This Is How You Do Treasure Island Music Fest

Save ArticleSave Article

Failed to save article

Please try again

This article is more than 9 years old.

Written by Jules Suzdaltsev and photo by Magnus Manske for The Bold Italic


For one weekend of the year, hipsters, Burners, and pre-adolescent ravers from around the Bay congregate on the artificial island between San Francisco and Oakland for Treasure Island Music Festival, a destination removed enough from the mainland to give the scene a magic quality. The air’s a little wetter, the grass is a little greener (hehe), and for that one beautiful weekend, we come together in harmony to escape the nightlife bros and zone out near the water with our friends and lovers.

Treasure Island is “Where It’s At” so don’t be a “Loser” and “Go It Alone” (guess who’s headlining this year). Follow our handy-dandy #LazyHost Insider’s Guide to one of The Bold Italic’s favorite music fests and be an “E-Pro.”

Start the party early by taking The Bold Italic’s “Rock the Boat” ferry to the island. If you can spend $35 for an eighth of mids every weekend, you can spend that same amount to get pre-drunk on our OPEN BAR, stuff yourself with SNACKS, and warm up with some QUALITY MUSIC, all before you even step foot on the island. Maybe you’ll even run into me and can give me a hug or a high-five! Remember, first 25 on the boat get a free t-shirt, so get there 4 to 6 hours early (jk, but srs about the shirts).


Don’t let San Francisco’s paradoxically warmest month of the year fool you, the weather gods have no authority on Treasure Island. So bring a sweatshirt, blanket, sunscreen, earmuffs, mittens, overcoat, scarf, ski mask, ushanka, snow boots, and just for good measure, a hand muff. Or, you know, just something warm so you’re not clutching your sides in a tank top and shorts on the Bauer Bus, going home at 7pm thinking up your lie about how good Atoms for Peace were and how you weren’t sure if they’d live up to the hype but are really glad they did.

One of the best features of Treasure Island is that unlike every festival ever, you can actually see each band back to back. As the music alternates stages, stake out a chill spot close to the water, lay out your picnic blanket, and rotate your body towards whichever stage is currently killing it.

Pack a small bag of cheeses, deli meats, crackers, and Capri-Suns for a classy picnic near the water – you’ll be glad you’re not shelling out for snacks. Just don’t bring an actual picnic basket, check the festival rules before you go!

Whatever you do, don’t miss out on the silent disco! What you may originally mistake as the epilepsy corral is actually a crazy fun dance party where everyone’s wearing headphones tuned to the same song. Unselfconsciously dance till your feet bleed – maybe you’ll attract your future spouse! Who knows? Anything can happen at the silent disco (except conversation)!

Want more? Check out the full story over on The Bold Italic.