Sister Crayon ::: Photo by Josh Lovseth
As scaled down version of MusicFest NW that felt just the right size for Boise, happening over the course of four days in late March Treefort Music Fest boasts the same proximity advantage as SXSW with all of its venues being entirely walkable. In fact all the stages were located in a five-by-five block square, and a number of unofficial stages popped up in that radius as well. Inside the gates of the outdoor mainstage and out on the streets a bevy of legit food trucks were eager to serve. (Seattle, take a hint.)
Smartly inserting the takeover of Boise’s venues into the post-SXSW touring window, the fest was able to plan itself into the road schedule of a wide array of emerging bands from not just Idaho, Portland and Seattle, but from across the West, while additionally booking headliners with a potential to attract a larger under-21 audience than say MusicFest is going for. Though booking Northwest mainstays Cave Singers, Blitzen Trapper, the Maldives, and of course hometown stars Built to Spill is a thumbs up in my book and probably is what sold a huge portion of the tickets, this fest this year was special for its potential to expose Boise to the other young and less well established bands on the bill that might not otherwise make it to their neck of the woods, but should. In a place with no other real festival competition year-round, the weekend was also in a position to not just expose the fans to the bands, but also expose the bands to Boise in a significant way and give them a reason to come back.
Editorial Note: It’s pronounced Boy-sea, not Boy-Zee.
Eating a Bison Burger off of a Barrel ::: Camera Photo by Josh Lovseth
The festival could just as easily have been called the Treefort Music and IPA Fest. A number of beers were created special for the occasion, really good beer, including one I tried the first night somewhat ironically named “No Girls Allowed.” Ironic not because I didn’t get the Treefort theme, but because over the course of the weekend the lineup’s emerging female performers often stole the show.