Established in 2003, Another Planet Entertainment (APE) is the only independent, locally owned and operated, full-service concert production company in the San Francisco Bay Area and Northern California. APE promotes events 52 weeks a year in venues from clubs to stadiums to multi-day festivals and everything in between. APE exclusively operates and promotes concerts at the Greek Theatre at UC Berkeley, the Fox Theater in Oakland, the Oxbow RiverStage in Napa, the Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena at Harvey’s and, in San Francisco, the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, The Independent, and The Castro.
We recently connected with Mary Conde, Production Director at APE, and David Perry, APE spokesperson. They provided joint written responses.
GGBA: Please tell us more about your business, as well as sharing its mission and values.
Mary Conde and David Perry: APE is a locally owned, San Francisco Bay Area independent concert promoter with a long history of a commitment and celebration of the LGBTQ communities and progressive causes. 20% of our team identifies as LGBT and our leadership is comprised largely of women. As a small business with fewer than 50 full time employees, we are passionate about what we do. Our focus is shows in the SF Bay Area; this is our home and the patrons at our shows are our neighbors. We operate several venues including The Fox Theater in Oakland, the Greek Theatre in Berkeley, The Independent and Bill Graham Civic in San Francisco. We assumed management of the historic LGBT landmark and community icon Castro Theatre in January.
GGBA: How did APE start?
Mary Conde and David Perry: Through a series of mergers, we found ourselves working for Clear Channel (soon to be Live Nation). The values of a large, multi-national company were at odds with our years of experience in the San Francisco Bay Area. We didn’t want to work for a company that was striving to homogenize our industry. San Francisco is a very special place, and it didn’t make sense to support a company based in Texas with a very different geopolitical world view.
GGBA: Who are some of your role models, and especially those who helped to influence your business?
Mary Conde and David Perry: Our leadership team worked under the legendary impresario Bill Graham, and we are proud to continue in his footsteps. One of the core values of Another Planet is to treat people the way we would like to be treated—we try to create environments that are welcoming to artists and audience alike.
GGBA: Why did you decide to join the GGBA, and how long have you been a member?
Mary Conde and David Perry: Another Planet has long been an ally of the LGBTQ community and progressive business practices. With almost a third of our employees being part of the LGBTQ community and now as stewards of the iconic Castro Theatre, Another Planet joining the GGBA is the right thing to do, and the smart business decision to do.
GGBA: How has being a member of GGBA helped your business so far?
Mary Conde and David Perry: Already the relationship building, networking, and strategic connections made have been invaluable, especially as we learn how our ongoing renovation and programming of the Castro Theatre can help revitalize our neighboring businesses.
GGBA: Do you go to the GGBA monthly Make Contact networking events? Have they benefited you and your business, and would you recommend them to others?
Mary Conde and David Perry: While we haven’t had a chance to attend yet, as a new member, we’re looking very forward to it. GGBA has a wonderful reputation of engagement and we’re happy to be part of the community.
GGBA: What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of starting their own business?
Mary Conde and David Perry: Be patient! Things cost more money and take more time than you can possibly imagine.
GGBA: Is there anything else that you would like to share?
Mary Conde and David Perry: APE has a deep appreciation for, and experience in, restoring historic venues: for example, the Greek that was built in 1903, the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium constructed in 1915, and Oakland’s Fox Theatre that opened in 1928. Right now, we’re working on the renovation, revitalization, and renaissance of the Castro Theatre, which opened 100 years ago this year. We’re working closely with the LGBT, film, and independent promotions communities to make this a success for the next 100 years.
Learn more at: https://apeconcerts.com/
Published by San Francisco Bay Times