BOISE -- Some would say that Boise’s music scene has, for many years, been stifled by isolation, lack of population and a general sense of disinterest.
They might be too quick to judge.
That's because this weekend’s Treefort Music Festival, the second to take place in the Treasure Valley, proves that Boise can transform into a thriving arts scene -- if for only a brief four days.
What's behind the transformation?
“It’s about forming a community, forming a bond,” said musician Lynne Angel during one of the festival’s panels that focused on building a local music scene. Local musicians have formed a community and a bond amongst themselves, but now it’s spread to the greater community.
Treefort festival director Eric Gilbert is one of those local musicians leading the way. You could make an argument that Gilbert is the reason Treefort exists. A keyboardist and singer, Gilbert plays in the well-known Boise band, Finn Riggins.
Local musician and event manager Mike Gill plays in the band Sick Kids XOXO. Gill says it’s Gilbert's “hyper motivated” spirit that ultimately is responsible for the Treefort festival.
“They’ve got all the components for something great. The moving parts are all there, a leader, celebrity artists, and great marketing,” said Gill, adding, “with festivals happening all the time, Treefort is really unique, it’s not trying to be something it’s not.”
Treefort increases musicians, sells more tickets
The 2013 Treefort Fest brought national touring acts and local bands to a dozen venues across downtown over the course of four nights. This year’s festival sold three times as many passes as the inaugural event, proving that Boise is interested, and so are the bands.
Acts from across the country came to the Gem State to a part of the fun. Yet, Boise’s own musicians were also faithfully represented with Built to Spill, Youth Lagoon, Finn Riggins, and close to 100 more homegrown, local artists taking to various stages across the city as well.