A private island, thousands of people, your favorite artists from around the world, and of course… palm trees! Treasure Island Music Festival is a magical weekend away from the city and responsibilities that try to tag along. Simply put, this is the prime time to get down and dirty with your friends to some of the best artists to date. All the while, admiring the beautiful scenery of the bay, only a glance away. Although this all sounds fun and dandy, transportation to and from the festival can be iffy and mother nature may play some tricks on you. I am here to shield you from confusion and inconvenience and provide you the information you need to make the most out of your Treasure Island experience.

Take the Shuttle

Take the shuttle? Wouldn’t it just be easier to drive to the island? No. Driving to the festival is a traffic-filled panic which ultimately spits you out at an annoyingly far distance to walk to the music. Not only is driving there a pain, but you also have to throw down top dollar to buy a parking pass, and remember that exiting the venue will be a giant mess that seems endless. Instead, go pay a few bucks to park downtown and take the shuttle. When you get to the shuttle stop, you might be frightened by how long the line is, but do not fear as the line shoots forward very quickly! I loved taking the shuttle because you start to get the festival vibes before you even step foot on the island. There are loads of festive and friendly characters on the bus sharing your excitement about what’s to come. Leaving the festival grounds is a cinch too, you get to laugh and wave at all the disgruntled drivers in bumper to bumper traffic as the bus flies by.

Have Physical Tickets Before Arriving

If you’re looking to get into the festival grounds as swiftly as possible, then definitely make sure to have your tickets in hand before you arrive, whether its mailed to you or printed out online. The will-call line is double the length of the ticket/security check line, and it feels even longer when you can hear the music playing behind you. To make your line experience even shorter, have your ticket in your hand and your bags unzipped as you step up so you can fly through security straight to the festival grounds.


Yes, the main attraction of this festival are all the big (and small) names performing, but there are so many little gems scattered around that really make Treasure Island unique. As soon as you step foot inside you’re going to see a small village of artsy tents and sculptures. Check them out! Seriously, go look at them. Last year they range from arts and crafts, yoga, video games and everything in between. On the right hand side of the festival is usually some sort of graffiti artists whose progress you can observe throughout the day. Just a little further on is the Silent Frisco stage, a very innovative and futuristic spin on live shows which brings the personal aspect to a festival setting.

A picnic blanket is also handy to have. Basically, half the venue is a giant grassy field with a lot of open spots. There’s bound to be a time during one of the days where there are no acts currently playing that you are ecstatic about, and it’s nice to find a grassy spot in between stages and just soak in all the vibes happening around you. They don’t allow picnic baskets in though, so if you’re planning on having a little meal while you’re there make you sure you double check the list of restrictions here.


The music is starting and its about time to put on your dancing shoes! Luckily the format of this festival is very easy to become familiar with and is not too physically demanding.

Since the schedule is built to have the two main stages alternate turns on when sets are played with no overlaps, there is going to be a lot of frantic running from stage to stage in between acts. A solid tip is to stay on the right half of the crowd when at the Tunnel Stage. This way when that act is done you can move on to the Bridge Stage without having to fight through a massive horde of people on your way. The left side of the Bridge Stage seemed to be less dense and easier to maneuver in and out of because all the food stands are on the right side.

Dress Like an Onion

And by this I mean wear many layers! During the day its going to be sunny and perfect out, shorts and t-shirt would seem like the obvious choice for anyone. Wrong. As soon as night falls, the water on the bay cools and the wind picks up and it gets weirdly cold. This might mean bring a backpack or small bag with you (they have lockers for rent), you’ll thank me once it gets dark and you actually have a sweatshirt to shield you from the sudden piercing cold.

Pro Tip

If you want to minimize your exposure to the cold weather, check the time during the last set of either days. When it gets to the last 10 minutes or so of their set, start making the journey to the back of the crowd. This way you’ll have a big advantage over all the other attendees on securing a good spot in line for the buses, and won’t have to fear for your life when you’re in the middle of the massive crowd during the post-show stampede… think Simba from the Lion King.

All in all this festival has an easy layout  with amazing music and vibes, I’m glad I could be your guide for this part of your journey. Thanks to Noise Pop for sending us on the adventure this year!


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