With music festivals being at their peak of popularity – and their peak of homogenization – the search for a festival that truly offers something others don’t becomes that much more prevalent. In the saturated market that is the modern festival scene, if you see a really stacked festival that happens to be taking place far away from you, you can generally take comfort in knowing that at least three-fourths of those artists will be booked for festivals near you.
It’s for this reason that many including myself have been intrigued by the growing popularity of Boise, ID’s Treefort Music Fest, a festival that has for all intents and purposes achieved universal god-tier status as the best festival currently running regardless of location, with a community and feel unlike any other festival you’ll find. It’s easy to be skeptical – especially since Boise’s second most-popular music festival’s 2017 lineup boasts such mouth-watering headliners as Flo Rida and Austin Mahone – but to any Treefort newcomers whom were in the audience in 2017, it’s hard to shake the sensational feeling that Treefort is the most at-home you’ll feel with a modern festival.
At its foundation, Treefort is the city of Boise’s attempt at “North By Northwest,” a name and concept you’ll hear thrown around when discussing any Northwest festival that goes for the SXSW formula of having several venues all in one space, with different showcases happening at once, across a longer stretch of days than the usual two- or three-day festival. However, Treefort’s most unique selling point, besides its communal feel, is the emphasis it puts on spotlighting the unknowns of the Northwest. Out of Treefort’s five days, the main stage was only open for three, and while there were some bigger artists that played on these first two days, spreading out the popular names among these smaller venues and giving them the same showcases as Boise locals and national unknowns alike led to a more even playing field and some of these smaller bands walking away with new fans.