With the hot summer nights in our rear view mirror what more does a Californian live for? Well the next upcoming months (August-October) are a music lovers dream! Eclectic beats, colorful crowds, dance parties, and complete and utter chaos are the embodiment and mantra of a festival in the bay. To be more specific-the Treasure Island Music Festival!
Treasure Island Music Festival brought the heat October 13th and 14th to the outskirts of San Francisco. Integrating today’s top bands paired with eclectic DJ’s from around the globe made the ultimate festival weekend for music lovers.
Taking its sixth year the Treasure Island Music Festival (TIMF), isn’t your average music festival. Treasure Island is a natural landscape that is hidden in plain sight right in the middle of the San Francisco Bay! TIMF is held between Oakland and San Francisco and has been called ‘one of the most organized and manageable music festivals around’. Sure we have all heard of other music festivals but the team that coordinates the TIMF is on to something. Noise Pop and Another Planet Entertainment are the promoters for the event and have managed to keep the festival easy and intimate for those in attendance. The two groups have perfected the craft by combining all things we love, including: music, art, food, and more amid the background of the San Francisco Bay which made the perfect picturesque scene and ‘the place to be’.
TIMF couldn't help but make you feel lucky just for being there. With 26 bands on two different stages TIMF has made it possible to stagger performances so only one band is playing at the same time. Everyone on the bill is up against the gorgeous natural setting. The warm, nearly cloud-free weather on both days of the festival offered clear views of San Francisco, the Bay and Golden Gate Bridges, and of course, the city skyline itself, lured a sizable number of festival-goers.
Often described as a ‘city that needs no introductions’, San Francisco is a ‘dream within a dream’, and a true gem. Draped across the hills of California bracketed between two famous city spans, creates a hub that is honestly breathtaking. The perfect scenery matched with exquisite food, shopping, nightlife, and history-makes it easy for the city to capture your heart at first glance.
While most of the bands on this year’s lineup are currently or have been touring for the past year, there were a few rare performances thrown into the mix. Saturday started off with Dirty Ghosts! Dirty Ghosts is composed of guitarist Allyson Baker and bassist Carson Binks. The two have managed to take a ‘stripped-down approach’ to the meaning of rock, which was a perfect way to get the festival going in the right direction.
After Dirty Ghosts, K. Flay hit the stage. “I know it’s early but we can still party” said KFlay. K. Flay (Kristine Flaherty) has stepped up her game with her mixing, editing, and rapping, and gave attendees one hell of a show. The Coup had the crowd hyped and ready to go. The six person danceable punk/funk explosion spawned the crowd into a full on heated dance party. With the main man, Boots Riley, and his ‘razor-tongued humor and satirical political commentary’ gave attendees the best of both worlds- music and commentary infused with comedy.
Araabmuzik has conquered various sounds, and is a festival ‘mogul’. Attendees lined up to witness a spectacle of the modern age. His fingers moved at the speed of sound, and delivered a pounding, relentless beat that pushed everyone into a stage of powerful bliss. On the next stage was Porter Robinson. Porter Robinson is a powerhouse and a master at his craft. Recently having graduated from high school, this young DJ has already scratched and left his mark at top festivals such as: Coachella, Lollapalooza, and the infamous Electronic Daisy Carnival.
Hailing from ‘down under, the Australian duo-The Presets, set the stage on fire. Julian Hamilton and Kim Mayes have been delivering electronic dance grooves for years, and this show did not disappoint. Combining funk, techno, house, infused with pop has made these beats incomparable and a personal favorite. Additional performances were: Tycho, Sbtrkt, Matthew Dear, Toro Y Moi, Grimes, Public Enemy, and Girl Talk.
Saturday’s lineup was more dance based, Sunday delivered an incomparable line up of ‘indie-favorites’ and rock acts. Starting off with: Imperial Teen, Hospitality, The War on Drugs, Wild Belle, Youth Lagoon, Ty Segall, Joanna Newsom, Los Campesinos, and Divine Fits to name a few.
Best Coast is the epitome of California. Composed of vocalist/guitarist Bethany Cosentino and multi-instrumentalist Bobb Bruno, Best Coast, produces a sound that is somewhat reminiscent of California in the 50’s and 60’s. California Dreamin’, Cosentino and Bruno glazed the crowd with a smooth, sultry, and laid back vibe. "Why would you live anywhere else?" Cosentino sang, as a fiery orange glow slowly appeared in the skies over San Francisco. "This is the only place for me."
M83 had cinematic energy that left the strongest impression. M83 is an electronic, dream-pop piece of art straight from the mind of Anthony Gonzalez. M83 delivered a simultaneously complex and intriguing set that painted the perfect dreamy landscape that was oh so evident in their performance.
Combining dance with a blues infused beat was Gossip. Gossip is one of the most thought provoking punk bands that is rock and roll with a catchy beat. Vocalist Beth Ditto, is the perfect final touch. The range and talent of this group is unheard of and definitely worth checking out. ‘Darting from a gospel sound to an electronic yell with no problem’ is something Ditto is known to do. Joking with the crowd by saying things such as ‘Coachella-Who’, made Gossip a festival favorite and a staple at this years festival.
Bringing the festival to an end was headliners ‘The xx’. The mythical and romantic trio set the pace by delivering a heartfelt performance. Serving as a reflection of the weekend, The xx, displays its musicality through intimacy and a mysterious combination. Musically there are no elements missing, nothing extraneous. The xx, closed out the festival by playing hit songs of their new album “Coexist”, as well as past favorites from their debut album such as: “VCR” a stripped down version of Crystalised, and the closing song being ‘Stars’, Romy and Oliver achieved chilling vocal harmonies, while Jamie xx kept the rhythm. The xx definitely brought Coexist to life.
Besides the music, festival goers had an array of additional attractions to partake in such as the ‘Treasure Chest Vendor Village’ and the Camp D.I.Y (do it yourself) tent, which allowed you to engage you inner artist. Roaming the festival grounds were the Samba Stilt Circus which provided energetic stilt dances and drumming. Adhering to a ‘green state of mind’, TIMF was all about recycling and reusing products. Patrons had the chance to win future festival tickets in exchange for cups and cans. Attendees could escape from the madness of the festival by dancing the night away at the Silent Disco. Presented by Sony Music Unlimited, Silent Disco allowed for festival goers to put on drowning headphones and dance to top tracks by Michael Jackson and Prince-talk about the ultimate dance party. Watching the illuminated nest eggs-Mosaic, light up the sky, the Balloon Chains flow in the wind, and the active fire sculptures-Spike, made the nightlife of TIMF spectacular as the installations ‘come to life’.
San Francisco’s TIMF is a bit under-appreciated by outsiders, but that makes for an ideal situation, as there’s room to breathe and far fewer people in attendance than its surrounding competition such as Outside Lands, and Hardly Strictly. The festival’s close proximity to the city’s trademark bay only adds to the experience, as well. The transition from day to night is unforgettable; the autumn-tinged sunset that hugged the surrounding skyline is something that will truly capture your heart and make the experience unforgettable. Be sure to stay up to date with the masterminds behind the festival, Noise Pop and Another Planet Entertainment as they produce other festivals throughout the year. Most importantly, be sure to check out Treasure Island Music Festival next year!
For additional information on Treasure Island Music Festival please visit: www.treasureislandfestival.com
For additional information on Noise Pop and Another Planet Entertainment please visit:
Photo Credit: Sydney Pelzer