Music | Treefort Music Festival 2016

In my book, Treefort Music Festival 2016 began last summer at Denver’s Underground Music Showcase. Members of what is now Flaural, encouraged me to attend a Treefort day party at Skylark Lounge. Apparently, they had been kicking it with members of Youth Lagoon’s touring band the night before who’d be playing the mini showcase on S. Broadway. The intrigue was plenty, and my expectations far exceeded. Boise bands Thick Business, Magic Sword, and Street Fever were not only three of my favorite bands at UMS, they were my informal introduction to Treefort. 

  Street Fever          Photo by: Matthhew Wordell

Street Fever         Photo by: Matthhew Wordell

The festival was described to me as Boise’s UMS. I hate to compare, as Treefort website claims its fest is inspired in part by UMS, among other festivals (primarily SXSW); however, considering the impressive lineup, offerings of yoga and storytelling, platforms to discuss social issues, and the allure of experiences a fest for the first time, Treefort may upstage our beloved UMS. Fortunately, Colorado will have a significant presence this year, bringing 12 bands from Denver and 2 from Boulder, developing the ongoing relationship between the two festivals.

 Looks like UMS mainstage!

Looks like UMS mainstage!

Following suit from prior years, Treefort 2016 boasts a wicked, geographically diverse lineup. Multiple artists playing the festival will travel from far away lands including Australia, Japan, UK, France, Spain, Israel, and Canada. The major music cities in the US will be represented as well. This years headliners include Boise’s own Built to Spill and Youth Lagoon (last stop on YL tour), Thee Oh Sees, Cocorosie, Charles Bradley and his Extraordinaries, and Yacht.

In two days, the festival’s multiple forts will takeover downtown Boise. Though music is the central focus, the festival has ten forts for additional, “nonmusical” experiences. The conventional festival offerings are comedy, film, yoga and storytelling. Foodfort, Skatefort, and Alefort are outside the traditional festival realm. For instance, Foodfort is not a gang of food trucks, as I presumed, and is instead described as “A three-day food fête and forum where local producers, industry creatives, and agriculture experts convene to discuss innovations and share ideas.” There is even a place for the tech geniuses… Hackfort! Though I likely won’t be attending the tech workshops, it is good to see there is a place for everyone at the festival.

 Treefort's Filmfort inspired by Sundance Film Fest

Treefort's Filmfort inspired by Sundance Film Fest

If your initial reaction to Treefort Music Fest was similar to mine (Boise, where is that again?), I’d suggest you give the festival and the city a second glance. Upon visiting last summer proceeding UMS, I fell in love with Boise and the awesome artist population there. Now, I return for six days of seriously talented artists, seriously creative forts, and a seriously incredible community. I can say without a doubt, Treefort Music Festival 2016 will be a seriously good time.



Alex G

La Luz







Methyl Ethel

Vaadat Charigim


Nosaj Thing

J. Philip




CO bands playing Treefort:

Crystal Ghost


American Culture


Ned Garthe Exposion



King Cardinal

Plum (Now LA)

Dirty Few

The Still Tide

Bud Bronson & The Good Timers

Jeffe + Paige

The Raven and the Writing Desk


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Written by: Haley Midzor