Don’t miss out on free tickets to TIMF’s 10 year anniversary!
For the last decade, the Treasure Island Music Festival has celebrated the art and music of renowned world class bands, DJs, and live performers. Properly niched on the 500+ acred artificial island, the festival has seen the likes of Modest Mouse, Deadmau5, Outkast, Massive Attack, LCD Soundsystem, Justice, and many others. This year’s lineup showcases the festival particular arrangement of live bands/acoustic sets on one day and a heavier electronic influence on the other with artists such as Sigur Rós, Ice Cube, James Blake, Zhu, and many others performing. Another crucial piece of information that may be unbeknownst is that this will be the final year that the Treasure Island Music Festival will actually be held on the island for reasons beyond the producers’ control.
We were able to have this exclusive interview with Noise Pop Industries general manager and TIMF producer, Dawson Ludwig, to reflect on the past 10 years that have lead up to what the festival is today.
10 years is a long time for a festival showcase, how does it feel to have created such a unique experience that happens to take place on an island?
We feel very fortunate to be able to organize an event like this. There was an idea to create a goldilocks festival – not too big, not too small, no overlapping sets, beautiful views, but we didn’t know it would turn into something so beloved by the Bay. We’re grateful for the time we’ve had on the island and look forward to the next step for the festival.
What were some of the biggest challenges you faced as producers throughout the festival’s lifetime?
Transportation on/off the island has always been a big concern of ours. Fortunately we’ve nailed the system and have effectively been moving 35K+ people on and off the island each year
It seems that getting to the festival and Treasure Island in general is somewhat tricky, has shuttling attendees from one pickup spot to the actual venue posed any problems for the festival? How long have you been using this mode of travel to the festival?
We’re lucky but we haven’t had any major issues with transportation.The closest we got to a potential problem was in 2010 when the Giant’s were in the playoffs and we lost access to our old pickup spot at AT&T Park. Luckily we were able to move over to our current space at Bill Graham Civic – however there were some tense weeks when we didn’t know what our options were.
Festival culture has exploded over the past few years, how has Treasure Island Music Festival established itself from all the others?
When the festival was established in 2007 there were only a handful of boutique festivals; nowadays there’s a new festival every weekend (especially in the Bay Area). We were lucky to have established an identity and formula early on that defined us from the rest.
Treasure Island’s past lineups have covered a wide array of musical genres. We’ve noticed that in the recent years that the festival seems to separate the days by live bands and acoustic sets for one day and another that’s more electronic. Is there any reasoning for this?
That is my design. We wanted to program a lineup experience that had the best possible transitions and energy and often times the best way to do that is to operate in smilar genres from one band to the next. The formula has worked so well in the past that we decided to make it a tradition. Saturday is a very different experience from Sunday.
Has this resulted in a different degree of crowd turnout for each day?
The crowds are relatively similar in size from day to day, there is often a different energy to each though. Saturdayis more of a party scene and Sunday is a little more mellow.
What would you tell first timers like us to be prepared for at Treasure Island’s 10-year anniversary?