Field Trip to Treefort Tip Top
Treefort’ welcomed over 150 bands from across the United States, Canada, and as far away as Australia. This emerging artists music festival hosted over 3,000 people each day and has secured itself a place in the arts and cultural annual calendar.
We rolled into Boise just in time to secure our passes and make it to The Red Room to see Sons of Guns and met up with other La Grandians who made the trek down as well. The new album from Sons of Guns ‘Oregon Slogan’ was primarily the focus of the set – exposing Boise to the current stream of lyrics and stomp-beat electro-acoustic truck stop rock. Some rekindling of songs from their previous album ‘Clutch’ was a highlight. The place was packed, one in and one out most of the night, but Boise seemed to be pleased as punch to weather the lines and crowds to witness with the sounds and soul of the La Grande musicians.
Next on to The Crux a sweet coffee and beer place - this venue was unique in that the band was staged just inside of the display windows making the stage very much visually accessible in both front and back. Yeah Great Fine, past Eastern Oregon Film Festival band and friend to many LG’s – tickled the audience with their fizz-filled-funk and pilly-popped shenanigans. Living up to the bands tagline: Math, Party, Rock Extravaganza!
The next day we caught up with friends at the Main Stage. The area was a great place for a stage – VIP areas, vendors, a food truck rally, and event an on demand screen printing station for festival t-shirts. I was happy to find our buskin’ buddies Hillfolk Noir entertaining between main stage acts. Their bluesy junkerdash, complete with singing saw and suitcase kick drum, always makes me grin, move, and enjoy – Travis Ward and wife Alison combine voices for a twangy delight of harmony – backboned tightly by a stand-up bass line — add in a little washboard tickle – and – ahhh – Hillfolk Noir.
Witnessed the likes of Tartufi, AU, Typhoon, and Built to Spill on the Treefort Main Stage throughout the day Saturday and into the evening. These acts resonated in Boise’s heart and people, people, and more people were drawn to the event, and by the late set of Boise natives Built to Spill, the roof tops of the surrounding businesses were now balcony views for many.
On Sunday, La Grande’s Correspondence School played a early afternoon set at the Ale Fort. The Ale Fort was a great outdoor covered dome tent of microbrews and music. This in-and out-component of the festival kept people moving, interacting, sampling great beers, and exchanging stories. This tent was right next to The Linen Building which seems to be a strong anchored venue and gathering place for the event.
“Treefort was one of the most comfortable music festivals I’ve ever been to. The number of people in attendance, the number of bands, the number of familiar faces, and the pace of Boise, all felt very comfortable and made for an intimate experience. We’ve been fortunate enough to play in Boise a little bit over the years and play with several Boise bands, often in La Grande, and it was great to see their tight knit music community shine and invite everyone into their city. Our friend Eric Gilbert, of Finn Riggins, who was the director and talent buyer for the festival, really did an amazing job of putting everything together and his love for music and art in Boise and Boise in general really showed. The quality of music throughout the weekend was incredible. It was an absolute thrill to participate in Treefort, as both a musician and a fan.”
- Wayne Callahan, Correspondence School
In my limited amount of time at the festival, I got what I thought was a strong sense of place and grounded-ness from the community of Treefort Music Festival. There were over 120 bands and multiple other venues I wished I could have witnessed – but it has left me longing for next year. From the musicians, organizers, volunteers, and music-going peoples — everyone seemed to be there to share in their appreciation for the musicians and each other in this blustering blast of youthful spirit and energy boiling in the belly of Boise, Idaho.
For more expansive stories talk to some locals who attended the weekend, engage with local musicians who were able to participate with other musicians, and / or check out many more photos and stories about this put-it-on-the-calendar-NOW-for-next-year EVENT in Boise — View the Treefort Music Festival website here : view a photo gallery of our adventure.