Treasure Island Aftermath

Glitter After the Shows

Glitter After the Shows

So at 10 am on Monday, I was out on Treasure Island again, to work on cleaning up. All those cigarette butts, all the glitter and confetti, all the empty water bottles, discarded food, plates, cups, utensils, random smuggled alcohol containers, spit out gum, etc., all picked up by hand by a team of about 18 or so volunteers, working up and down the parking lots, up and down the fields, but avoiding the white bits which might be seagull poop. And the black bits. That could be seagull poop too. And some of the gray bits too. Thank goodness we had blue latex gloves to wear.

Nature's Cleaning Crew

Nature's Cleaning Crew

The other crews were already working on tearing down the fences, tents and stages by the time we arrived. The general cleaning of all the big stuff had taken place the night before, getting done by about 2 am, I overheard.

I now know which cigarettes have white wrappings, which dark, and which brown. Not the kind of knowledge I particularly want to have in my head, but still, never know when it might come in handy! Research, I say, for some future fictional character. And then, even with gloves on, somehow that cigarette smell just lingers. Not the sweet tobacco smell, but the burnt ash smell of used cigarettes.  The next two bathrooms I was in didn’t even have hand soap, and I so desperately wanted to scrub and scrub and scrub.

On the plus side, we got to keep all the spare change and other valuables we found. It was mainly spare change, and many pennies. I made over a dollar with my efforts. $1.31 to be exact. And picked up a few buttons advertising businesses and bands.

The Payout

The Payout

Not only that, but we were fed too, another perk. We had just finished back one direction of the large field, down to where the port-a-potties were, the parking lot where everyone stood waiting for shuttle buses, the VIP parking lot and the artist/vendor parking lot, and were working on the area right in front of the largest stage, covered with confetti and glitter, when we were told to pack up for lunch. The deluge came then.
I was held up by trying to untie my garbage and recycle sorted bags I had tied to the belt loops of my jeans, and only made it as far as the former VIP tent to protect me from the rains. I was not wearing anything not cotton, so all the water was drenching me. Even my hat and shoes were cotton, so staying put until there was a break seemed like an excellent tactic for staying dry. Unfortunately, I really needed to wash my hands before eating, and the working sinks were outside, along with the entrance to the dining tent dumping its accumulated basin of rain every time the tent doors opened. So despite my best efforts, I was drenched to the skin by the time I sat down to eat. The tent floor was a couple inches high with water, so there was no hope of dry shoes by the time we went back out again. I just kept my feet up on the chair’s lower rung, like I saw other workers doing.
The Dining Tent's Flooded Floor

The Dining Tent's Flooded Floor

And then it was back out into the open air again, and this time we were picking up the areas that the regular folks never tread upon, behind the tents, behind the vendor areas, behind the chain link fences…. All the places I had noticed security and vendors and others duck behind while taking their breaks during the festival days. Where they had left their drinks and water bottles too, so there was plenty to be picked up. This also was a former military housing complex, or so I was told, and I found a treasure trove of old beer bottles, so old and ancient, the roots of the nearby shrubs had begun growing inside the bottles, in addition to just encircling the neck bottles. I had found a fine stash, and spent much time digging out this obvious party spot. We may have been volunteers to clean up the aftermath of Treasure Island Music Festival, but that was no reason not to do an exemplary job and clean up more than what we had left, and to help clean up the remains of years past!
Old Military Housing, Abandoned on Treasure Island

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