Outside Lands pumped over $60 million into San Francisco's economy.

Fantastic insight into just how much money the festival culture pumps into the economy. Outside Lands, the summertime music fest tailored to San Francisco’s wide-open Golden Gate Park, is responsible for bringing an extra $60 million into the confines of our 7 by 7 mile city – enough to funnel a $1.45 million gift to San Francisco’s Recreations and Parks Department. Hit the jump to read the full press release, which details the findings of the economic impact study conducted by Dr. Patrick Tierney at San Francisco State University.

San Francisco, CA – February 9, 2012 – San Francisco’s Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival brings artists and festival fans from around the world to the Bay Area – and with them an influx of income to San Francisco, its Recreation & Park Department, and to local businesses. According to a new report authored by San Francisco State University, “Economic Impact of the 2011 Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival on the City of San Francisco and the Bay Area,” 180,000 tickets were sold to the three-day concert last year, resulting in a $60,641,880 million economic impact on local businesses and services in San Francisco. Additionally, another $6,633,400 was generated in the surrounding Bay Area.

As the festival – the brainchild of concert pioneers Another Planet Entertainment and Superfly Presents, and designed specifically for the unique qualities of Golden Gate Park and San Francisco – enters its fifth year, the organizers wanted an academic economic analysis of the impact of the festival to quantify the feedback they have been receiving from local business, community leaders, artists and fans. In addition to direct financial gains from the festival itself, the report provides attendee demographics, how many visitors the festival draws, and how much each person spends over the course of the weekend.

“Outside Lands is an iconic part of San Francisco’s summer, bringing people from all over the country – and the world – to our great City,” said San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee. “Outside Lands’ organizers have gone to great lengths to not only make this a great weekend of entertainment, but to establish an exemplary festival that supports local arts and businesses and our parks, helps make San Francisco a leader in sustainability, and respects the local community. In just four years, Outside Lands has brought significant revenue to the City and helped to create jobs, and I look forward to its fifth year this summer.”

Key highlights of report:

  • Attendees: Seventy-two percent of respondents who attended the 2011 festival lived outside of the City of San Francisco. Of these non-residents, 93 percent stated that Outside Lands was one of the most important reasons for their visit to San Francisco
  • Jobs: The festival created 683 full-time equivalent jobs in San Francisco. The greater Bay Area also increased employment, with 73 jobs created
  • Spending habits: The average concertgoer spent more than $400 over the weekend-long festival. Transportation, food/beverages and lodging were the three largest expenditures

Giving Back to Golden Gate Park

In addition to the festival’s overall economic impact, every year since the festival’s inauguration in 2008, Outside Lands organizers have donated an annual percentage of ticket revenue to San Francisco’s Recreation and Park Department. More than $1.45 million was given to SFRD in 2011, for a total of more than $4.36 million over four years.

“Each year Outside Lands contributes more than a million dollars to support San Francisco’s parks, which has helped keep our parks beautiful and our recreation centers open,” said Phil Ginsburg General Manager of the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department. “These funds, coupled with the extensive measures festival promoters make to protect Golden Gate Park make Outside Lands a great partner in maintaining the City’s parks.”

In addition to the monetary rewards to Rec & Park and to San Francisco and its businesses, Outside Lands is a full cost recovery event. All city services impacted by the festival, including but not limited to: police, parking and traffic, Rec & Park staff time, are all paid directly by the event producers.


The “Economic Impact of the 2011 Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival on the City of San Francisco and the Bay Area” was conducted during the Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival, August 12-14, 2011. Festival producers, Another Planet Entertainment and Superfly Presents, engaged Dr. Patrick Tierney from San Francisco State University to conduct an analysis to determine the impact of Outside Lands attendees on the local economy. The information was gathered via on-site survey as well as an online survey.

“When we imagined Outside Lands, we set out to create something unique to fit San Francisco’s exceptional character,” said Gregg Perloff, CEO and founder of Another Planet Entertainment. “We’re proud of the economic and cultural benefits that this event is having on the community.”