From about 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at yesterday’s Treasure Island Music Festival, one act performed: Oakland rapper Kamaiyah, and she had already performed earlier that day.
Blame the intense downpour, sideways rain, heavy winds and menacing clouds. But attendees also blamed festival organizers for being less than prepared for the storm that had been in the forecast for weeks.
The delays began because Atlanta rapper Young Thug, scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m., was experiencing weather-related travel issues. Crowds stood in silence, confused and soaked, waiting for him at the main stage, while the Polish Ambassador tried to keep folks occupied with an extra long deejay set on the other stage. Why is Treasure Island waiting for Young Thug? Why doesn’t the next act, How to Dress Well, just go on instead?
At about 6 p.m., Kamaiyah showed up again, cloaked in a lime green poncho and giving it her all despite mics cutting in and out. Her hour-long set felt like days as the torrential downpour sent folks hiding under the few merch tents, pieces of art and even picnic tables. Trash drifted in the quickly-forming pools across the grounds.
A little after 7 p.m., Young Thug took the stage much to everyone’s surprise. Too bad his performance didn’t remotely live up to the two-and-a-half-hour wait. It looked like about half of the attendees left already. At one point, crowds were chanting, “What’s going on? What’s going on?” One audience member shouted at the stage, “Do you have an auxilary chord?” in an effort to get some tunes—any tunes.
Earlier, the festival closed down the pier section of the festival, which housed the silent disco and a bar. According to other news reports, a woman was injured when an ATM flew over.
Anyway, the rain started to let up. So, everything else went well, right?
Not quite. How to Dress Well, the electro-soul act, went on at about 8:30 p.m., 15 minutes past Treasure Island’s revised schedule. Singer-songwriter Tom Krell apologized and charmed the crowd, who was clearly relieved just to see someone perform. Krell explained that only six of 32 sound channels were working.
“Thank you for dealing with that,” he said after a song, which quite frankly, didn’t work out too well. “We honestly have no idea how we sound right now.”
Even so, Krell charmed and delighted, especially given the circumstances—for three songs. Treasure Island suddenly became on a super-tight schedule. The whole event needed to end by midnight, which shaved some time off of everyone’s sets, including 30 minutes off headliner Ice Cube.
Glass Animals took the stage next, and at last, Treasure Island started feeling like a real festival again. The English indie rock band swept the remaining, committed crowd into a trip-hop-tinged frenzy. Singer Dave Bayley channeled Thom Yorke with his semi-possessed thrashing and crooning.
Originally, Flight Facilities was supposed to go on next. Treasure Island announced that the electronic duo couldn’t join because of travel delays. While Flight Facilities did experience flight troubles, it seems as though that wasn’t entirely accurate. The duo tweeted: “We arrived to SF to find out the audio console was flooded and the stage was being dismantled.”
Similarly, the festival announced deejay Duke Dumont couldn’t take the weather. He later tweeted out that it was “unsafe to play” and he didn’t want to “risk electrocution.” “I’m disgusted at the way the festival got on the microphone and lied to cover their own back.”
Meanwhile, the festival said on Twitter that folks who left could return, despite the usual no in-and-out policy. But attendees online said they tried to come back and weren’t let in.
The festival continues today—as does the rainy weather report. We’ll see if Treasure Island, which is celebrating its 10th and potentially final year, can end on a higher note.
At least Ice Cube played?