If you’re anything like us, you’re counting down the days till Treefort Music Fest (40 days till Treefort, as of 2/14). To amp up your excitement, we got to sit down and take a step into the mind of Treeforts publicist, Marissa. We wanted to get the insider-scoop into the 9th annual Treefort Fest and give our Totally Boise peeps the hottest tips and tricks to enjoying a 5-day weekend filled with fun!
All About Treefort
What’s new this year?
- Dragfort. It was a big thing last year, we would hear feedback about how people that weren’t 21 really wanted to experience Dragfort. Once we learned there was a need for people under 21 to be a part of drag, we made Dragfort its own fort. So we now have 11 forts (the most I think we’ll ever have)! This year we’re having an all ages ball outside the mainstage that is put on by Corvette Dance Collective and the City of Boise. The fact that our city funded a drag event is pretty amazing. The dance will be on Saturday.
- There was always art happening all over, but we needed to make it an official thing. So now we now have Artfort as well.
- Alefort is getting an upgrade this year! David, who heads that up, is passionate about people understanding different flavors in beer and drinks, so he’s made it easy to for people to understand those tips with drink details clear through signage. He wants it to be educational. Everyday the bars will change, and something I’m really excited for is that one of the days you’ll have the chance to mix different parts in beers to see which ingredients change the flavor of your beer. Everyone can learn as they do it, which I think is really cool.
- The food in Alefort is going to be amazing. David has made the food at Alefort called Foodforts Fresh Picks Bar, which will include all local ingredients. You can order from a Saute Bar, Pizza Bar, Fry Bar, and we will have a pantry which will include cheese, pickles, you know, all the extra stuff. Every single ingredient is local and the menu will tell you which farm each item is coming from. I hope that overall, people will recognize the way everything is presented is to help connect the dots. You’re not just drinking a beer and eating food with it, we’re learning about things unique to Boise.
- Foodfort we will be piloting, with the Treefort Green Team, all reusable dinnerware at street eats. So reusable plates, forks, and knives. At Treefort we’re all about sustainability.
- The festival officially kicks off at 5:30PM on Wednesday, and this year we’re going to be doing a “Welcome to the Land” ceremony, which is a big thing in Canada. It is a ceremony acknowledging and honoring the Indigenous tribes that were on our land before. We’re going to have a woman, from I believe the Shoshone-Bannock Tribe, who will lead the ceremony. It will be a great way to kick off the fest.
- Music Talks is also a great educational experience for people interested in the music industry. They have a great lineup of people giving talks about marketing yourself, recording, management, everything a musician might want to know! All of the events, except for a select few, are free to the public which is cool because anyone in the community can go and learn.
Who/what should Treefort attendees be on the lookout for?
- Definitely be on the lookout for our new colossal collective puppet... but if you miss that I’d be shocked.
- Pop-up performances! There’s one group out of LA that will be doing an immersive dance on a bike and it sounds pretty exciting. Our local troop, LED, wil be doing pop-up performances all over downtown also. They’re just fun because everyone will stop and be like what’s going on, and then spend our time watching together- always an amazing moment.
- Bittercreek brunch is always so fun, with bands playing right there while you eat!
- Look out for bands playing on the city bus, we have a Treefort loop and bands will be playing on the bus which is pretty funky.
- Skatefort is also really cool, it’s totally worth checking out. There’s a band set up in the middle of the skatepark and just chaos happening with people riding all around. It's crazy, but also amazing to see.
- We have a bunch of muralists, headed up by Sector 17, that will creating art around downtown. Look for mixed media on the lineup, because all around town they will be making murals, but out of different mediums, not just spray paint.
- Artfort is having two new showcases, which will give you a new perspective, I think! Bands will be featured as a part of the showcases, so it will be awesome to see so many different things going on.
Top 3 Treefort Must-dos/recommendations
Ok, that’s hard, I'm going to have to pick four!
- Sunday Brunch at Alefort is a must for me. This year we will have Comedyfort and Dragfort who will be joining us and bringing the party.
- I would definitely check out a Foodfort event, there’s two different dinners happening and the food in general is just going to be very new and very cool.
- Skatefort is so chaotic and so beautiful. With a band playing in the middle and people just skating all around, yet somehow it’s all flowing. Plus the bands are very eclectic, all different genres.
- I can’t say enough about Dragfort, it’s so fun, it will lift your spirits. Everyone there is just smiling and dancing. Plus, it's so important to so many people around Boise, that it’s very heartwarming to be a part of.
How to make the most out of 5 days of Treefort?
Do a little bit of research, maybe pick like 5-10 bands that are on your list to must-see and then don’t worry about the rest! Just wander around and talk to people around you. Most bands play multiple times, with the exception of some headliners, so ask around and then find a time to catch them. Don’t be afraid to be alone or to talk to people, everyone’s there to have a good time and make new friends. That’s what Treefort is all about!
What makes 2020 Treefort special/ different?
There are a ton of bands that aren’t on the radar in the U.S.. Georgia is a really good example of that, she's huge in London and in the U.K., but not many people around here know about her! This year there are a lot of bands from other countries, and you might not have another chance to see them again, especially not in an environment like Treefort. We also have more volunteers than we’ve ever had (if you want to volunteer I would sign up ASAP).
A bit about Marissa:
What is your position at Treefort? How long have you been involved with Treefort?
I’m the publicist and PR representative for Treefort. I help reach out to over 250 news outlets to invite them to experience Treefort. It’s pretty amazing because I work with big media companies and small local media like the Eagle High School Newspaper. I’m almost positive this is my 4th year… or 5th year… it’s hard to remember, but it's been a blast!
What band/bands are you most excited to check out?
- There’s a band called Lorelle Meets the Obsolete, they’re from Guadalaraha and they’re like a heavy rock band, but the singer just has such a cool voice, so I’m really excited for them.
- The Black Tones that are out of Seattle, they’re a duo and she has a cool deep raspy powerful voice.
- Obviously, Grouplove, who isn’t?
- The Vanishing Twin from London, are super funky, when I’m listening to them I almost feel like I’m floating through space, every song is really different.
- Also, some really cool local bands. We realized we weren’t doing enough to represent the Latin population, so we have about 17 bands from around here, and one of them is called Tejano Outlaw from Nampa, they’re REALLY good.
There are 184 local bands and exactly 500 bands playing in Treefort. We have bands from all across the U.S., from Philly to Colorado. This year we have a ton more from Canada and so many bands from out of the country. We try really hard to make it diverse between genres so we can reach the max amount of people.
What’s your fave part about Treefort?
Oh man, that’s hard. Obviously, I love working for it, it’s the most fulfilling part of my work because Treefort is a huge family. But my favorite part, is probably the energy that comes with Treefort. Everyone is stoked for this event from businesses to attendees.
I also love that every Treefort, I make new friends. People continually come year after year so it turns into a big reunion when you see them at a show! I also love having a week to just show up, enjoy everything, and explore Treefort.
My family comes to town for Treefort every year, so it turns into a party. That’s the thing about Treefort, it’s a family affair. Not many festivals do you want to bring your parents, so it’s fun to experience this with everyone.
Which “fort” is your favorite?
Well I have forts that I like to go to for certain reasons throughout the weekend, so here’s a run down of them!
- When I want to party I go to Dragfort.
- Storyfort is an amazing place to sit down and hear stories filled with passion.
- Filmfort has an amazing line up this year and it's the perfect place to sit and relax in the dark when you need a moment to chill. Plus, some of the films that are being featured have been getting extreme attention and crazy reviews after Sundance.
- Alefort, I mean obviously I like it for the beer. But, this year we also have wine and cocktails made from different local vendors. Plus the cocktails and wine menus will change everyday and each day 2 different bars will be bartending, so everyday you’ll be able to try a new drink!
- Comedyfort has a killer lineup. It’s nice because you just sit back and laugh so hard when you're at Comedyfort. One of the performers, Irene, is hilarious, definitely a must-see. We have a YouTube playlist for all of the Comedyfort artists.
- Yogafort is the best way to kickoff Treefort. Canada the country is a sponsor of Treefort, and last year the General Consulate came down and he led a meditation, so hopefully, we’ll see him do that this year. Really though, when else can you be led in yoga by a leader in Canada?!
The biggest tip to “surviving” the fun of 5 days at Treefort.
Change your shoes every day, drink water (like seriously chug water), and honestly, it’s really helpful to establish which bands you’re dying to see and then the rest of the time just wander around. If something catches your eye just go check it out, or if you’re unsure, just ask the people around you. I mean it’s Boise, everyone is crazy friendly, especially at Treefort. But honestly, wandering is part of the magic of Treefort- every time I just pop in somewhere I end up loving the band and they become my favorite of the year. That’s 100% the best way to do it. Also, be prepared for crazy Boise spring weather, bring a hat/jacket. And be a good human.
Marissa kindly gave us a link to her Treefort playlist, if you want some more suggestions of what bands to check out:
All Photo Credit to Treefort Fest