Monday, September 22, 2008

Treasure Island: Into Year Two And Still Kicking A$$


This weekend, the Treasure Island Festival solidified last year's realization: that you can do a festival on a tiny island in the Bay, and do it right. The festival is sure to be held up next to Outside Lands for comparison, but we're not sure that's justified. The two festivals have a truly different focus, and Treasure Island Festival is definitely its own beast.

Hot Chip

The Treasure Island Festival has a strong focus on the indie rock and electronic scene, and with only two stages, those who attended knew exactly what they had come to see. The lineup was decidedly "up and coming", with even the headliners being bands that are largely critically lauded, but just starting to get real national recognition.


The organizers also managed to do a fantastic job (as they did last year) of grabbing bands that don't throw the festival firmly in one creative direction. Most of the acts are multi-faceted and genre bending. This allows for the double edged sword of a) creating a festival that's diverse and groundbreaking, and b) attracting fans that are ready and willing to try out new sounds and experiences.


The weather on the island, much like last year, was to die for: blue skies, clear air, and in general a great spot in the middle of the Bay. This is the distinct advantage of not actually being in the city: you escape the always impending fog banks of doom. That being said, the wind was more than a little bit annoying at times.


There can be no doubt that this festival is carving out its own solid niche for the local music scene. It's less about epic numbers of people seeing huge bands, and far more about seeing great bands live in a fantastic setting. Much like sponsor Noise Pop's epononymous festival every Spring, Treasure Island is an artistic tour de force that is well on its way to becoming an institution.

TV On The Radio

As the festival closed out, we have to say that we were truly glad to have seen it be such a success a second year in a row. The Bay Area is starting to host some fantastic musical events, and the Treasure Island Festival has held its own as one of the most consistently unique, enjoyable, and entertaining experiences the city has to offer.

Many more photos over at the HAD Archive.
All photos (c) Sarah Klinger, 2008.