1. Whoever sets up this event does a great job. The stages are spaced pretty much perfectly apart so that the acts can perform simultaneously without any overlapping sound to the audience. Also, lots of food and beverage stands, pot-o-potties, ATM machines, etc., so the lines are really manageable. Almost makes me forget about the goofy names they give the stages...:)
2. The festival's overall lineup was great too. Radiohead, Beck, Widespread Panic, Tom Petty, Jack Johnson just to name a few.
3. Unfortunately we didn't see any of the above-mentioned acts. Not the festival's fault, we just had other stuff scheduled. But we did get to see some pretty good performances. My favorite was Steve Winwood. He's one of those guys who i always wanted to see but hadn't had a chance to yet. Anyway, he rocked. So did Ben Harper. I'm not a huge fan, so I don't know his material that well, but dude can crank the slide guitar. Kelly's favorite, hand's down, was Cake. Not my favorite, but they were pretty good.
4. Music festivals are great for the diversity of the acts, but the short time they get to play kind of leaves me a bit empty. Just over an hour of Steve Winwood wasn't enough. I wanted a full concert. I think that's why I never walk away from these festivals completely blown away by the shows - just when the act and the audience is gearing up, that show's over.
5. Celebrity sighting of the day: Steve Wozniac. Standing about 3 or 4 people ahead of us in the hamburger stand line. Kind of surprised that he wasn't hiding in the VIP area (yes, they had a VIP section - ugh), but good to see your run of the mill billionaire grabbing a burger with us commoners. Also, pretty appropriate celeb sighting for the bay area.
6. Most ridiculous thing I saw were the corporate sponsored tents. Microsoft had a huge tent set up with a ton of machines for online access, no one was in there. Same with the Dell tent. Given that the "crowd sourcing" tent was empty, I would think the crowd sourcing wasn't that successful. My question is this: If you bought a sponsorship tent or a booth in one (like some start-ups did!), what kind of ROI on your marketing spend were you hoping for? I like Seth Godin's rule on these types of sponsorships - fine, go ahead and buy them but NO exec's from the company is allowed to attend the event. i wonder if these tents would have been as well sponsored if that rule was followed.
7. if you are in your 40's and want to feel old, go to a music festival. Memories of days of yore for sure, but also a great way to feel old.
8. Nicest surprise of the night: flagging down a cab pretty much right as we left the park. OK, it was a car service who over charged us, but whatever. I assumed getting back home was going to be measured in hours, not minutes. Happy to report I was wrong on that one.
I guess that's the proof of getting old - when the nicest surprise of the night is not a song or an act or running into somebody, but getting home in time to order Chinese and watch the end of the Olympics...Oh well, the shoe fits and I like to think I wear it well.