After more than a year of waiting, the Treefort Music Festival is finally back in Boise, Idaho. With pandemic restrictions firm as Idaho hospitals increasingly overwhelmed by increasing COVID-19 cases, Treefort has gone all out to try to make this year’s festival safe and enjoyable .
Almost a decade old, Treefort is now about more than just music. The festivities have become increasingly vibrant, with this year’s event being a large-scale art and culture festival. Alefort, Artfort, Comedyfort, Dragfort, Filmfort, Foodfort, Hackfort, Kidfort, Storyfort, Skatefort and Yogafort are unique festivals within Treefort that have their own goals outside of music. The various forts are gaining ground and carving out a place for themselves nationally, which helps put Boise on the map.
From local Boise bands like Built to Spill and local artist Eilen Jewell to bigger bands like Japanese Breakfast, this year’s festival lineup is some of the best in recent years.
Musical entertainment ranges from indie rock and hip hop to folk and even classical piano. There really is something here for everyone and more shows than you could ever possibly put on. For this reason, it might make more sense for festival-goers to purchase individual tickets to shows rather than a pass that lets you see it all.
With over 400 groups and over 50 rooms, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with planning your week at Boise. The Treefort Music Fest app provides the perfect solution for this, allowing you to search for venues, get event information, and even create a schedule for yourself.
Even without the app, navigating the festival is relatively easy. An abundance of volunteers and a relatively small downtown area made the festival experience easy and accessible.
Dancers, sculptors, painters, performers and creators made this year’s Artfort unforgettable. Boise isn’t well known for her art scene, but she definitely should be. Permanent sites like Freak Alley help show off Boise’s true creative colors and talented local artists work hard to create a community here for the creators.
With strong roots in Boise and global social media following, prolific mixed media artist Ashley Dreyfus is having a big time at Artfort this year. His colorful, alter-ego depictions of funky human figures can be found on a permanent exhibit lining the walls of downtown Boise.
As previously mentioned, the Freak Alley Gallery is a must-see not only for Treefort, but anytime you are in Boise. For nearly 20 years, hundreds of graffiti artists and wall artists have collaborated on Freak Alley to make it the incredible and vibrant space it is today. Each year it grows and changes alongside the city and has become a beloved emblem of local art in the city.
Precautions in the event of a pandemic
Treefort organizers went to great lengths to establish comprehensive health and safety guidelines for the event. Beyond national and local regulations, participants must produce proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test in order to access events.
The festival has provided easy-to-use online portals for downloading this information and finding resources on event protocols, and even offers free beer to those looking to get vaccinated at Treefort.
Many have expressed concern that Treefort and events like the Boise State football game, which hosted around 36,000 fans, would only exacerbate the current health problems in the state. The effect of hosting major events like these will be felt in the coming weeks, but it’s clear that people are ready and willing to make the transition in person despite the risks.
Treefort will host events until September 26. Tickets and other information are available on the festival website.