Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

    Treasure Island Music Festival Shores Up in Oakland

    International performance group “Big Nazo” entertains crowds with bizarre and hilarious music and creative costumes. Thousands turned out for the weekend-long festival at Middle Harbor Shoreline Park Oct 13 to Oct 14. (Photo by Saskia Hatvany)

    by Saskia Hatvany

    The Treasure Island Music Festival abandoned its namesake venue this year in favor of Oakland’s Middle Harbor Shoreline Park. The festival kicked off on Oct. 13 and promised two full days of performances.

    The festival suffered a rocky year in 2016 when a flurry of unexpected weather storms resulted in canceled flights for some performers. Some attendees demanded refunds, and the logistical nightmare prompted organizers to take a year off to plan for the festival’s relocation.

    The backdrop of rainbow-colored shipping containers and Oakland’s iconic shipyard cranes at Shoreline Park kept the feel close to the festival’s Treasure Island roots.

    Lead singer of the British post-punk band Charlie Steen crowd surfs at The City stage during their track “Gold Hole”.

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    Photo by Saskia Hatvany

    The two stages, fittingly named “the Town” and “the City,” sat at opposite ends of the park and took turns hosting performances throughout the day. Incredible 180-degree-views of the Bay could be seen from almost anywhere.

    The venue is larger than the previous one on Treasure Island, and this had its advantages. It was not over-crowded and there were good views of both the bay and the performances all day. The crowds grew steadily larger throughout the afternoon, but lines stayed reasonably short even at the busiest times.

    San Francisco couple Matt and Kelsey wait eagerly for Lord Huron at “The Town” stage. (Photo by Saskia Hatvany)

    Opening night included Santigold, Hiatus Kaiyote, and Silk City, which is the Mark Ronson and Diplo collaborative duo. Sunday had even larger crowds with big names like Courtney Barnett, Lord Huron and the eagerly awaited psychedelic rock band Tame Impala.

    Day one kicked off with JPEGMAFIA’s high-energy performance, which prompted a small but successful mosh pit. Later, Laff Trax, a collaboration between Nosaj Thing and Bay Area resident Toro Y Moi, drew an enthusiastic crowd with their Chillwave-style beats.

    The closing performer, A$ap Rocky, was about 30 minutes late for his set, but the audience forgave him when he burst on stage surrounded by huge flames.

    For a break from the performances, plenty of opportunities for alternative entertainment could be found at the festival. Cornhole, shopping for local craft apparel or getting your DIY on with Radio 105.3’s button-making station or one of Workshop SF’s several craft tables including flower-crown-making tutorials and a leather tooling workshop were on display.

    Several art installations dotted the grounds, including Martin Taylor’s giant “Cosmic Space Turtle” and Michael Christian’s steel octopus, both of which were originally created for Burning Man 2018.

    Courtney Barnett shreds at The Town stage. (Photo by Saskia Hatvany)

    Local graffiti artists, including Doty and Msngr, painted huge temporary installations throughout the day for passersby to view, while quirky performance group “Big Nazo” got up close and personal to festival goers, yelling “Attention! Pay no attention!” from inside hilarious alien costumes.

    Day Two’s opener, the British punk band Shame, set the bar high when lead singer Charlie Steen tore off his shirt and stood on top of the crowd during much of the finish of their energetic track “Gold Hole.”

    The sun began to set as the dreamy pop-indie band Cigarettes After Sex played their song “Nothing’s Gonna Hurt You, Baby” from their debut album.

    For a moment, time froze and the energy of the crowds dissipated as concert-goers flocked to the shore to watch a bright orange sun disappear behind the San Francisco skyline.

    The event took on a whole new feel at night, when sculptures lit up and crowds grew increasingly larger.

    Dream-pop band Cigarette After Sex plays to a golden sunset at the Treasure Island Music Festival. Festival-goers flocked to the shoreline to watch a bright orange sun disappear behind the San Francisco and Port of Oakland skyline. Photo by Saskia Hatvany

    A performance by the English soul music collective Jungle prompted a full-on dance party before Tame Impala closed out the festival with a blinding light display and a two-part encore. After a 40-minute, lead guitarist and singer Kevin Parker’s guitar notes reverberated long after the band had disappeared in a cloud of rainbow smoke, but the crowd still wanted more.

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
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