- There is no official, correct or perfect way to experience Treefort.
- Overwhelm is a real thing. There is a lot going on. Consuming all of it is not a prerequisite to having ‘Treeforted’.
- It's for all ages and backgrounds. It's easy to scoff at Treefort just being for hipsters & millennials (yes, you'll see plenty of those) but the sheer breadth of art and culture and chaos means all walks of life converge and find something to celebrate.
- There is much more than music (though there is an insane amount of that).
- There is absolutely nothing wrong with not being familiar with ANY of the 420+ bands that are descending on Downtown Boise this week. Zip. Zilch. Nada. (full disclosure - I usually have only heard of 5 bands at the most)
But say you want to enjoy some of the music. Where to start? First - download the official app. It makes discovery mobile and there are lots of features to guide you and help sort through the options. But, many of the ideas for exploration are also found via the website.
- Follow the sherpas - find the folks who have opinions and insights on where to go and what to see/hear/experience. Roundups like these give you a good glimpse at options in a bite-sized way. A few to review:
Under-the-radar band recommendations (7 for each day) from Treefort festival director Eric Gilbert via Michael Deeds at the Statesman
Branching out music must-sees from Eric Schultz at the Boise Weekly
Storyfort highlights via Boise Weekly editor Amy Atkins
Boise State Public Radio at Treefort free events
- Check out the curators: the team at Treefort works hard to curate information for easy consumption and posts those to News. Scan through and click on a few.
- Pick a fort: no matter your interest, a plethora of forts await you. Into food or film, comedy or stories? There's a fort for that, and quite often you don't need a Treefort wristband to enjoy it. Heck, Storyfort, Kidfort, Skatefort and Foodfort are free, open to the public and for all ages. Neither Alefort nor Foodfort require a wristband to enter but you will need to buy tokens for your preferred food or beverage - and be of age if said beverage has alcohol. Additionally, Foodfort has several free talks.
- Pick a venue Love the vibe at Pengillys? Always wanted to experience the atmosphere of Neurolux or check out The Olympic? A lot of the music aligns with the vibe of the venue. So pick one, put it in the search bar on the Lineup to sort the schedule based on that location on the days you're interested in.
- Pick a day Speaking of days, you can sort your experience options based on the day you choose. While all are packed, Friday and Saturday tend to be the busiest. Choose a day that you have time to stroll and explore and then sort the schedule to look at just that day.
- Pick a genre Maybe you're into funk or grassroots or indie or global tunes - there's a playlist for that. The Treefort team curated a slew of lists for every genre (chill vibes and dose of party too!) that help you pinpoint the music acts that fit that genre. This is only available via the app, by clicking on 'Listen.'
- Ask a happy Boisean Just like when you travel to foreign places, the best recommendations come from those who are passionate about the place. So draw on that #FreakishlyFriendly Boise vibe and talk to a stranger. Ask an attendee next to you in the foodtruck line who they're excited to see. Talk to a stranger at a street crossing about what they have on their schedule. Swing by the Ranger Station (the large teepee on Front & 12th) for info on what's happening when and where.
And above all - walk downtown Boise and look for the moments. When Treefort takes over downtown, serendipitous discoveries abound that make you fall in love (again) with your city and the people that call it home. Even if you don't have time or interest in attending one show or talk or fort event - get out and walk through Treefort-land for a few hours over the next few days.
**Full disclosure - Red Sky is a Treefort sponsor and also provides public relations support to Treefort. Even without that - we'd still sing (and dance) its praises.