On any given day, Boise is a bustling and vibrant city with people filling downtown sidewalks on their way to work, play or sitting at an outdoor cafe enjoying a coffee or cocktail.
Basically, Boise is a pretty rad and truly genuine city.
Each spring there’s an added excitement in the air. In many ways, the city swells a bit with the buzz of the Treefort Music Festival. The 5-day event features hundreds — literally hundreds — of bands, plus forts encompassing all kinds of categories from Alefort and Foodfort to Comedyfort to Kidfort. And that’s just a few.
It’s an opportunity for the city of Boise to showcase itself to visitors and provide a wide range of entertainment, food and fun for all who attend.
In 2018, the music festival’s economic impact was nearly $11 million with 24,000 people attending from in and out of state.
We spoke with one of Treefort’s co-founders and Marketing Director, Megan Stoll, about why Boise makes the perfect city for a downtown music festival. We also got in some other notable tidbits to consider at this year’s festival.
Megan Stoll Treefort co-founder/Marketing Director
Q: What does this city have that makes for a successful downtown festival?
The venues are really close. It’s flat. You can walk and bike easily to the venues. I think from maybe one end of downtown to the other is maybe a 15-minute walk.
Boise has been extremely supportive over the years. Treefort was the cultural ambassador from 2015 and up to 2017 which is a nice way to see that the festival is being honored by the city. It’s a rock and roll festival. They have been really supportive. They have helped fund Treefort over the years. It’s huge for us.
Q: Thoughts on visitors have the option of using scooters for transportation this year.
We always like to recommend people don’t drive downtown just because we have more closed roads and there are more pedestrians and bikers. And, we encourage people to use zero emission ways to get downtown whether it’s on foot, on your skateboard, on your bike, or even a scooter.
Q: In what ways is sustainability a big factor at this year’s festival?
We’re trying to get rid of every single used plastic and it’s taken some years to get there and this year we have made a commitment to making mainstage no single use plastic. It’s all steel cup so bring your own steel cup as long as it’s 16 ounces. You can buy one at the festival. We also have rentals, stainless steel cups that you can rent at main stage.
Q: Who makes up the Treefort Staff?
We have a really diverse group of people who run Treefort even up to our leadership team and we pride ourselves on that and I think it adds to the values we hold as a Boise community: being open and inclusive and diverse.
Q: What excites you the most about this year’s festival
The thing that excites me the most is Treefort is a lot like summer camp. You get all these bands that come into town. The touring band scene is pretty small. To have them all in one spot for awhile is pretty cool. They get along really well and they share spaces over at artist lounge or even backstage and even on the dance floor or in the audience to support one another. I think that’s the coolest thing that I love to see at Treefort is just the amount of support that the artists have for one another.
Marissa Lovell: Treefort Festival Publicist
Q: What Makes TF stand out?
I think it’s just really genuine around here. Everyone who comes out really wants to be here. People do it out of love and do it because they have a great time. They just really truly have a great time here no matter what. There’s a level of being genuine and it’s like a super happy environment. SXSW is really corporate now. You hear it all the time. Here we’re just here for the music, the party and the friends. You’re here living in the moment and that’s why people keep coming back and work for the festival.
I want to make sure I stay in the moment and stay grateful for all of it. I think the show I’m really excited for: Black Mountain and Charcoal Squids.