Outside Lands Festival Kicks Off in Golden Gate Park

SF Rec & Park hosts haiku poetry contest in honor of this weekend’s festivities

SAN FRANCISCO The sixth annual Outside Lands Festival in Golden Gate Park kicked off today, marking the beginning of a much-anticipated weekend of music, art and the best culinary offerings the city has to offer. This year’s festival features a long list of marquee performers, including Paul McCartney, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nine Inch Nails, Phoenix, Kaskade, and Daryl Hall & John Oates.

Since its inception in 2008, Outside Lands has become a part of the cultural fabric of San Francisco, drawing an additional half-million visitors to the park.  The City’s partnership with Another Planet Entertainment, which produces the festival, has proven to be a boon to the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department and the city as a whole.

In 2011, an Economic Impact Report conducted by San Francisco State University determined that the Festival, which employs over 4,000 people, contributes more than $60 million annually to San Francisco’s economy with significant spending in the City’s hotel and restaurant industries, and creates the equivalent of 683 full-time positions in San Francisco.

Through 2012, the Outside Lands Festival has generated over $6 million in total rent revenue to the Recreation and Park Department, with over $1.7 million in rent paid to the city in 2012. This year, with a renegotiated contract, the Department is expecting to exceed that number.  The renegotiated contract is considered one of the best in the country for similar festivals held in civic spaces, including Austin City Limits, Bonnaroo, and Lollapalooza.

Outside Lands has also endowed an extra gardener to help maintain the Polo Field, Hellman Hollow, Lindley Meadow and other Festival areas in Golden Gate Park, and an annual fundraiser benefitting parks is planned for Sunday.

Earlier this week, the Recreation and Park Department launched a haiku contest for two pairs of tickets to this weekend’s festivities. Participants emailed their own personally-written haikus to the department describing why the park is the best place to be this weekend.

“The Outside Lands Festival offers such an idyllic setting that it inspires a lot of thought about how great our park spaces are,” said Rec and Park Department general manager Phil Ginsburg. “What better way to express those feelings than in verse.”

The winning selections were:

First Place:

This is summer fun
So many great bands to see
I swear: no litter!
-Zack Parker

Second Place:

Do you hear that sound?
It’s the beating of my heart
In Golden Gate Park
-Andie Vallee

Runner-up submissions were given VIP seats to the upcoming San Francisco Opera show at the Stern Grove Music Festival on Sunday, August 18.

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