Treasure Island Music Festival 2013 – As a first-timer. Day One Treasure Island Music Festival 2013 – As a first-timer. Day One

Photos by Misty Dawn; Words by Ashley Lauren Dickinson


Having just moved to San Francisco two weeks ago, I am a total newbie to the city as well as Treasure Island Music Festival. I had heard nothing but amazing things about TIMF, and after experiencing Outside Lands the past two years, I couldn’t wait to check out another SF music festival.

As soon as I realized that Treasure Island is literally an island, and not just a catchy name for another neighborhood, I got a little concerned. How will ‘solo, brand new to SF Ashley’ make her way to an island?! Fortunately, the fest provides complimentary shuttles, so I made my way to the shuttle pick-up site to begin my solo adventure as a TIMF first timer!

I jumped in the seemingly never ending shuttle line, which contained the usual starting line-up of festival goers: the chatting groups of friends in matching bright colored sunglasses, the extremely stoned ones who stumble along the line like zombies, the “too drunk too soon” ticking vomit bombs, and plenty of girls in high waist/high cut shorts. I felt at home and loved it!Despite the length the line moved fast, and I was onboard and on the island quickly, causing this TIMF first-timer to already give the fest a giant thumbs up.

I stepped off the bus and made my way to the media box office, where in true Midwestern fashion, I let several people cut in front of me in line until I finally manned up, owned my place, then after a process that took me a few minutes longer than most, I got my wristband and BOOM … I was in!

I was instantly blown away with the scenery. The island itself is beautiful: tons of palm trees, and amazing views of the Bay Bridge with a backdrop of the San Francisco skyline glistening across the water. The majesty of the Pacific coupled with the imagery of the festival’s  set up, and several art installments were breathtaking. A friend referred to it as “the little boutique festival that could” and I instantly got it. Part of the charm of this festival is that it is  deliberately  small with an attendance capped at 16,000. The festival is made to feel all the more intimate by the fact it only has two main stages. Also the settimes and bands  alternate stages, so the typical, and always painful “Sophie’s Choice” dilemma that plagues attendees at the most larger festivals doesn’t exist.

Robert DeLong

After a few minutes of solitude, I met up with Misty, the photographer for Pinpoint Music, and the two of us headed over to The Tunnel Stage to see DeLong perform his solo, electronic set. DeLong is a total one-man-band who does the work of many, thanks to his rad bag of tricks containing multiple microphones, drum pads, mixing stations, synthesizers, and video game joysticks. The largely EDM loving crowd ate up his energetic performance.

After DeLong’s set, Misty and I parted ways for the time being and I wandered around for a few minutes before running into a friend who invited me to join her crew for a spin on the Ferris wheel. Yes, there is a ferris wheel, and it’s just as awesome as it sounds. It is lit up at night, as a perfect centerpiece to the festival backdrop.


After the Ferris wheel let us off we all headed back to the Tunnel Stage to catch Poolside, where Filip and David’s “daytime disco” beats provided a relaxing vibe. As I watched the set, I noticed a lot of hugging in the crowd. Not sure if it was just the chill, upbeat performance, or substance induced, but I remember thinking “damn, these two guys really bring people together.”

The Porch Stage

A group of us headed to the “Porch Stage,” which is a stage on wheels that looks just as it sounds. Apparently, like many of the festival goers, it also makes it’s way traveling across cities and states seeking out the best of musical adventures; most notable is the stages presence at Burning Man. This stage hosts local acts, and we were fortunate enough to catch “Diamond” Dave Hosley’s ridiculously entertaining set. The local lounge singer covered everything from “Blurred Lines” to “In da club.” Not sure if it hilarity was intended or not, but in addition to sheer awesomeness, it too was definitely present.

Major Lazer

I followed the thuds of heavy bass to the Bridge Stage to watch the mania , which is Major Lazer. The set was insanity, the type of insanity that you want to collect, put in an awesome little box, and pull out on a boring day … but you can’t, it CANNOT be contained, YO! The dirtiest of beats, Diplo crowd surfing in a ball, “twerk tours,” yes there was actually a tower of twerkers. I think everyone should see Major Lazer, at least once in his or her life, preferably more.


As I mentioned in the TIMF preview article I wrote for Pinpoint Music, I was excited to see this band perform live and experience the almost hallucinogenic effects this music. Even though I was absolutely freezing, I was still moved by and impressed with their performance, as were the large crowds who gathered around the stage and attempted to stay warm to their danceable tracks.

Atoms for Peace

The band took to the stage, as I was still standing in line for some much-needed hot chocolate; the lines for hot beverages were now longer than those for beer. After collecting my disappointingly lukewarm chocolate, I made my way to the Bridge stage to catch the evening’s final performance. The group, whose members contain Flea and Thom Yorke, put on an entertaining, if not slightly low energy, set. Granted, it was freezing, so I was happy when they wrapped because that meant I could finally head somewhere heated.

I left Day One of Treasure Island feeling exhausted, but like I totally dominated as a first-timer and successfully squeezed as much awesome as possible out of the day. I arrived totally alone, yet was never actually alone for more than seven minutes. My biggest concern was that Sunday wasn’t going to live up to the crazy high standards Saturday had set. Fortunately, I was wrong …

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