The Treasure Island Music Festival returns this weekend, which means equates to a large number of underdressed people wearing facepaint on an island in the middle of the San Francisco Bay. To help you and your coterie of feathered and neon-clad pals navigate the island like professionals and not vodka-smuggling wastecases, here are our handy tips for an enjoyable Treasure Island Music Festival.
There Are Still Tickets:
Single day and two-day passes are still available if you're still on the fence.
First things things first: note that the free shuttle pick up/drop off location has been moved to the Bill Graham Auditorium in Civic Center. The change has been made to accomodate a possible NLCS game on Sunday at AT&T park, and the bad news is there's no more free parking for those driving to the city. The good news, however, is that the shuttles are now much more accessible via the Civic Center BART station a few blocks away, or pretty much any Muni line. (Here's a map to Bill Graham Auditorium at 99 Grove Street.) The Bike Valet will also be located at Bill Graham, so you can leave your ride safely downtown.
Note that there's no parking on the island unless you spring for the extra parking passes, but those are still availablestill available for $30 per day.
Regarding Cabs And Ridesharing Apps:
Now would be as good a time as any to put ridesharing apps like Uber, SideCar and Lyft to the test. With enough friends to fill the car and split the fare, the prices can be reasonable. Uber has the advantage of offering SUVs that can accomodate six or seven riders, but keep in mind as demand goes up, so do the rates.
Official city cabs tend to congregate around the shuttle pickup spots, and if you've got enough friends to split the fare it's usually not a bad deal. That said, if an NLCS game is happening at AT&T park on Sunday, it will be significantly harder to find a cab in other parts of the city.
Optimal Arrival Times:
Shuttle lines are worst in the mid-afternoon around 2 to 3 p.m. We recommend beating the lines by heading out to the island early and setting up shop on a blanket. You'll thank yourself when you catch early sets by Dirty Ghosts and Boots Riley leading The Coup. One of the best parts about the TIMF is that you really can't miss any of the acts if you set yourself up halfway between the Tunnel stage on the West side facing the city and the main Bridge stage at the end of the grounds. Just remember, when things start getting crowded, your space is no longer sacred.
The Weather Will Have Some Nasty Mood Swings:
The forecast calls for mid-to-high 60s with some clouds, which means it will probably be more like 55-degrees and cloudy on Treasure Island. So, for goodness sakes, bring an extra layer to throw on over your American Apparel tights when the sun goes down. That vodka blanket won't actually keep you warm when the fog rolls in. The No Flip-Flops Rule is still in effect. [Ed. note: It is always in effect.]
Bring Water, Snacks, and Your Favorite Beach Blanket:
While there are food options available out on the island, outside food isn't explicitly banned so you're welcome to bring your own nibbles. Note that large coolers and picnic baskets are prohibited, however, so keep that stuff in your backpack or purse. Blankets and towels are crucial (see above). Also, in our experience there's always more than enough room to spread out on the festival grounds.
Everybody's allowed to bring in two factory-sealed water bottles. Be sure to stock up.
Beers Are Still Too Expensive:
This is a fact of music-festival life. That said, no one actually buys those frozen lemonades for any reason other than mixing their smuggled vodka.
A Public Service Announcement About Controlled Substances:
We probably shouldn't have to point this out each time a music festival comes around, but there will be some revelers who (surprise!) have consumed controlled substances. We'd like to take this moment to remind anyone considering such chemically-enhanced enjoyment to do so responsibly. Tagging along with a less narcotically-inclined friend is ideal, especially for you drug rookies.
Check out the Silent Disco on the East side of the festival grounds — always a good place to trip out for a little bit. Or find a nice spot on the grass to take a nap while Joanna Newsom serenades you with her harpy tunes. Or step away from the music entirely whip up some hand sewn beer koozies at Camp DIY put on by our friends at Workshop SF, and then catch the sunset over the San Francisco skyline from the top of the ferris wheel.
Getting Home Is Annoying:
The cattle herding to get on the shuttles is always a good 20-30 minute wait, even if you dip out before the end of the last set. Embrace the line, make friends with your fellow line-waddlers; it's all part of the experience.
Cabs do show up on the island to pick up impatient folks. However, you'll have to walk out of the festival grounds and past the shuttle line to find them. On a related note: this is another opportunity to try out those ridesharing apps, but keep in mind that driver's can see potential pickups on a map before they agree to give you a ride, so they may not be willing to drive all the way out to Treasure Island if there are people searching for rides in the city.
Come Back On Sunday
Don't be that guy who pounds enough $8 beers to end up with a debilitating hangover come Sunday morning. It's a two-day affair, folks. Keep your stamina up. And, as always, drink plenty of water.