It’s the end of an era. This year’s 10th annual Treasure Island Music Festival marks the final lineup on the man made island in the middle of the bay. A massive housing development and infrastructure project in the works for decades is breaking ground soon at the festival’s normal location—the Great Lawn along the Avenue of the Palms—which means this year’s grand finale will be moved to the east side of the island, to Pier 1.
Event organizers are spinning the news as best they can, noting that while San Francisco’s iconic skyline will no longer serve as the festival’s backdrop, music fans will still get quite a view of the recently completed eastern span of the Bay Bridge. This also means those travelling to the two-day concert will have a new shuttle option, which will pick up patrons from the West Oakland BART station on 5th Street, between Chester Street and Mandela Parkway.
There’s no word on exactly where the festivities will be held in 2017, but leave that to folks at parent promotion collective Noise Pop. For now, all you need to do is worry about who is playing at TIMF—and, if you’re coming up from the South Bay—how early you’ll need to arrive and how to get to the island.
Getting to San Francisco from Silicon Valley is rough, as it is. Slogging it all the way to Treasure Island can be a nightmare. Fortunately, there are a number of transportation options available to you.
Driving isn’t an option—at least not directly to the event. There is no parking on the island during the festival. However, Uber, Lyft and taxis are an option. Of course, hitching a hired ride all the way from the 408 will cost an arm and a leg. That’s why you might consider taking Caltrain or BART.
With Caltrain, you can leave directly from any location as far south at Gilroy. Bonus: you can also drink on the train. From there, you’ll want to ride to the end of the line at Fourth and King streets in the city. It’s still a bit of a hike from there—but, in addition to taxis and other ridesharing services, you can also catch a bus (No. 25), which is the cheapest option, but also eats up valuable time. Estimated drive time is 8 minutes from the SF Caltrain station. Hopping on the bus will take you at least 25 minutes.
Living at the base of the bay has its benefits. In this case, that benefit is that you can also run up 880 to San Francisco. By either driving straight to the West Oakland BART Station, or grabbing a BART train from Fremont, you can save yourself the hassle of dealing with the labyrinthine streets of San Francisco. Unfortunately, getting back on BART can be tricky and full of transfers. Plus, no booze allowed, and no bathrooms on the train.
Headlining acts for Saturday and Sunday are not to be missed. West Coast rap icon Ice Cube takes the first night while Icelandic post-rock titans Sigur Ros are slated for night two.
The first day of the festival seems geared more toward fans of electronic and hip-hop. Some of Saturday’s biggest names include the electro-soul crooner Tom Krell—a.k.a. How To Dress Well. His set is sure to draw a Pitchfork-reading crowd. Later in the afternoon, Young Thug is scheduled to get people amped for the gangster rap royalty headlining Saturday night. With his slurring delivery and outlandish persona, he embodies everything critics love and hate about the Southern trap sound.
Sunday’s roster of acts caters more to an indie rock crowd—even when it dips into electronic territory. Fans of tortured, young singer-songwriters, such as Conor Oberst’s early Bright Eyes releases, will want to check out Car Seat Headrest. Currently based out of Seattle, the project is the brainchild of Will Toledo, who garnered big buzz recording lo-fi, indie rock paeans to youthful disenfranchisement in his Leesburg, Va., bedroom. Those who love loud guitars will be remiss if they don’t check out the San Francisco-born, melodic black metal outfit Deafheaven; while those who prefer a more lackadaisical, indie-slacker sound, will enjoy smoking cigarettes and not caring about Mac DeMarco.
Treasure Island Music Festival