Treefort Music Fest is quickly becoming more than an annual music event. What features over 400 bands and artists throughout every medium, the spirited DIY aesthetics of the festival are few, of many, charming characteristics.
Spanning across multiple venues in downtown Boise, Idaho, the 5-day event is all about discovery and community. Slated for its ninth year, running from March 25-29th and ranging in prices from $100 – $385, there’s a lot to be enjoyed.
Main Stage, El Korah Shrine, Linen Building, Neurolux, The Olympic, Knitting Factory, and Regal Beaver are all official venues this year. With the first show kicking off at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 25, the days to follow will each offer their unique programming. The festival boasts of 12 “forts,” each focusing on a different art and bringing along a slew of talent to represent.
GUM has made it a little bit easier of who to catch and what to do when attending Treefort.
Chromatics, Japanese Breakfast, Calexico, and Omar Apollo take the reins of headliners for this year’s fest alongside Peter Bjorn and John, and Pell. And if you’re from Los Angeles you may be familiar with locals Lauren Ruth Ward, Rituals of Mine, James Supercave and SadGirl — who are are obvious must sees. Due to the excitement of being in Downtown Boise though, we first want to highlight local talent.
Madisun Proof (The Reef, Thursday March 26 @ 11:30 p.m.)
Boise’s own Madisun Proof has been making her rounds in the local hip hop scene since with her “On the Real” single in 2018 and collaborative work with the 208 Family artist collective. Her work with the group culminated in the Crossroads mixtape and burned her name on the map of conscious-style rappers in the tradition of Atmosphere and Ms. Lauryn Hill, among others.
queen boychild (Linen Building, Wednesday March 25 @ 9:30 p.m.)
Boise native duo queen boychild are following up on 2018’s Candid Colors, their experimental debut that pulls from a blurry dimension of echoing string play ghostly harmonies that ring bells from the studios of Coco Rosie and Brian Eno.
The French Tips (El Korah Shrine, Friday March 27 @ 7:50 p.m.)
Rustic dance-punk outfit The French Tips are Boise locals who originally teamed up to play covers for a show in 2017. A howling introduction of their debut It’s the Tips brought distortion-laden licks to the ears of the nostalgic and the futurists.
Oyó (The Reef, Thursday March 26 @ 9:30 p.m.)
Boise’s electronica, bedroom-pop artist takes you to an ethereal platform with her hooks, vocals, and vivid lines. On her debut single “True Heart,” it’s easy to get lost in the cool-toned keys and down-tempo dance rhythms, but this is one indie hole you don’t mind getting lost in.
By Fire & Sword (Tom Grainey’s, Sunday March 29 @ 11 p.m.)
Gospel metal. That is all.
Ivy Rosé (Adelmann North, Capital City Event Center Saturday, March 28 @ 9 p.m.)
As a conduit builder for deep, progressive house, Ivy Rosé has been spinning and programming for over a decade. Though her SoundCloud only features two tracks, each are just over-hour-long mixes that blend into your local environment. It’s the beauty of international influence at work.
Rodeo Screams (Regal Beaver, Wednesday March 25 @ 7 p.m.)
The Boise locals have been cutting their teeth on a circuit of house shows since their inception as a one man horror garage something or other. The project quickly developed into a four-piece narrative entitled The Cramps Lost in Fields of the Nephilim. For the better, they are the Venom of whatever they’ve started. Godspeed!
Sun Blood Stories (Neurolux, Friday, March 27 @ 9:30 pm)
These locals are a sentient three-capped mushroom trip introduced by a passing comet. No wonder fellow etherealists Wolveserpent described them as “high desert psychedelia.” What Sun Blood Stories plays is borne from open skies and prolonged exposure to the infinite. Melodic, focused, eternal – this is meant to be felt as well as heard.
Bread & Circus (The Funky Taco, Friday, March 27 @ 12:10 a.m.)
Boogie-rock and soul band have made their mark with many stints throughout their hometown of Boise. The quartet cultivates a welcoming atmosphere through their massive instrumental breaks, harmonic hooks, and dusty tone, all while sporting a mandolin. Led by Michael Blumenstein’s warm and matter-of-fact vocals, Bread & Circus invites sweet reflection at the end of a long day.