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Think Out Loud

Boise's Treefort Music Fest Includes Many Portland Bands

Social Studies at the Treefort music festival in 2013

Social Studies at the Treefort music festival in 2013

Klara via Flickr/Creative Commons

Boise’s Treefort Music Fest, now in its fourth year, kicked off this week. The five-day festival includes more than 400 bands, mostly from the northwest, as well as other activities including literary readings, beer tastings, performance art, comedy, and tech-focused panel discussions. 

Like Portland’s MusicFestNW and Austin’s recently concluded South by Southwest, Treefort takes place in venues around the city rather than one location.

Boise State Public Radio reporter Frankie Barnhill said on Think Out Loud that the timing of Treefort is no coincidence. Organizers specifically planned to catch bands leaving Austin, Texas’ South by Southwest and heading for the Pacific Northwest.

There will be a strong showing from Portland bands, which is typical for Treefort. Festival organizers hope to reach a wider audience this year, drawing people in from outside Boise.

Portland band Lost Lander, which will be playing at Treefort, recently played in studio at OPB:

This year’s biggest acts include TV On The Radio and Boise’s own Built to Spill. Fifty-seven Portland and Oregon bands were a part of the 400 group line-up for the five-day music festival, that runs through Sunday.

Despite the impressive acts and the estimated high attendance, Barnhill said Treefort has yet to make any money off the event.

“They haven’t even broken even,” she said. “They’re hoping this year though that they can create that kind of balance.”

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