Hip hop and electronic music alike draw thousands to the annual Treasure Island Music Festival

A cloud of marijuana smoke, a sea of dancing bodies and live, non-stop music engulfed Treasure Island this past weekend at the eighth annual Treasure Island Music Festival.

The two-day music festival, known for its non-overlapping music sets and stunning views of the San Francisco Bay, graced the city with the likes of alt-J, Jillian Banks (simply known as BANKS), Jungle, The Growlers and the DJ duo Classixx.

After the long, winding trail of  traffic ended, attendees knew they had arrived at the festival when they laid their eyes the colorfully lit Ferris wheel and the iconic towering, dancing woman, crafted only of thick wire. Known as “Bliss Dance,” the sculpture has been one of the must-see landmarks at Treasure Island since 2011.

“It has been an amazing, amazing show. Amazing location, amazing venue,” said Matt Lambert, a SF State senior majoring in American studies, strolling happily through the festival Saturday afternoon. “It is such a well laid out program. I’ve just been having a blast, and the weather has been amazing and warm. The ferris wheel is always probably one of the best attractions for this whole event.”

Saturday was dedicated to hip-hop and electronica music with headliners from Outkast to Janelle Monae. Sunday featured rock and indie music with artists from Massive Attack to The Growlers, which set the two days apart from one another.

Jarid Foster, a SF State senior majoring in electrical engineering, attended both days of the weekend and enjoyed Outkast’s performance in particular. He felt that although the duo did a great job in keeping the set upbeat overall, their slower songs emphasized how artistic they are as musicians.

“Saturday is also a little more electronic driven, a little more dancey,” said Foster. “Historically, I feel like Sunday is more indie-rockish. I definitely saw a lot more older people on Sunday, which was nice honestly. It was a little bit more diverse age group.”

Early bird tickets were sold out in the final days before the weekend, however, general admission tickets were available for last-minute purchasers up until the festival began. The festival offers limited parking on the island at a hefty price each year, but festival-goers had access to a complimentary shuttle to and from the Bill Graham Civic Center Auditorium in downtown San Francisco.

In addition to the assortment of tented venues, ranging from GoPro to CrossRoads Trading Co., the festival hosted a full two days of DIY art workshops. Face painting and fresh-flower crown-making were a couple of the hottest workshops of the weekend.

“There is more people in general this year. Last year was more chilly and windy,” said Shay “Moonlit” McCulloch, the owner and designer of Moonlit Jewelry and a second-year vendor at the Festival. The weekend was very sunny with light breezes and the evening sunsets were indescribable, despite the expected rain on the weather forecast.

Silent Frisco also hosted a “silent disco,” set up at a distance from the two stages so festival-goers could take a break from the live music and step inside a silent dance party, surrounded by people in headphones.

“I think (the festival is) a combination of culture and music, also food,” said Jiayi Liao, an SF State alumna and a production assistant working at the festival. “It’s not only about the music. Even the music is all kinds, it’s not commercial or underground.”

Noise Pop and Another Planet Entertainment, two music companies based out of San Francisco, have been producing the festival since 2007 and successfully executed the production for the eighth year in a row.

Massive Attack was the concluding performance of the weekend, ending the festival on a serious note with the political sayings and images flashing on the big screen behind them. In previous years the festival has ended more on a positive note and with attendees participating in an enormous dance party.

The line for the complimentary shuttle buses were long, but moved quickly. The streets around the festival were packed full of cars, shuttle buses and festival goers however, traffic was able to get off the Island within 10 minutes.

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