written by Angel Abaya
Treefort is a one-of-a-kind festival filled with unique characteristics and wild surprises. We searched around looking for what those characteristics might be and found some gems.
- Treefort is all about discovery. Whether it be music, film, yoga – you name it, you’ll find it. There are 9 official forts: Alefort, Comedyfort, Filmfort, Foodfort, Hackfort, Kidfort, Skatefort, Storyfort, and Yogafort. Within each fort, there is plenty to check out and experience! There will never be a dull moment.
- It is a place of opportunity for local artists. 19-year-old Kathleen Williams moved to Boise a few months before Treefort 2016. She wasn’t established in the local music scene yet but applied to play at Treefort and got accepted. “[Treefort was] very welcoming even though I didn’t know anybody”, said Williams. “And I feel like there were a lot of people like that, just small bands.”
485 bands played Treefort last year; more than half were up-and-coming bands with small fan bases, of which many were also local. “I can expect to come out of Treefort with a few favorite bands that I’d never heard of before”, said trumpeter Seth Hoffman, who currently plays with local funk-rock band Lounge on Fire.
- It is also an opportunity to bring in killer national and international acts, such as Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires (2016), Omar Souleyman (2015), and RJD2 (2014).
- Treefort is one of the most gender inclusive festivals around. It has one of the highest number of female/genderqueer musicians and artists participating in an American festival. “Last year I counted [how many female musicians participated in Treefort]”, said local feminist Annie Berical. “We had something like 210 bands with women in them, where other festivals had almost no bands with women in them.”
- All Treefort events are in walking or biking distance. This is super helpful in terms of time. It’s absolutely possible to catch a show and also make it to a film viewing soon after and grab a bite on the way. You’ll be getting the best workout of your life running all over downtown Boise, and you won’t even realize it because you’re having so much fun! And not to mention, the Earth will thank you for choosing from one of these environmentally-friendly ways of transportation.
- Treefort screams BOISE. After a long winter in B-town, everyone is ready to revive and celebrate the change of season through Treefort festivities. Treefort is all things fun and happening about Boise concentrated into one week of absolute bliss. It’s a time for Boiseans (as well as gracious visitors) to share its glorious wonder with the world and most importantly, with each other.
Local political theorist Ben Duran spoke on this:
”[Treefort] creates a stage where local artists can perform local art that is necessarily Boise/Pacific Northwest in character, thereby growing our local culture and community. We can join our voices to the national artistic conversation rather than remain a regional or local phenomenon. I’m not talking about fame, I’m talking about creating new genres and becoming the next epoch defining city.”
- YOU. “What makes [Treefort] special is the people,” local artist Caitlyn Swanson declared. “Everyone is really close-knit but very different. It feels personal.”
So there you have it. Though there are many reasons why Treefort is unique, people are at the core of what makes Treefort so amazing. That means you. You make Treefort special. Let’s keep making Treefort memorable and magical. Scoop up your pass to Treefort 2017 now before the first artist announcement (early December) to save $20!