BOISE -- It takes a lot of hammers, paint brushes, and pencils to transform downtown Boise for the Treefort Music Festival scheduled for March 20th through the 23rd.
The third-annual event includes more than 300 bands and solo artists, and draws thousands of people to Idaho's capital city.
Festival organizers rely on hundreds of volunteers to set the stage.
They include photographers, public relations representatives, box office workers, clean-up crews, food service helpers and the creative minds behind the festival decor.
The artistic vision started with the idea of a treefort, a sketchbook, and artist James Lloyd.
Basically, I was just asked to make a poster and a logo, and I had no idea it was going to get so big, Lloyd told KTVB while showing examples of his signature artwork.
Lloyd creates the characters, trees, castles, and creatures that set the stage for Treefort in Boise's downtown. Each year he creates a new design with new characters.
The designs have slowly crept out from the page of his notebook, becoming wooden sculptures, treeforts, towers, and unique set pieces on display on the main stage and throughout Boise's LinenDistrict.
That's where production designer Bronwyn Leslie comes in.
Leslie organizes about 18 volunteers in what's known as Decor Fort. They include urban artists, carpenters, and set designers.
My job is to take James' Illustrations and make them real life, Leslie told KTVB.
She relies on volunteers like Willow Socia, who creates the festival's medieval banners, and Justinian Morton and Kevin Hennessy who make colorful interpretive signs for venues.
There's also plenty of local business support for the festival.
Carpenter Noel Weber and screenprinter Juliana McLena work in the Bricolage art studio on 6th and Front streets in Boise. Weber used a CNC router to make a beautiful Treefort Music Fest bar top for Payette Brewery's station at the venue. McLena is currently making an order of t-shirts for the first-annual Hack Fort, an electronic music gathering held in conjunction with the music festival.
The employees at Edwards Greenhouse and Florist Shop in Boise are even donating a grove of conifer and Japanese Maple Trees.
In the last month, Leslie says her team has worked about 30 hours each week to organize materials, secure locations, and make props. That's doubled in the past few days.
For the many volunteers of Treefort, the next week will require even more work than that.
I would say close to 500 people are volunteering, Leslie told KTVB.
When asked if Treefort Music Festival is an event built through the kindness of volunteers, Leslie said it was.
It's not about a monetary value, it's about bringing people together.