As Treefort toddles into its second year, the young music festival has proved not only to be a unifying force for the local music community, but a legitimizing force outside Boise. As this issue hits stands, hundreds of bands will be winding their way to Boise from the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas, and hundreds of local music fans will be restlessly counting down the hours until Treefort kicks off, Thursday, March 21.
Last year, Treefort drew more than 130 bands and more than 3,000 people per day to eight venues clustered around downtown. This year, the festival has ballooned to include more than 270 bands and stretched its legs out into 13 venues, including the delightfully dated El Korah Shrine and the Sixth and Main nightclub China Blue.
Treefort organizers will even shut down Grove Street from 12th to 13th Street on Saturday, March 23, and Sunday, March 24, to accommodate the wandering hordes and 15 local and regional food trucks.
Whereas last year's festival buzzed with a bewildered, "we actually pulled this off" vibe, this year, Treefort has embraced its early success and is making confident strides forward. In addition to tacking on a film series at the Egyptian Theatre that runs Friday, March 22, and Sunday, March 24, and includes films like Dave Grohl's Sound City, Treefort has greatly increased the offerings at its Alefort beer tent, it has expanded its panel discussion series and it will offer a sizeable merchant area called Bricofort and even a food truck rally.
Last year, Boise Weekly reporters sweated it out at every venue for every show, making sure we were your comprehensive eyes and ears on the ground. This year, our coverage will be just as comprehensive, but a little more selective. In the following pull-out guide, you'll find our staff picks for the bands we're most psyched to see, along with our back-up plan for each day, should the top picks not pan out.
And while you're wrapped up in the thick of it, don't miss BW's blitz of on-the-ground multimedia coverage at treefort.boiseweekly.com. Our new, scrollable platform gives you easy access to videos, photo slideshows, social media updates and Instagram photos on your smartphone, tablet or laptop.