Treefort Music Fest
The Treefort Music Fest is a four-day, indie music festival which is held at various venues throughout downtown Boise, Idaho in late March. The 2014 festival took place March 20–23 with the featured acts Built to Spill, The Joy Formidable, and Poliça.
Thoroughly grass roots, DIY and free of corporate sponsorship, and with an emphasis on emerging music, the indie-centric inaugural Treefort festival took place on March 22–25, 2012 and featured more than 137 bands from throughout the Northwest and as far afield as New Zealand and Australia, as well as performance art, art installations, and disabled and modern dance, seminars on the music business and social media, and local beers. (Initially the intention had been for a small two-day festival of sixty bands.) There were eight stages extant (including free all-ages venues), and ten hours of music scheduled daily on Treefort's initial Saturday and Sunday; an estimated and unexpected 3,000 people attended each of the last full three days of the festival's inaugural run, and some forty national media outlets provided reportage. Critically, the first day of festival was described as being "full of transcending bands," and overall the festival was characterised as having "the look and feel of a developing SxSW," and "a smashing success," and as well as having "put Boise on the map" in terms of Boise having finally established a music festival due to the high quality of the musicians. The proceeds from Treefort benefit community radio station Radio Boise, KRBX 89.9 FM.
Months before any bands had even been announced for the Second Annual Treefort Music Fest, scheduled for March 21–24, 2013, the initial batch of early-bird priced wristbands had sold out in October 2012 in 17 minutes. and succeeding ticket sales continued to be faster than those at the same time last year. Treefort 2013 eventually signed up more than 250 bands  (some of whom are included in Treefort's sound cloud) and features a lost yarn-bombed 560 lbs. monster (which is sorely missed) with a stone head as its mascot. The Coachella Festival has been compared (unfavourably) to the Treefort Music Fest by Buzzfeed.
The second annual Treefort Music Fest aimed at the fence "carefully," featuring a more diverse set of acts, but also more than 100 Idaho bands, one of which, Boise-based Youth Lagoon, was one of Rolling Stone's "Twenty Must-See Acts" at SXSW; it and Foxygen and Unknown Mortal Orchestra, also included in the twenty, performed at both festivals in 2013. The headline act was Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, and fifteen bands came from the San Francisco Bay Area. Three times as many passes were sold as in 2012; the festival's own app overloaded on Thursday night, and the opening venue, the Shriner's El Korah shrine, sold a record amount of alcohol. Festival organizers later estimated that they had come within 100 passes of selling out completely; more than 3,000 4-day passes were sold, and thousands variously journeyed to 13 venues throughout downtown Boise to watch more than 260 bands, with roughly 6,000 at the main stage on Friday alone. Sold-out shows, as with Foxygen on opening night, led to people seeing, and being surprised by, bands they had not planned to see, a phenomenon which festival organizer Eric Gilbert described as a "win-win situation."
Overall the four days of the music festival was acclaimed as turning Boise itself into the sociological third place as different artistic communities converged in a state and city where (the maximum of) six degrees of separation does not exist, and was praised for its high organization and good spirits in showcasing the best independent music North America has to offer and being a safe haven for all walks of life. "Happy Treefort" became a common greeting, and "Treeforting" and "Postfort" also entered the lexicon.
The third annual festival, in March 2014, endeavoured to be more "green"/sustainable and as of February had booked 350 bands (including solo projects and DJs, after rejecting over 1000 other interested parties due to the sheer volume of talent) featuring the best of upcoming non-mainstream music from such genres as pop, heavy metal, hip hop, electronica, folk, and classic rock. Furthermore, the festival is branching out with a film festival, Hackfort, Storyfort, and Yoga Fort, as well as comedy showcases. This synergy marked Treefort as having become "more than a music festival. It is a cultural phenomenon, not only propelling Boise’s music scene forward, but now connecting the city’s cultural communities of literature, technology, film and mind/body health."
The third festival kicked-off with a "blast from the past" featuring the reunion of several notable Boise bands; the combined efforts of nearly 400 volunteers (vis-à-vis the nearly 200 for the inaugural festival and the more than 300 for the second)  supported bands from the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States over the course of the festival. Treefort, which now has 40 staffers, had 140 bands during its inaugural festival in 2011, and included 140 local bands among the more than 350 during its third, a testament to the festival's burgeoning creativity. The festival averaged 7,000 people a day, an increase over the 6,000 people a day in 2013, had to order more Over 21 wristbands Saturday afternoon, and is expected to turn a profit for the first time. Although approximately 7,500 attended Saturday night and local bars experience a boom in business, the Boise Police Department issued no open alcohol container citations or responded to any significant incidents. Overall the third festival was described as having "veered more confidently than ever toward emerging artists in all genres" and having been an extensive community and cultural event where "good attitudes all but fell from the sky."
Although the idea of a multi-day, multi-venue music festival has been bruited since the mid-80s, Treefort itself had its roots in tragedy when producer Lori Shandro's husband died in a private plane crash in 2009. The head of an independent health insurance agency, Shandro in taking up interests divergent from her married life eventually formed The Duck Club, which brings musical acts to Boise throughout the year and which now produces the Treefort Music Fest. Logistically, Treegort was inspired in part by the touring schedules of bands headed home from SXSW in Austin, Texas (some of which had been hosted by the Visual Arts Collective at a post-SXSW mini fest in Garden City, Idaho the previous year), as well as late March being the beginning of spring break for many Idaho schools. A week before the festival itself, the Boise-based bands TEENS, Hillfolk Noir, Le Fleur, The Brett Netson Band, Finn Riggins, Youth Lagoon, and Built to Spill had themselves played at SXSW. Producer Lori Shandro reflected on Treefort's genesis a year later at a Scenius town hall-style meeting on artistic endeavours and economic growth that "There were just a certain number of people who were all in the same place regarding [Treefort]. ... This sort of synergy happened to make the project come together rather easily... With scenius, there's the thought of trying to put the right people in the same place at the same time, and then things will happen. That's really how Treefort happened. Everybody had the same vision that the Boise music scene is ready to develop and be a force on its own two feet."
Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, the headliner act
Three (of the nearly 300 volunteers) holding the fort at the VIP Tent
Walkmen performs on the main stage, as does the monster/mascot
Emily Wells shortly before her sold-out show at The Neurolux
- Eisinger, Dale W. (2012-04-04). "I went to Treefort Music Festival and all I got was this hometown pride | Love". Impose Magazine. Retrieved 2012-04-08.
- Standal, Matt (2012-03-24). "Neurolux 'Blitzed' by crowds at Treefort | KTVB.COM Boise". Ktvb.com. Retrieved 2012-04-08.
- Deeds, Michael (2012-03-22). "Treefort: not your typical music festival | Boise, Garden City, Mountain Home". Idahostatesman.com. Retrieved 2012-04-08.
- Whiteley, Sheree (2012-03-24). "Treefort: Local Dancers Kick off Performance Art Series | Cobweb". Boiseweekly.com. Retrieved 2012-04-08.
- Brandt, Jaclyn (2012-03-26). "Treefort: Panel Offers DIY Touring Insight | Cobweb". Boiseweekly.com. Retrieved 2012-04-08.
- Deeds, Michael (2012-03-23). "Treefort Music Fest survival guide | Music". Idahostatesman.com. Retrieved 2012-04-08.
- Deeds, Michael (2012-03-30). "Deeds: Treefort looks to future; summer shows pile up | Michael Deeds". Idahostatesman.com. Retrieved 2012-04-08.
- Standal, Matt (2012-03-26). "Next year's Treefort Music Fest already in the works | KTVB.COM Boise". Ktvb.com. Retrieved 2012-04-08.
- Ahmindohr, Surandajeesh. "Long and Winding Road: Boise's Music Scene Finds its Stride | Boise has always had talent but it took years of struggle to learn what do with it | Features". Boise Weekly. Retrieved 2012-04-08.
- Hoffman, Jeff (2012-03-24). "Killing Sasquatch: Treefort Music Fest Day 1 of 4". Killingsasquatchmusic.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2012-04-08.
- "Photos/Review: Treefort Music Fest in Boise with Why?, Built to Spill, and a long list of Bay Area bands : The Bay Bridged – San Francisco Bay Area Indie Music". Thebaybridged.com. 2012-04-02. Retrieved 2012-04-08.
- "Treefort Music Fest: Day 4 in Photos and Video | SSG Music SSG Music - Your Favorite Source for Everything Music". Ssgmusic.com. 2012-04-02. Retrieved 2012-04-08.
- "Treefort Music Fest tix on sale beginning TODAY!". Mainsite.radioboise.org. 2012-01-06. Retrieved 2012-04-08.
- "About". Treefort Music Fest. Retrieved 2012-04-08.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Treefort Music Fest.|
- Official homepage
- Of Montreal's lead singer Kevin Barnes in Rolling Stone
- Paste Magazine's photo gallery
- Killing Sasquatch Music's review of the final day of the 2012 festival
- A short documentary featuring WHY?
- Thoroughgoing DIY appreciation
- A comprehensive review from Apes on Tape
- The Road to Treefort, Pt. 1 (Promotional video)
- KTVB gallery
- Consequence of Sound review of the 2013 festival
- SSG Music review of the 2013 festival
- SSG Music review of The Grizzled Mighty
- An appreciation of the managerial and artistic Gestalt
- "Festivals to Watch Out For: Treefort Boise" festival review - Rocker Magazine 2013
- A professional photo gallery of the first day
- A video recap compilation
- The Skyship Tour, Act I (Promotional video)
- The Skyship Tour, Act II (Face melting promotional video)
- The Skyship Tour, Act III (Promotional video)
- An extensive interview with Lori Shandro, the founder of Treefort
- Real-time feed of photos and Twitterage from the Idaho Statesman
- Dead Horse March appreciation
- Detailed Willamette Week review
- OPB Music review
- Apes On Tape review
- A video retrospective from Gelatinous Blog
- Treefort 2014 follow-up interview with hip-hop artist Big O
- Treefort 2014 follow-up interview with hip-hop artists The Dedicated Servers
- Treefort 2014 follow-up interview with hip-hop artists mic.ill and LSD of The illest*Lyricists
- Treefort 2014 follow-up interview with hip-hop artists Eleven and Exit Prose
- Treefort 2014 follow-up interview with festival co-founder and co-director Eric Gilbert