The Long & Short of Treefort

"Expect to be victimized by love at Treefort."

That one line got to the essence of the coverage of Boise's fifth annual festival of discovery... aka Treefort Music Fest. While natives and born-again Boiseans can tout the attributes of this place frequently and with fervor, it's always insightful to see how visitors experience our home - especially during Treefort week. Here's a roundup of takeaways from visiting reporters and bloggers.


via Consequence of Sound : The festival game is alive and well in Boise, Idaho 

"When we think of music festivals, the biggest ones in the country follow a similar roadmap. Within a fenced-in footprint, a culture is created, and whether the backdrop is the rolling hills of the Coachella Valley or the skyline of Chicago, the culture is largely a creation of the festival itself.

But there is a different category of festival that Treefort Music Festival in Boise falls into. It’s the type that takes over a whole town, utilizing every venue space it can find to book bands both big and small. These festivals don’t create their own culture as much as they amplify that of the city they are held in. Whether it’s Hopscotch in Raleigh, Noise Pop in San Francisco, or Capitol Hill in Seattle, these are opportunities for the music fans of a community to come together and create something and for out-of-towners to get a warm welcome to a local scene they might not ordinarily visit."


via NadaMuchoDilemmas: A 2016 Treefort Music Fest Preview

"Convening in Boise Idaho, Treefort Music Fest is the most underrated musical gathering on the West Coast, and most of me loves that it has managed to fly just below the major national spotlight thus far. As a result, it still feels special. Unique...

Treefort runs a line similar to the Summer camp you went to in fifth grade mixed together with SXSW. There are so many bands at Treefort and so many music lovers that it’s a sort of gathering. A rally. A safe place where people who love independent bands can enjoy good music without the stain of fraternities and bucket hats that have overcome larger festivals like Coachella. This is a place where you can suggest a band to a neighbor and they might actually listen to it. A place where you can stand next to your favorite band at a show, then go to Carl’s Jr. with that band, and later see them perform at a sold out show. It’s this duality – the ability to be so huge, but feel so local – that is so endearing about Treefort."


via Willamette Week400 Bands, a Giant Neon Spider and Not Many Rappers: A Treefort 2016 Recap

"It's a festival that's yet to outgrow its sense of modesty. Part of that is because, well, it's Boise. It's like a diorama version of a major city—charming, but still rather far from being "the next Austin" or "the next Portland," which I'm sure the locals consider a good thing. But it's also because Treefort is a festival that has yet to lose sight of what it's supposed to be. Drake isn't going to pop in anywhere, and the biggest celebrity you're likely to run into is Built to Spill's Doug Martsch. But if you want to get a gauge on what the northwest sounds like right now, or walk in on the best band you never knew existed, there are opportunities on every block. And you won't have to wait very long."


via The ExaminerTreefort Music Fest 2016: Thursday brings pleasant surprises

"Treefort has amazing venues. Mardi Gras is a funky little banquet hall that looks like an old Mexican restaurant. The El Korah Shrine is an old Shriners clubhouse that was built in 1914. It’s got a lot of history and an even better sound system to boot. The same goes for the Olympic Hotel downtown. Last year, new owners gutted the ancient flop and built a rocking new event space inside it. These venues are definitely atypical, but they make the festival more fun."


via Paste MagazineTreefort Music Festival: Photos and Recap

"Conceived as a way to foster Boise’s growing arts scene, the festival began in 2012 with a strong commitment to local and Pacific Northwest representation. In fact, the festival is so immersed in its community culture that it works with around 600 volunteers, applies for (and often wins) local culture grants like the Cultural Ambassador award, and just last year received its Benefit Corporation certification—the very first music festival to earn such designation."


via The ExaminerTreefort Music Festival 2016: Friday brings diverse, female-powered lineup

"Girls rocked and diversity ruled yesterday at Boise’s Treefort Music Festival. From the smaller venues to the main stage, more than 20 out of the 130 some odd bands playing on Friday featured female musicians and three headlining artists were African-American.

Those numbers may seem small, but not in a state where 89 percent of the population is white (according to a 2010 census). And especially not in a city like Boise which, according to Men’s Health, is a utopia for single men. This year, it seems Treefort has taken strides in breaking down both gender and race barriers, creating a far more interesting festival experience."


via Westword: Treefort Proves It's Possible for Music Festivals to Be Gender Inclusive

"Treefort Music Fest's level of unabashed gender inclusion is virtually unheard of on the current big festival landscape...It's an inclusive festival that gives the needed space and stage time to hundreds of up-and-coming acts from across the world...

It's one thing to get to hear music by a wide variety of people on the internet somewhere; it's another thing to actually be able to see these acts perform in real life...

More than just enjoying artists I love performing great music live, it's about knowing that anything is possible. Anyone can get up in front of people and make art, but sometimes it takes seeing someone else do it for you to have the courage to do it yourself. "


via AXSTreefort Music Fest in Boise: Day 2 brims with showcases and surprises

"Downtown Boise, Idaho came alive once again with the sound of music March 24, the second day of the five-day Treefort Music Fest. The giant music festival takes place at various venues in the city’s hip downtown, a place where live music venues exist tucked in among popular eateries like Bardenay, cultural treasures like the Basque Museum, posh lodging spots like Hotel 43 and cool shops offering everything from fancy cupcakes to choice cigars. Music fans are constantly passing these places as they crisscross downtown Boise heading from one Treefort showcase to another, and finding surprising things along the way, like at The Record Exchange, is all part of the fun."


via A Living Journey:  #Treefort2016 – A Premier Boise Establishment

"Overall, the Treefort Festival experience definitely exceeded all expectations for a regional city event in the Rocky Mountains. It was refreshing to see an event bring the city to life, highlight it’s flavors and bring a national scene to the Tree City. In a city that exfoliates freshness not only in the mountain breeze that cooled the early summer sun, Treefort brought out the best of Boise for the 5th year in a row. Incorporating and embracing the city as a whole, Treefort truly works to unite the culture of a city tucked away in the northwest and bring it center stage to the national audience. The City of Boise has a mission to “make Boise the most livable city in the United States.” Not only is the success of this mission reflected in national reviews and polls, Treefort helps to compliment that mission in a five day culture and arts festival reflecting the genuine passion, unique flavors, deep rooted history, and national prestige that mirrors the growth of a regional metropolis." 


via Oh My Rockness: 4 Things Our Man In Idaho Learned About Treefort Fest This Year

"The festival is growing fast, and the lineup keeps getting better. It's my favorite thing about Boise. Newbie rockers and indie heroes, blue grass fiddlers and thrash guitarists, skinny jeans and overalls – all come together in the peace, love, and harmony via music that is Treefort....

This is easily one of the deeply-kindest festivals you could hope to encounter. You see this across the spectrum of events. In addition to the main focus on music, there is also Filmfort, Comedyfort, Alefort, Kidfort, Yogafort, Skatefort, Storyfort, a line of port-o-potties called "Poopfort," like a thousand different forts. And everyone at all of them is at least generally pretty affable and often, at random times, senselessly kind....

The festival is still small (in a very small downtown). Despite some crowds for predictable events, things at Treefort rarely feel congested or tense. Everyone usually seems relaxed, charitable, and maybe even senselessly inclined to do unto others and turn the other cheek and heap blessings upon strangers. Don't be surprised when you see it. Charles Bradley warned about it this year during his effervescent Friday night mainstage show: expect to be victimized by love when at Treefort."


Didn't get your Treefort fill from all of that? Take a gander at the 30-second roundups of each of the 5 days...