Sometimes taking a day off makes you head back to work recharged, refreshed and motivated to get things done. A year off for Treasure Island did just that.
The festival, in its eleventh year felt like a fresh start for the decade-old festival. A major factor was the varied lineup that harkened back to the festival’s inception. Organizers didn’t rely on predictable triple-A headliners but on a mix of interesting artists from on and off the beaten path.
Throughout the weekend audiences were treated to everything from the psychedelics of Tame Impala (holy haze Batman!) to the aggressive onslaught of A$AP Rocky (holy pyro Batman!) and the dance party that was Silk City. One of the benefits of a lineup like this is discovery. It seemed like every set began with strangers talking to each other about who they came for and who they’d never heard of but wound up loving. Set after set, new fans were being won over as artists showed their wares. How else would Courtney Barnett fans learn who Pusha T. is? How else would Pusha T. fans learn about U.K. punks Shame?
Another great feature of Treasure Island is the scheduling. With two stages in close proximity there were no overlapping sets. One ended and the other began with little to no delays. This simple but highly effective trick made the weekend worth every penny as it was almost impossible to miss a band unless you were busy trying some of the amazing food or enjoying the stunning views from the show’s new location in the East Bay looking over the bay at San Francisco. Saturday’s sunset was a headliner itself.
The festival’s new setting was a perfect replacement for the now unavailable Treasure Island. With its stunning view of the city and industrial backdrop of cranes and shipping containers, you could feel the Oakland vibe everywhere you looked. Unique pieces of art decorated the grounds while long strings of balloons that moved throughout the day decorated the sky.
It’s little touches like this that give TI a unique personality in the field of cookie cutter festivals. In a year that’s seen many festivals fall apart or never even get off the ground let’s hope this time off has given Treasure Island the motivation to keep going.
Here are some photos of our favorite moments from the weekend.