Shoreline Amphitheater

Google changed the game with its I/O 2016 conference, held last week in Northern California. In contrast to the traditional indoor conference of past years, the outdoor, festival-themed event brought not just the usual sessions and presentations, but quirky demo areas outdoor meeting spaces.

As such, the traditional firehose of news posts doesn't quite convey the spirit of this year's I/O, and so we've put together an extensive photo tour of this year's developer festival. Read on to get a look at I/O 2016 from the inside.

Google I/O 2016 took place at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Google's hometown of Mountain View, Calif. — a large concert venue located a short walk away from the company's headquarters.

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Attendees walked away with an assortment of I/O-branded swag, including sunglasses, water bottles and a festival-themed t-shirt.

The keynote itself kicked off on the morning of Tuesday, May 19 on the Amphitheater's main stage.

The crowds were kept entertained in the run up to the keynote by a performance from Electronic musican Robert DeLong and two harpists staged high above the audience.

Android Central Editor-in-Chief Phil Nickinson streams on Facebook live as we prepare for the start of the I/O keynote.

MORE: Google I/O keynote countdown on Facebook Live

Former Googler and current Xiaomi VP Hugo Barra joined the crowds ahead of the keynote, taking selfies with fans.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai kicks off I/O 2016 with thoughts on the future of the company, its platforms and computing in general.

Mario Queiroz introduces the Google Assistant and Google Home — the firm's Amazon Alexa competitor.

Product lead Rebecca Michael gives us our first look at Allo and Duo, Google's new messaging platforms, with a live video demo of Duo from Erik Kay and his daughter.

Android engineering VP Dave Burke talks up what's next for Google's OS — including a new contest to find the name for the upcoming N release.

And we're also introduced to Daydream, Google's new VR platform.

MORE: Android Central Google I/O keynote analysis on Facebook Live

With the keynote wrapped up, the rest of the venue opens to attendees...

One of Google's self-driving vehicles was on display right outside the main stage.

Google's paint robot created abstract art by hurling globs of dye at a rotating cube.

The Google Play Music Zone let I/O-goers explore the connections between different artists, and enter a Bohemian Rhaposdy-themed VR experience.

Each of the smaller stages outside the amphitheater was given its own monicker, with each being named after a constellation.

Hugo Barra dropped by the Android TV demo area; Xiaomi debuted its own Android-powered TV box at I/O 2016.

In the Android Wear area, attendees could design their own watch faces.

In another area, artistic attendees could decorate the metal structure with colored stickers.

The Firebase team set up foosball tables for challengers at their demo area.

The Android experiments section contained a bounty of interesting demos hacked onto Android phones, including musical instruments based on AR (augmented reality), a robot that would sketch your picture, and a camera capable of adding time-based effects.

Google's Project Loon — designed to deploy aerial Wi-Fi to areas where traditional Internet infrastructure isn't available — was on show outside Stage 2.

Google invited Android fans to draw all over this Bugdroid statue with Android N name suggestions and other musings...

The "Big Ideas" wall invited developers to share their ideas with the world, with NFC-enabled tiles allowing them to collaborate on Google Spaces

In the kids demo area, budding designers could create remote-controlled cardboard monsters. Elsewhere, attendees could send their photo to be printed out in a Polaroid-like print.

Android Auto also had a big presence at I/O, with a new phone-based UI being shown, along with third-party apps for head units and a Snapdragon-powered concept vehicle from Maserati.

Google I/O 2016 was the biggest most ambitious Google conference. And although it didn't go off entirely without kinks, there's no denying Google threw an impressive with plenty to see. And we'll be watching with interest to see how the company builds on this year's event in 2017.

MORE: Google I/O 2016 coverage in full