Video Spotlight: Off The Grid Is Known For Its Food Happenings


But Did You Know It Books 2,000 Local Bands Each Year?

A city’s public spaces define its character. When underutilized, public spaces can become eyesores, but mostly they represent wasted opportunities. Off the Grid is focused on identifying those spaces and organizing events, in partnership with food vendors, at underutilized spaces throughout the Bay Area.

Matt Cohen, who founded the Off the Grid in 2010, sees it as a logistics company, one that utilizes what it’s learned about permitting and working with small businesses to put our cities’ underutilized spaces to better use, making them better for everyone. Here are some surprising nuggets from our talk with Cohen …

Off the Grid is built on creative permitting. “We operate in an industry that hadn’t been conceived of when a lot of the codes and legislation were put in place,” Cohen tells NewCo. Examining regulations and figuring out how to work with municipalities is “the fun part,” according to Cohen. “It’s also really challenging.”

Off the Grid is also secretly a music booking company: We were stunned to learn it books roughly 2,000 acts a year.

In our Spotlight, Cohen told NewCo that Off the Grid has two primary missions. “One is to support the small businesses that we work with. The other one is to build great communities, and great community spaces. The mechanism we do both of those things with is through trying to be innovative in the temporary events space.”

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