Treasure Island, about 4 miles from the coast of San Francisco, was blessed with sunny, clear skies last Saturday and Sunday for the 9th annual Treasure Island Music Festival. Hosted by Noise Pop and Another Planet Entertainment, two major concert production companies in the San Francisco bay area, Treasure Island showcased diverse genres of music, skillfully crafted art installations, craft food and vendors, and friendly attendees.
Treasure Island Music Festival has its own niche in the festival experience by not overlapping any set times. Rather than booking numerous artists for serried scheduling, festival producers booked 13 artists for each day of the festival to play on two stages. As one band would wrap up their set, crew members on the other stage prepped for the next artist to play. Transition times between stages were minimal, and since the two stages were so close by, only a few minutes of walking was needed to see the next act. Emphasis on quality rather than quantity of musicians steers this system to success. Acts such as National and Deadmau5 performed on Saturday and Sunday night respectively. Big Grams, the collaboration between Big Boi and Phantogram, made their live debut on Saturday night, and Chvrches, FKA Twigs, The War on Drugs, Father John Misty, Run the Jewels, and more performed throughout the weekend.
Logistically, the festival was unparalleled. Preparation for 20,000 people to visit the island required plenty of speculation about transportation, flow of foot traffic, scheduling, activities, and more. Due to the scant amount of land on the 0.9 square mile island, providing parking for festival patrons wasn’t feasible. Instead, free shuttles made trips around the clock to the island and back to San Francisco. Throughout the day, shuttle waits never exceeded a few minutes, and if the previous one had filled up another shuttle bus always swiftly opened its doors to accept more passengers. Festival volunteers sporting bright yellow Treasure Island Music Festival shirts scattered throughout the grounds, cheerfully answering questions or offering a conversation. Grounds were logically designed to optimize an attendee’s experience. Shuttles stopped right at the ticket entrance. Lockers were a few steps away once you enter. Bathrooms were centrally located in the venue. Food a nd drinks could be found on both sides of the grounds. Grass fields, benches, and small hideouts allowed visitors to rest and relax.
Patrons could also partake in a plethora of activities if they wanted something other than live music. This year, Treasure Island Music Festival also offered a comedy stage, Funny or Die, hosted by Tim Heidecker of Tim and Eric. Workshop SF, a DIY workshop school in San Francisco, taught people how to assemble flower crowns, make shrinky dinks, paint beer bottle cozies, knot friendship bracelets, craft leather keychains, and much more. Artspan, supporting San Francisco’s art community, curated a community mural using a reference picture and having participants each paint a part of that picture. People passing by the nondescrepit phone booth labeled “Talk to God” could have the opportunity to talk to the higher being himself (or just the other person on the line). Robot Dance Party, a project by Chris Hirst, provided grooves and tunes throughout the festival. Chris dresses in a self-designed robot suit with speakers, while his partner Mustafa Khan curates the playlist ju st a few feet away. The result: impromptu dance parties wherever Robot Dance Party travels. Lastly, there was always the option of sitting on the field and absorbing the view of the peninsula and the glowing San Francisco skyline.’