essential.

Outside Lands fireworks photo by Jack Gorlin
Photo by Jack Gorlin
Outside Lands crowd photo by Josh Withers
Photo by Josh Withers

Across dozens of teams, Outside Lands uses Dropbox as their main collaborative support tool. Dropbox and Dropbox Paper serve as a universal hub to share important files and communicate across teams. From production teams to artist relations to design to merchandise—there are a number of different parties all using various email and communication platforms that need to access the same information. Dropbox allows us to have a secure and streamlined space for this to take place.

Outside Lands tent photo by Andrew Jorgensen
Photo by Andrew Jorgensen
Outside Lands night crowd photo by Andrew Jorgensen
Photo by Andrew Jorgensen

For each of the 70+ bands over the three days of San Francisco’s Outside Lands, there’s a stage plot, a stage design, and the ever-mythicized backstage rider. A peek under the hood of a music festival shows how many times these ever-important technical details of monitor and amp placement or essential backstage snacks are edited, shared, edited again, shared once more, and confirmed. Teams across production, artist relations, public relations, design, and merchandise—whether they’re part of Superfly and Another Planet or an external vendor or freelancer—make sure none of these critical details are missed by using Dropbox.

Here, check out this awesome blanket:

Outside Lands blanket photo by Cal Bingham
Photo by Cal Bingham

Sure, lots of people forgot that San Francisco can get cold and bought it for that reason. But, it’s also an awesome design. An awesome design that went through several creative revisions and approvals. Our creative teams use Dropbox Paper to share revisions of everything from merch designs of those shirts and blankets fans can’t get enough of the photo-worthy art you see on your Instagram feed. Paper’s collaborative nature allows our teams to leave comments and inspiration that get us to the final products that make up your festival experience.

The awesome food lineup? Shared via Dropbox from the festival PR team to media outlets that’ll amplify the festival food offering through local and national press, ultimately ending up in your daily news feed or social streams so you can plot your plan of attack and stomach space before the festival.

With each of these cases, the security of shared information is also essential, especially with so many parties involved. While people will always love a good leaked artist rider, the festival teams rely on Dropbox because of its secure nature to keep important information to just the parties that need to see it.

While you might not see it in action or think about it when you’re drinking an awesome craft beer at the main stage for your favorite band, there’s so much that goes into the festival behind the lineup poster and it matters that everyone has the right files and info they need to build this amazing experience.

And, these awesome photos from the festival? Shared via Dropbox, of course.

Outside Lands poster

Outside Lands windmills photo by Jack Gorlin
Photo by Jack Gorlin

To check out more photos and the afterglow video from Outside Lands 2017, visit sfoutsidelands.com. For more on Dropbox at Outside Lands, check out this blog post on how Dropbox helped creators and festival talent collaborate at Outside Lands.

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