Outside Lands festival’s economic impact felt beyond SF, study finds

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Outside Lands Music Festival's economic impact extends beyond SF, study finds
Photo: Outside Lands

San Francisco may get all the great bands during the Outside Lands Music Festival, but the whole Bay Area — including the East Bay — enjoys its economic benefits.

That was the finding of a study by Marin Economic Consulting (MEC), and commissioned by Outside Lands organizers, of the economic benefits from the three-day festival that descends upon San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park annually. The 11th installment is set for August 10-12 and features headliners The Weeknd, Florence + The Machine and Janet Jackson. 

The report by MEC found the annual event sinks $75 million into the Bay Area economy via hotel and restaurant stays and other visitor spending patterns. For one, the study found that last year “41,448 hotel nights were booked in the Bay Area that are closely linked to the Festival, approximately 41,309 of which were in San Francisco.”

“When visitors stay in San Francisco hotels, they help support an industry that sustains tens of thousands of working families,” said Ian Lewis, Research Director of UNITE HERE Local 2, in a statement. “This study highlights how events like Outside Lands – 60% of whose guests stay in local hotels – contribute to our region’s economy.”

The study found the festival created about 700.4 full-time year-long jobs, increased incomes by $32.6 million, and paid $9,465,668 in state and local taxes.

To determine those figures, researchers used data gathered from on-site and online surveys of festival-goers. The surveys gathered such factors as demographics and spending patterns of festival attendees and estimated their overall economic impact.

The report states: “Total direct expenditures from Outside Lands within San Francisco were $29,995,144. Spending in the Bay Area outside of San Francisco was estimated at $2,596,099. This resulted in total direct expenditures in the entire Bay Area of $32,591,244.”

“The economic numbers this study has yielded prove that the festival’s reach goes far beyond just the entertainment business,” said Joe D’Alessandro, President and CEO of San Francisco Travel Association. 

For tickets to the upcoming festival, go here.

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