Phil’s Tip of the Week – A Glastonbury/Dreamforce Special

Tip #1 Dreamforce vs Glastonbury

My first Dreamforce was just last November, it was a great experience, and a little bit manic. It was not a brand new experience for me though, but it took me a while to think where I had experienced similar craziness before…it was the Glastonbury Festival!

Glastonbury is possibly the best music festival on the planet, and kicks off next week. The similarities to Dreamforce may not seem obvious at first, but I think you will see what I mean…

The music
Glastonbury invites THE top bands and performers every year, this year has over 1000 wide ranging acts, from Metallica and Arcade Fire, to Dolly Parton, and the National Ballet Company. But also Dreamforce has a gala event at the baseball stadium, this year’s bands are TBA but previous years have had Stevie Wonder, Green day, and Metallica. There are also lots of side events, with bands and DJs around Dreamforce.

Greenday at Dreamforce2Glastonbury music2

The madness
Glastonbury has around 175,000 people on one cattle farm in Somerset, UK. Dreamforce has 135,000 in downtown San Francisco. Navigating your way around requires a map, and a clear head (if possible). Both events have a number of stages and locations…


Dreamforce inflatable dome2Glastonbury Pyramid

The Alternative side
Glastonbury has the Green Fields, a peaceful eco zone of poetry, healing and alternative culture. Dreamforce also has another side as well as the ‘Cloud computing /IT/Business’ side. Last year saw Dr. Deepak Chopra  and Dr. Wayne Dyer address a huge audience in the Keynote arena, as well as many bike powered generators, and of course lots of involvement from the Salesforce Foundation.

The schedule
When I first went to Glastonbury in 2000 (David Bowie headlined), I had a schedule of all the bands I wanted to see, a route of how I would get between the stages, and scheduled food breaks. By Day2 that was thrown into a muddy puddle, because it was pointless! The crowds meant it could take 45 minutes to move between stages, and invariably somewhere in between stages I would get distracted by a side act, a bar, a Thai food stand, another bar… Now I am not saying Dreamforce is exactly the same, but with around 1300 sessions, there is NO WAY you are going to get to them all. And if you plan all your days running between sessions then you miss out on some of the cool stuff. Like the Dreamforce Plaza with all its bands and karaoke, the Dev Zone with its $million Hackathon, and the great parties held by sponsors. Plus you should try to take in at least some of the San Fran atmosphere while you are there…I had a wander around, had some food and coffees outside of the downtown hub, I even shared a breakfast table with comedian Billy Connelly and bumped into Iggy Pop whilst walking around, so eyes peeled!

The scrabble for tickets
Glastonbury tickets always sell out within a day! It’s crazy. The scrabble for Dreamforce tickets is slightly different, it’s the attempt to get the boss to pay for it, or to convince yourself that it is an investment you should make. Trust me, it is.

Try to watch some of the Glastonbury highlights on TV next weekend, and book your ticket for Dreamforce!