Over 400 bands. 30+ Venues. All packed into five high-energy, creativity-inducing days.
Local brewers and chefs serve up fresh bites and beers. Refugees share stories in bookshops, yogis gather to meditate in tents, and comedians tell jokes to packed pubs. Crowds surround outdoor stages featuring DJs, rappers, indie bands and singer-songwriters.
This is Treefort Music Fest.
Since 2012, it’s taken over the streets of Downtown Boise with a five-day celebration of music, art, culture and community. The festival has become a hotspot for up-and-coming bands in the Pacific Northwest and an emerging stop along the nationwide festival circuit.
While Treefort is typically hosted in late March, the festival is moving to September 23-27 in 2020. Like many other music festivals and large events across the country, Treefort is being postponed to help prevent the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Despite all the praise it’s earned in Newsweek, Uproxx and music blogs, Treefort still remains a festival that’s “cool, but doesn’t know it’s cool” — and we’ll give you six reasons why.
1. You’ll experience new music you won’t find anywhere else
An emotion-driven performance at the El Korah Shrine.
Rap, funk, punk, surf, soul, jazz, ska, polka…Here, you’ll find artists that don’t classify into just one genre. They’re beyond labels and comparisons.
Just as Boise embraces its diversity, so does Treefort when it comes to the diversity of its artists. The style of every band, rapper and DJ is inspired by different stories, backgrounds and cultures — from female-led punk bands to refugee singer-songwriters.
Every concert is a chance to expose yourself to a new sound.
2. There’s always chances to try something new
Making new friends at the Neurolux Lounge.
Treefort is so much more than just a music festival — it’s a city-wide celebration of art, storytelling, food, beer, cinema and more. Whether you want to learn some new yoga poses, taste a local microbrew or watch a new film, there’s always a way to find inspiration.
Check out all the Forts:
- Alefort Taste local brews, ciders, wines, and cocktails paired with farm-to-fork fare.
- Comedyfort Join local comedians for a night of laughs.
- Filmfort Sit in on Q&A’s with up-and-coming filmmakers and watch emerging independent films.
- Foodfort Experience a two-part feast featuring fresh local bites and talks with creative tastemakers.
- Hackfort Join leaders in the tech industry to trade new ideas and experiences.
- Kidfort Let the kids enjoy a day filled with stories, music, games and crafts.
- Skatefort Meet up with local and national skaters for competitions and stunts at Rhodes Skatepark.
- Storyfort Listen to stories from poets, refugees, prisoners, musicians and more.
- Yogafort Drop in for some meditation and yoga.
- Artfort Performance art, new media, large-scale installations, and more.
3. Music fills the whole city
The City of Trees comes alive for Treefort.
From the street corners to local pubs and venues, the festival fills nearly every block of Boise.
There’s no limit to what can transform into an epic concert venue: old movie theaters, bars, record stores, outdoor tents… Walking through Boise during Treefort means immersing yourself entirely in the music.
Ultimately, the whole city comes together for this one week out of the year — and it takes an entire line-up of local businesses, sponsors and volunteers to make this week a reality.
4. You can explore the best parts of Boise — without even leaving the festival
Late night cocktails and blues at Pengilly’s Saloon.
During Treefort, you’re right in the center of Downtown Boise. Some of the best restaurants, bars and local hangouts are all within a 10-minute walk. You can experience Boise’s thriving culinary scene and vibrant nightlife and still make it back in time for the next concert.
Check out some of our favorite spots:
5. You’ll feel like a local
Crowds cheering at the main stage.
Ever heard of “Boise Nice”?
Yep, your friends and those travel magazines weren’t lying. Boise’s got a nationwide reputation for being home to some of the nicest people out there. Total strangers will smile and wave to as you walk down the street, and people aren’t afraid to strike up a conversation with you while tasting beer or grabbing coffee.
By the end of Treefort, you might leave with some new friends and a story or two.
6. You’ll experience the music up close
Getting close to indie rock band Mt. Joy at the main stage.
Standing pressed up near the stage. Seeing the artist’s face as they play that solo. Feeling the bass in your chest and the audience move in time with the beat.
The best part of any music festival is experiencing the performances up close. At Treefort, you don’t really have to fight the crowds. You can experience intimate concerts at coffee shops, bars and record stores, or easily find your way through the crowds to the front of the main stage.
Another High-energy, emotional performance at the main stage.
Here, you’re welcomed to get lost in the music.
It’s a rare moment to find a city like Boise completely transformed for the sake of art, music, culture and community — and it’s even rarer to be welcomed into that moment. While Treefort has certainly grown since its start as a tight-knit, grassroots event, it still stays true to its motto: “Treefort is for everyone.”