9 Things To Do At Boise's Treefort Music Fest

Mar 20, 2014

Alright Boise, the wait is over. The third annual Treefort Music Fest is in full swing, and there's a lot of options. Like, a lot.

But instead of giving you music recommendations, we thought we'd try something different. Here's some ideas for unique experiences that Treefort has to offer -- in no particular order.

1. Check out the Food Truck Rally: Some of the Treasure Valley’s best food vendors will be hanging out next to the Treefort main stage. Instead of running home to grab some grub, why not stay within earshot of the tunes while you chow down? A couple of notables: Nekar’s pour-over style coffee will give you just the right jolt after a long night of show-hopping, and Calle 75 Street Tacos are not to be missed.

2. Go to at least one show at the El Korah Shrine: Last year, the Shriners opened their doors to the indie festival goers for the first time and it was a pretty unique cross-generational moment. As Eric Gilbert likes to point out, there probably isn’t any other place where 75-year-olds will sell you drink tokens while you listen to some of the best indie bands around. Also, the ladies bathroom in the El Korah’s downstairs is probably the best powder room in the city.

Treefort Music Fest organizers Eric Gilbert, Lori Shandro and Drew Lorona take a break from planning the third annual festival
Credit Frankie Barnhill

3. Tunes at the Statehouse: Lawmakers at the Idaho Legislature are planning to wrap up the session on Friday. Which is perfect timing for Treefort! (No word on how many legislators are into indie music...) At least one acoustic set will go down in the Capitol rotunda Friday morning, maybe more. And keep your eyes open for some indie music loving Statehouse reporters, at least a few of them are planning to attend.

4. Go all techie: Hackfort is one of the five official "mini forts" at this year's festival. According to the website, "Hackfort is designed to bring out the best coders, engineers and designers in the city. "Musical headliner Dan Deacon is making a special appearance at the Thursday gathering, giving a nod to the festival's many collaborative elements.

5. Treefort Film Fest: Although technically not a “fort,” the first Treefort Film Festival is another new offshoot this year. The movies actually kicked off on Wednesday, but there’s still plenty to see, including one Oscar-nominated documentary called “The Missing Picture.” That screens on Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Flicks.

6. Go Green: Rather than driving your car into the downtown and almost assuredly circling for parking, why not bike/walk/skateboard instead? If you choose that last mode of transportation, you should probably check out the Skatefort happenings on Saturday. 

7. Download the Treefort App: Have an iPhone or an Android? The Treefort crew is providing a handy-dandy free app to help you organize your time. It has all the schedules -- music, film -- as well as all the forts, so you can get yourself organized and make sure you don't have Treefort remorse at the end of the weekend. It also lets you listen to select songs from bands while you're trekking around town.

8. ...But don't plan all of your time: Festivals organizers say Treefort is about musical discovery, and they make it pretty easy to do so with more than 350 plus acts on display. Some of my most memorable experiences last year were when I let myself explore a bit. I came across some bands I didn’t know and have since come to love.

9. Thank a band: Boise is known for being friendly and gracious -- so if you see a band that you dig, give them a high-five. Chances are that simple "thanks" will make their night.

So tell us, what are your Treefort must-dos?

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