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Guide to Treefort 2024

Published about 1 month ago • 10 min read

Treefort Music Fest is in two weeks! Are you going?!

The music and arts festival is Wednesday, March 20 through Sunday, March 24, 2024. It's one of my favorite weeks in Boise.

Today's story is a guide to Treefort 2024. I'm gonna tell you about the history of the fest, tell you all the different ways to Treefort, and then go through some schedule picks.

You can listen to me ramble on about Treefort on the podcast.

A very brief history of Treefort

The story of Treefort goes back to 2011, when there was a big ass hole in downtown Boise (aka the Boise Hole), the Red Room existed, Radio Boise just went on the airwaves, and people were camped outside of the County Courthouse as part of the Occupy Boise Movement.... what else was happening then?

Anyway as the story goes, Treefort’s four founders – Eric Gilbert, Lori Shandro, Drew Larona, and Megan Stoll – met in the summer of 2011 thanks to fate and Boise’s two degrees of separation. They collectively envisioned a music fest that would play host to a bunch of regional and national emerging artists, while showcasing local bands and dynamic potential of downtown Boise. They brought on a few more community members and within 6 months the small group planned and organized the first ever Treefort Music Fest.

Treefort 1 took place on March 22-25, 2012 in the Linen District of downtown Boise, with 137 artists playing shows in eight venues around the city. The Main Stage was in a parking lot on Grove Street, in between 12th & 13th Streets. Alefort emerged as the first fort. More than 200 volunteers and dozens of downtown businesses helped pull it off, and a few thousands of fans were there to experience the experimental fest. It was a huge success and thus, the annual Treefort Music Fest was born.

Over the following years, Treefort would grow, change, and expand – right along like Boise and its surrounding towns/cities. It's gained 13 forts, many more stages, and thousands of fans. The fest would become known for a happy "come as you are" vibe and for being the place where you see a band before they "blow up" and get super popular. Generations of kids have grown up Treeforting. Bands have met each other at the fest and gone on to form new bands and partner on tours.

After celebrating it's 10th festival in 2022, Treefort had to go through some significant changes. Since its inception, the Treefort Main Stage had been in that parking lot on Grove Street, and many of the surrounding stages and events were set up on Grove Street, in the parking lot of The Owyhee, and in empty spaces and the lobby of The Owyhee. Shortly after the 2022 festival wrapped up, construction began on Hotel Renegade, which is right behind the Owyhee parking lot and opening in May 2024, and on The Broadstone Saratoga, which is a 334 unit apartment building on Grove Street that is set to open in November 2024.

Treefort had to find a new spot. In 2023, the festival moved the Main Stage, the Hideout Stage, Kidfort, Alefort, and some other things to Julia Davis Park. The organization also opened Treefort Music Hall in March 2023.

If you or someone you know went to Treefort last year, they would probably tell you it was cold. Which is true, it was quite chilly, but it was still fun!

This year, Treefort will bring nearly 500 artists to 30 music venues, while the 13 forts of the fest bring a few hundreds more artists, speakers, chefs, and performers to 20 more venues throughout downtown Boise. Here's how to experience it.

How to do Treefort 2024

First things first

You need a pass or a (loose) game plan. See all ticket options here.

Go for four or five days

If you are going to Treefort for more than 3 days, you should buy a full 5-day festival pass ($320) or a ZIPLINE ($440, lets you skip all lines). There's also a 5-day pass for those under age 21, U21 Pass ($170). These passes will get you into all events for all five days of Treefort (except for a few ticketed events like Foodfort dinners). This is the best option if you plan to go to Treefort for 3 or more days.

Go for a day or two

Buy a single day pass ($120) go to everything happening on that day. If you do the math and compare with the schedule, this is a screamin' deal. For example, there's 375+ events happening on Saturday alone, so with a single day pass you'd be paying less than $0.25 per event.

Go to the Main Stage

This year the Main Stage is in Julia Davis park. You can easily spend all day at the park. There is a section of the park that is totally free, where you can go to Alefort, Kidfort, and see music on the Bandshell. The other section of the park is wristband-only, meaning you will need a 5-day pass, single day pass, or a Main Stage pass ($60) to enter. Within this wristband section there's the Main Stage, the Hideout Stage, and Lookout Lounge (which is a private lounge area by Main Stage and requires an addition $150 ticket). So for $60, you can see all shows on 7 different stages in one day. There's more stages around town that you can see music for free and more free forts, too. See below.

Go for a show

If there is a show you want to see or want to hang with friends at a specific venue, you can buy a ticket to a specific venue. This is not available for all venues. You can buy a ticket to see all shows on the given day at Treefort Music Hall ($40), Basque Center ($25), Knitting Factory ($25-35), Adelmann Building ($30) and Morrison Center ($53-$68). Some venues, like Shrine Social Club, Pengillys, and Hannahs, will do a cover at the door, but it's totally based on capacity so it's not guaranteed you'll get in.

Go to an event

There's a few events that are ticketed and you do not need a festival pass to go, only a ticket. Those events are:

Go to your fave fort

You can buy a Fort Badge to go to all events at your chosen fort. You could pair this with free shows and forts (see below) and have a packed schedule. Buying a Fort Badge allows you to go to all events at that fort for the whole week! Those options are:

Freefort

Treefort has multiple free forts, free stages, and "second chance shows" at bars and spaces around downtown. Most of these shows are all ages. You can see shows for free at:

  • Alefort Lounge (in Julia Davis Park)
  • The Bandshell (in Julia Davis Park)
  • ​The Nest at Kidfort (in Julia Davis Park)
  • ​Boise Brewing
  • ​Lost Grove Brewing​
  • ​Payette Brewing​
  • ​Cyclops (on the Grove Plaza)
  • ​Treeline (bands on the bus!)
  • Skatefort/Rhodes Skate Park

Forts you can go to for free:

Second, get the deets

Get the details you need to attend. Some people are fine going in kinda blind and just wandering. Other people need a plan. Some will be in the middle. Whatever floats your boat. Here's some things that might help:

Download the app. That's the best way to check out the lineup + schedule.

Don't know any bands? Check out the Curated Schedules or listen to the playlists!

​Wondering how to get around Treefort? There's a few options:

  • Treeline Bus is a free shuttle service on city buses that runs in a loop throughout the festival. It runs Wed 3/20-Fri 3/22 6-11pm and Sat 3/23 2-11pm. Bands play on the bus - it's so fun!
  • Walking is another great way. You feet might be tired after day 5, but hey it's worth it.
  • Biking is the most fun & easy way to cruise around, in my opinion. Def bring a bike lock.
  • Electric scooter or skateboard is also an option. Note that if you are skateboarding you may have to stash it somewhere while you go into a venue.
  • If you drive downtown, parking is not easy. There's not many places you can park all day or overnight unless you are willing to pay for the parking garages. I suggest uber/lyft or carpool.

If you are in a chair or festival-ing with someone who has a disability, peep the accessible venues.

Don't forget to pack:

  • A 16oz steel cup
  • Earplugs
  • Sunglasses/hat
  • Wallet/fanny pack/small backpack
  • Portable charger
  • Bike lock
  • An extra layer
  • If you are going to Yogafort, byo yoga mat

Treefort 2024 schedule

Aaaand here's a big ol list of things I think you should check out!

Wednesday, March 20

All day - Artfort x Boise Mart at AI Studios (a lil market thingy, free)

2pm - Storyfort Eco Jam (lots of local nonprofits, free)

4:10pm - Bittermint at Main Stage (local, festival kick off)

5:30pm - Flyanna Boss at Main Stage (rap/hiphop)

6pm - Amano Dinner at Basque Center (Amano is doing a special dinner + mezcal tasting, this will sell out soon)

6:20pm - CMAT at The Hideout (a must-see for me, Irish pop star)

6:40pm - Los Syringas at Boise Brewing (local indie rock, free)

6:50pm - Aka Belle at Shrine Social Club Ballroom (local rockers)

7pm - Dawes & Lucius at Main Stage (folky/indie rock)

7:40pm - Karina Rykman at Bandshell (amazing bass player, free)

8pm - The Moss at The Hideout (high energy indie rock)

8:40pm - Neko Case at Main Stage (legendary folk singer)

8:40pm - CHEW at Neurolux (badass rock)

9pm - Malik Elijah at Treefort Music Hall (alt hip hop)

9:10pm - Nordista Freeze at Bandshell (always highly entertaining, free)

9:10pm - The Dead & Down (country roots rock)

11pm - Pokey LaFarge at Shrine Social Club Ballroom (country? idk but I like it)

11:20pm - VIKA at Shrine Social Club Basement (Amy Winehouse-esque)

11:20pm - LOS CHAPILLACS at Neurolux (cumbia punk, love it)

12am - Baby Weight at Space Banana (dancey, I like her scooby doo song lol)

Thursday, March 21

10am - Bhakti Yoga at Yogafort

12pm - AR/VR demos at Hackfort

2pm - Behind Grey Walls at Podfort (local, free)

2:40pm - Blood Lemon at Main Stage (local badasses)

4:30pm - Mr Grant Olsen at Bandshell (local funky groovy tunes, free)

4:30pm - Up is the Down is the at Lost Grove Brewing (local, free)

5pm - The Macks at The Hideout (70s rock sounds)

5pm The Kindness at Treefort Music Hall (local, go see it)

6pm - Daði Freyr at Main Stage (idk just go see it)

6pm - Street Eats at Foodfort (so fun, cheap ticket)

6:20pm - SISTEMAS INESTABLES at Treefort Music Hall (experimental instrumental duo, love them)

7pm - Backhand at Boise Brewing (indie punk, free)

7pm - All Fantasy Everything at Podfort

7pm - Comedy short films at Filmfort

8pm - Special Interest at The Hideout (I love the song cherry Blue Intention)

8pm - Comedyfort at Mad Swede Brew Hall

8:40pm - Ty Segall at Main Stage (garage rock)

9:10pm - LowDown Brass Band at Bandshell (big band funky tunes, free)

9:10pm - The Messthetics & James Brandon Lewis at Shrine Social Club Ballroom (crazy instrumental stuff, kinda blusey)

10:40pm - Hotline TNT at Shrine Social Club Ballroom (hard indie rock)

11pm - EvoluShawn at Adelmann (outer space electronic)

11:20pm - zzzahara at Shrine Social Club Basement (dreamy pop)

11:30pm - Lounge on Fire at Basque Center (local funk project)

11:50pm - Franc Moody at Treefort Music Hall (dance party)

12:10am - A Place to Bury Strangers at Shrine Social Club Ballroom (hard psych rock, gonna be sick)

Friday, March 22

1pm - Documentaries at Filmfort

2:30pm - Mungo at Main Stage (cool local project)

4pm - Talk with Steve Turner of Mudhoney at Storyfort (free)

4:30pm - Ealdor Bealu at Neurolux (local heavy rock)

5:20pm - Biblioteka at Treefort Music Hall (noisy rock)

7pm - Jesus Christ Taxi Driver at Cyclops (rock stuff, free)

7pm - SunDog at Lost Grove (Alaskan indie rockers, free)

7:30pm - WEND at Shrine Social Club Ballroom (local harp band)

7:50pm - The National Parks at Hideout (folky indie stuff)

8pm - Yohei at at Shrine Social Club Basement (cool artist from Japan)

8:40pm - Channel Tres at Main Stage (dancey dj)

9:10pm - The Schizophonics at Bandshell (high energy rock, free)

11:20pm - Townies at Pengilly's (love them)

12:30am - LOBO LARA at Basque Center (local cumbia producer)

12:30am - Itchy Kitty at The Shredder (one of my fave punk bands)

Saturday, March 23

11am - Ambient Zine Making Workshop with Artfort (free)

11am - Local Short Films at Filmfort

12:20pm - Comedyfort Brunch at Alefort (free)

1pm - Frankie Tillo at Hideout (local, i dig it)

1pm - Ashley Young at Cyclops (free)

5:20pm - Dry Cleaning at Main Stage (indie rock)

6:20pm - Odie Leigh at Hideout (sweet sweet folk songs)

6:20pm - LED (band + dance, local)

7pm - Cimafunk at Main Stage (Afro-Cuban funk, so good)

7:30pm - Patrick Watson & Boise Philharmonic at Morrison Center w/ Ballet Idaho

7:50pm - Mambo Sauce at Bandshell (hip hop rock?? free)

9pm - Briston Maroney at Main Stage (indie rock, real good)

9pm - mega cat at Shrine Social Club Basement (just trust me)

9:10pm - SEGO at Treefort Music Hall

11:30pm - Floating Witch's Head at Neurolux (local psych rock)

11:50pm - Mandias at The Shredder (local)

12:10am - DRAMA at Treefort Music Hall (dancey)

12:50pm - Møtrik at Neurolux (this is what I listen to when I write From Boise stories lol)

Sunday, March 24

10am - Poetry & Mimosas at Storyfort

10am - Board Games & Brunch at Hackfort

2pm - Disco Derby at Main street Station (as in the underground bus station)

2:30pm - Foul Weather at Payette Brewing (local instrumental)

3:30pm - DakhaBrakha at Main Stage (must see)

5:40pm - BEL at Hideout

5:40pm - Zea Mays at Boise Brewing (band from the Basque Country, free)

6:30pm - Dehd at Main Stage (my favorite)

7:20pm - Sonido Gallo Negro at Bandshell (real good cumbia, free)

7:40pm - Blix at Shrine Social Club Ballroom (local punks)

8:10pm - Devendra Banhart at Main Stage (just trust me)

9pm - COOL COMPANY at Treefort Music Hall (R&B hip hop stuff)

9:20pm - Papas at Shrine Social Club Basement (local rockers)

10:10pm - GHOSTWOMAN at Shrine Social Club Ballroom (psych rock)

10:20pm - Magic City Hippies at Treefort Music Hall (chill easy stuff)

10:20pm - Crush The Monster at Shrine Social Club Basement (local psych rock)

12am - Fleetmac Wood at Treefort Music Hall (disco fleetwood mac)

Ooook that's all I got for ya. What other questions about Treefort do you have? Let me know and I'll answer them on Thursday!

Thanks for reading!

With love from Boise,

Marissa

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From Boise

by Marissa Lovell

A weekly newsletter & podcast about what's going on in Boise, Idaho. Every week we share stories about people, places, history, and happenings in Boise.

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