How Do The Bands For Boise's Treefort Music Fest Get Picked?

Mar 21, 2018

Treefort Music Fest brings more than 400 bands to town. One of the festival's co-founders says the process to choose the acts is a balance of skill, availability and luck.
Credit Matt Guilhem / Boise State Public Radio

Treefort Music Fest is taking over downtown Boise. More than 400 bands are scheduled to play over the five day festival. For this installment of Wanna Know Idaho, we take a look at how the selection process works.

Boise interior designer Sonya Lenzi is a big fan of Treefort. She hits hackfort, takes up residence at the Main Stage and generally goes all out for the city’s signature event. Before the music and the craziness of the festival starts, Lenzi volunteers her time helping decorate and preparing the festival’s artist lounge.

While she has a behind-the-scenes perspective, her field of expertise is far removed from the actual organizing and booking of the more than 400 performers.

Boise interior designer Sonya Lenzi wonders how the bands for Treefort get selected. While she volunteers her skills to help decorate the festival's artist lounge, she's in the dark about how the more than 400 acts are selected.
Credit Matt Guilhem / Boise State Public Radio

Lenzi’s big question: “How do bands come to play at Treefort?”

One of the festival’s cofounders, Drew Lorona took a stab at pinning down a process that’s a blend of skill and luck.

Lorona says the festival organizers start by pitching ideas and possible acts to Eric Gilbert, the festival director. Gilbert looks into the suggestions and sees who’s around and interested in coming to the City of Trees.

Lorona says the mainstay of acts at the festival are bands just starting out. The emphasis isn’t on one big-name headliner as much as up-and-coming talent.

“The idea is, you might not be listening to all these bands when you come, but you’re definitely going to be listening to them when you leave,” Lorona says.

This story is our latest installment in our “Wanna Know Idaho” series and came from Sonya Lenzi. If you don't want to miss any of our Wanna Know Idaho stories, be sure to subscribe to the podcast!

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