The blitz of bands and booze that is Boise's Treefort Music Fest 2016 is now upon us. If you plan to hitch a ride on this festive five-day fun train, it will behoove you to keep your belly full. This year, in addition to the lineup of local food trucks parked outside the Main Stage on Grove Street—including Archie's Place, Calle 75 Street Tacos, Genki Takoyaki and Salt Lake City-based Poutine Your Mouth—you'll also find a new fort dedicated entirely to food: Foodfort.
Located inside the expanded Alefort tent, a 180-foot behemoth that runs up 12th Street from Grove Street to Main Street, Foodfort Tastes will boast a rotating lineup of 10 local chefs serving small plates that you can purchase for one or two tokens. Options include everything from heirloom polenta and lamb sugo from The Modern Hotel, served Friday, March 25 from 4-8 p.m.; to beer-braised duck on polenta with heirloom tomato jam from Richard's Café Vicino, served Saturday, March 26 from Noon to 4 p.m.; to pork belly, mushrooms and sunchokes from State & Lemp, served Saturday, March 26 from 4-8 p.m.
At the north end of the tent, past a breezeway with picnic tables and a lounge, you'll find The Hideout stage, where food-focused discussions will take place. (Full disclosure: I organized these panels.) Dubbed Foodfort Talks, the presentations are free, all-ages and open to the public, so no wristbands required. Panels include: The Future of Idaho Wine with Telaya, Split Rail and Sawtooth on Friday, March 25 from 4:30-5 p.m., with a free wine tasting; Defining Local with Peaceful Belly, Bittercreek Ale House, Idaho Preferred and Agri Beef Co. on Saturday, March 26 from 2:30-3:30 p.m.; and The Rising Tide of Third Wave Coffee with Evans Brothers Coffee Roasters, Neckar Coffee and The District Coffee House on Sunday, March 27 from 12:15-12:45 p.m., which also includes free samples.
Before the Foodfort Talks coffee panel begins on Sunday, you can fill up on eggy fare at the Food Truck Brunch, which runs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Grove Street. Food trucks like B-Town Bistro, Boise Fry Company and The Funky Taco will offer special breakfast-themed dishes to soak up the previous night's debauchery.
Speaking of brunch, Bittercreek Ale House is hosting its third annual Treefort Brunch Friday, March 25 through Sunday, March 27 with live music and an assortment of special dishes, including breakfast tacos, breakfast poutine, breakfast pizza and specialty cocktails. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, with bands like Jonathan Warren, Motel Radio and Sheep Bridge Jumpers performing.
If you prefer Basque fare over breakfast eats, hitch your horse at Camp Modern, which is transforming the Modern Hotel parking lot into a sheep camp with spit-roasted whole lamb, paella, grilled chorizo, solomo and campsite cocktails. The Burning Lamb event takes place Friday, March 25 through Sunday, March 27 from 3-9 p.m. There will also be an array of bands like AAN and Lost Lander performing free, all-ages show. For more information, visit treefortmusicfest.com/foodfort.