Meet Danielle Madeira from Another Planet

Posted on in People in Your Neighborhood by Rob Sidon

Danielle Madeira is a single mother who grew up in Tulsa and in 2003 migrated to the Bay Area, where she begged her way into a marketing job at the nascent Another Planet Entertainment, the local independent concert promoter. An ardent music lover who’s risen to VP of special events, she has a collection of cool stories—including how she organized a gig for Barack Obama.

Another Planet Entertainment is the third largest concert promoter in the country. Can you describe its unique niche?

The number one [Live Nation] and number two [AEG] are global conglomerates. We are a small local independent company not answering to Wall Street. We can take risks, like we did with Outside Lands, with less bureaucracy. We’re on the ground where we can work closely with artists and the community and offer more care. We all enjoy going to work every day.

How is Bill Graham’s legacy tied to Another Planet?

Bill is a legendary figure who was my boss’s boss. Gregg Perloff and Sherry Wasserman are the founders of Another Planet. They were trained by Bill, who was very concerned with quality control. Bill cared about the venues and made sure the ushers were kind. Gregg and Sherry bring that kind of pride, which trickles through.

I remember connecting with you as the first Outside Lands festival launched. How has it evolved?

In a very successful way! At the beginning it was Another Planet and our partner Super Fly just pulling this together, like, “How do we do this?” Now it’s so big, yet there’s acceptance in the community. We’ve tried to be a green event and the curation keeps improving. For example, our waste aversion rates get better and better. Over the years Outside Lands has generated millions for SF Rec and Park.

Danielle Madeira organized a party for Obama in 2012
Danielle Madeira organized a party for Obama in 2012

Outside Lands has a charitable arm.

Yes, those charities often contain a music element such as UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital’s music therapy program, which Gregg and Laura Perloff support. That program helps kids with physical or mental trauma through music. Others are Creativity Explored, Youth Arts Exchange, the Richmond Neighborhood Center, the San Francisco Community Music Center, Women’s Audio Mission, the Bay Area Girls That Rock Camp.

You’ve crafted a unique role for yourself in the music industry. Can you describe your work?

I find event opportunities where we can get involved, whether it’s for a company like Pixar renting our venues such as the Fox Theater for a premiere party or an expensive birthday with a name band. Or for fundraisers—we pull it together. We integrate our production skills, connections, and talent relationships to create unique events.

What do you love about the music industry?

The people. The common bond is that we love live music. For me a live music event is like church, where there’s an energy exchange between like-minded people. Everybody speaks a similar language. I still like finding out about new bands.

Madeira and her two boys
Madeira and her two boys

Did you really organize a party for Barack Obama?

In 2012 the DNC called me and ended up picking the Fox Theater to do a big multi-level fund raiser within the building. I was fortunate to be part of the organizing team. I love him.

What’s he like?

The coolest, nicest, most charming guy. I was bummed not to meet Michelle. She wasn’t able to attend. Everyone said if you like POTUS you’re really going to love FLOTUS. She seems amazing.

What’s another favorite event that stands out?

In 2017, after the North Bay fires, the Band Together Bay Area concert came together as a fundraiser for the Tipping Point Emergency Relief Fund. It was at AT&T Park with Dead and Company, Dave Matthews, Metallica, and others. We worked together with Live Nation, which was amazing, and Marc Benioff and the Salesforce team. It all required last-minute quick thinking for a greater cause that raised $17 million. Energetically it was very hope ful—about how we can work together to help our community.

You work with so many creative people, yet we’re all creative. What is your personal brand of creativity?

I have a sense of knowing how to pair other peoples’ different talents, offstage and onstage, to make an event come together—within a budget. That’s especially important for a fundraiser.

What are your creative aspirations?

I would love to write a book. I love stories. I’ve kept journals since I was six and have stories. [laughs] My kids are getting to reading age so I need to lock those up.

How do you balance work and being a single mama raising two kids?

Good question. I’ve got a great ex-husband who’s an amazing dad. Between kids’ birth day parties and then changing into heels and a blazer for evening concerts I am starting to show wrinkles from lack of sleep.

How did growing up in Oklahoma affect you?

I am proud of my Midwest landscapes. I went to college in Kansas. It goes a bit slower there. I really appreciate that in the fast pace of San Francisco.

You have a yoga practice.

Yes, it’s important—and meditation—and needs to be more frequent [laughs]. Yoga Flow on Ocean Avenue in SF is one of my favorite places to zen-out for 90 minutes.

Can you share a message, particularly to young people, who are trying to find their path in the arts?

You have to have tenacity—and patience. See where your passion leads and follow it. It’s not going to happen immediately but eventually it works out.

Rob Sidon is publisher and editor-in-chief of Common Ground.

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