OutsideHacks is a 24 hour hackathon, akin to a Music Hack Day, where developers gather to build music-related apps for attendees of Outside Lands, a music festival in San Francisco that is attended by around 60,000 people.

In late July we attended OutsideHacks in San Francisco. It was a well-run event with plenty of space, good bandwidth, and excellent presentation facilities.

Well over a hundred skilled developers attended. Although many attendees had not built music apps before, they were quickly up to speed with the latest music APIs. Many of the hacks built had some component for ‘social good’ as part of the app.

Presenters were given a two-hour window at the beginning of the event to hold ‘office hours’. We were happy to have lots of traffic to our room, and we continually looped through our presentation of our new Spotify Web API, and answered questions from interested attendees.

Twenty six hacks were created at the event (the full list can be found here. There were festival food apps, ride-sharing apps, fan management apps, and many more creative ways to help improve the festival experience. Some of our favorites were:

Me Radio - a unique “radio” that allows the user to experience old-time radio. It includes a satirical representation of radio station announcers that is played before the start of every audio sample. This humorous addition encourages fantastic combinations that keeps the user coming back for more.

MappedIn - a mobile dynamic population heat mapper. Takes in mobile geolocation data and creates a heat map by population density over a geospatially overlaid map of OutsideLands. It also keeps track of a phone’s location throughout the day and can reproduce a path through the concert. Using the Spotify’s API, it displays the artist playing at each location, tagged by geolocation.

Songyards - a music share and discovery experience based on geolocation. Bury a song you like at a place and your friends and other people can check it out when they get there!

Mylands - an app to track your experience at OutsideLands. Visualize your festival experience through custom mapping, and also create a playlist of all the places you visited, and all the artists you saw.

Rideshare heading in the same direction, which is inefficient and leaves many without rides home. RideShare is an easy to use mobile application that enables users to sync up with others heading in the same direction.  Created by a #girlswhocode team.

Outside Hacks Recommendations.

music-skillet Music Skillet - The Spotify / Echo Nest prize went to Music Skillet. This team used the Spotify Web API to gather the starred items of a user and, using data from the Echo Nest  make music recommendations and an associated nifty graph visualization of the music space.

Our congratulations to Megan and Shaohan Chen!