There are a few different music festivals in San Francisco and nearby — like the annual (FREE) Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival and Treasure Island. But my favorite has to be Outside Lands, which just happens to be taking place this weekend. In part, that’s because beyond just having a great lineup, Outside Lands wins at providing an all-around great experience on the web, through various social networks, and on mobile devices.
The best part of Outside Lands might be its mobile apps, which are designed to help users get around. If you’re going to Outside Lands and you somehow haven’t downloaded the official iPhone or Android app, correct that now. It’s pretty invaluable.
It’ll provide you with maps of the different stages, as well as various food, beer, and wine options. Users can also create their own lineup of bands they want to see, and the apps send push notifications when the schedule changes, as it’s wont to do. It also has built-in GroupMe messaging, so that users can connect with their friends and coordinate where they’re meeting. Outside Lands also has a mobile web experience for users who don’t have one of those fancy smartphones with apps.
The Outside Lands app is just one part of its strategy, though. Outside Lands also has a pretty substantial social profile on Facebook and Twitter. On Twitter, the official @sfoutsidelands is manned by Ranger Dave, who posts Instagram photos, scheduling changes, and witty anecdotes, all in the third person. Ranger Dave has almost 18,000 followers, which is pretty impressive when you consider that the festival will probably draw more than 60,000 attendees each day.
ranger dave is ready for round two. rise and shine people.
— Ranger Dave (@sfoutsidelands) August 11, 2012
The Outside Lands Facebook page, which has amassed more than 100,000 likes, is also an informative one-stop shop for schedule changes and highlights from each day of the show. It’s also got a pretty awesome Q&A thing going where fans can submit questions to their favorite bands at the show, and the Outside Lands team will get answers. How cool is that?
What would a music festival be without pretty pictures? If you’re in SF, your Instagram is probably blowing up with photos from the show, but it’s also worth following the official feed, which has some pretty awesome photos.
Basically, this is how all music festivals should be… And increasingly, it’s what visitors have come to expect. That’s true not just for the weekend of a show, but also to keep fans interested year-round.