It’s time for Partner Spotlight, our series that’s gets up close and personal with the people behind your favorite events. We’re criss-crossing the country, putting some of the smartest, most creative, and most successful people in the industry in the spotlight to talk about everything from why they got into the business, to how technology has changed the industry, to the best acts they’ve ever seen.
Today, we’ve got Andrea Lundquist, Managing Partner of Space Cowboys and Executive Producer of Ghost Ship Halloween and Breakfast of Champions, in the hot seat. Now in their 8th and 12th years, respectively, read on to hear just how Andrea got involved in producing massive events, and how she and her team made one event ubiquitous with Halloween in San Francisco
How did you get involved in producing events?
When I first moved to San Francisco, I was immediately immersed in music, in the community, and all the fun that was going on here. I realized pretty quickly that if I could help organize and plan these events, they could be great. I really consider the kind of vibe that these parties needed and we just grow from humble beginnings.
What makes Space Cowboys so unique?
The Space Cowboys are a local artist collective that came together to form and produce unique events. It’s a diverse group of individuals from all walks of life and vocations. It originally began as a large scale dance camp at Burning Man, and it has evolved to be so much more.
Tell us about the concept behind Ghost Ship Halloween?
Ghost Ship came out of the need for a Halloween celebration in San Francisco. At this point, I had been doing Halloween parties every year with the Space Cowboys. Those were smaller events with maybe 200-300 people and featured local DJs. In 2008, we stumbled upon this space on Treasure Island that was not being used, and my little ears went up and I said “we could do a party here.” And we did.
It’s grown every year, it’s sold out almost year, and we’ve since moved it from Treasure Island to Pier 70. It’s gotten so big that we even expanded it to two nights, and we’re expecting over 20,000 people this year. This will also be it’s 8th year and we’re not stopping anytime soon.
You’ve managed to make Ghost Ship ubiquitous with Halloween in San Francisco. How?
There’s a real magic to it, and my goal has been to continue to grow the event and keep people happy. You want to keep them coming back every year and enjoying it and expect that magic. We’ve been able to create something so unique that only happens once a year and it’s been very special.
In 2008, Ghost Ship established a few principles that have really guided the event. As a result, it’s really become one with how San Francisco celebrates Halloween, as well as a part of the city itself. Those are:
1: The art comes first.
2: Build something spectacular that can only be seen at this one event.
3: Build art from sustainable and recyclable materials. Divert waste when possible.
4: Aim towards small, independent, and local artists, musicians, and vendors.
5: Empower volunteers and newbies to introduce them to the visual arts.
6: Host the event the weekend before or after Halloween, not on Halloween night, to relieve pressure on public agencies and partners.