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Presidential shout out sparks interest in Hackfort

Second year Treefort Event, Hackfort, gains interest after a shout out from President Obama.
President Obama gave a shout out to Hackfort during a recent visit to Boise.

BOISE -- In about two weeks, thousands of concert goers will gather in downtown Boise for the Annual Treefort Music Fest. However, it's a three-day tech fest within Treefort that has everyone talking.

This is the second year Hackfort has been a part of Treefort Music Fest. This year Hackfort has gained some popularity after a shout out by the commander in chief, President Obama.

When walking around downtown Boise you'll find that some people know about Hackfort, but a majority don't.

However, one man's recent visit to the Gem State is sparking a lot of interest in the three-day technology fest. "You know every year you sponsor Hackfort," President Obama said.

So what exactly is Hackfort? "We're gathering people to talk about the different uses of technology in our civic life, in education, and in the creative arts. So we have some ted style talks, we have panels with local people and people outside of the city, and we'll be talking about the ways we use different technology to make a better world," Hackfort Director Jordan Hawkes said.

Ever since that presidential speech, Hawkes' phone has been ringing off the hook of companies, like HP, Boise Code Camp, and Idahoptech Network wanting to get involved with the festival.

"Really gave us some value. It showed the community that this is a valuable event and got people more excited about it I think and gave some people some information that they may not have known before," Hawkes said.

The interest has sparked a lot of attention at the local level too. "What is really helped us to do. It really galvanized the local community and really get the Boise tech community more centered on what Hackfort is and what Hackfort can be and how we're using technology to connect people," Hawkes said.

Hawkes says the head of social innovation for the White House briefed the president that Boise had some tech meet-ups and that Hackfort was one of them, which is how he found out about the festival.

Hackfort will take place on March 26-28 at the Owyhee Building in downtown Boise. If you would like more information on the festival go to: treefortmusicfest.com/hackfort.

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