Boise State students, faculty and staff had hundreds of reasons to stick around town during spring break thanks to Treefort Music Fest – the music, art and tech collaboration that consumed much of downtown Boise March 20-24.
While listed as an “Architect” of the annual festival – the highest level of sponsorship – Boise State’s contributions surpass monetary support. Since its inception, hundreds of students, faculty, staff and alumni have performed on its stages, taken on leadership and planning roles, and otherwise helped grow the festival from a three-day music-centric event to a five-day celebration of local culture featuring more than 400 bands as well as other themed “forts.”
“As one of our largest sponsors, Boise State is helping to support macro efforts, Storyfort, Filmfort and, of course Hackfort, which they essentially helped found,” said Eric Gilbert, one of the festival’s founders.
Alumni like Drew Lorona and Christian Winn respectively kept Treefort and Storyfort running smoothly, while alumnus Cameron Crow held a talk on how to “Make Idaho Better.” Students from Boise State’s MFA in Creative Writing program spent an evening reading their literary works in progress while Esports students hosted a panel discussion at Hackfort.
This year, Boise State sustainability coordinator Kat Davis spent her time as the Treefort Green Team stage manager. Davis and Green Team volunteers like Boise State economics senior Kelsey Cooper, help festival goers recycle, compost and foster festival sustainability.
Creative writing major Kathleen William sums up her Treefort experience thusly:
“Meeting and observing people in the bathroom/in line for shows/out and about at the festival is cool because everyone behaves really vibrantly. It’s fun to be exposed to so many interesting personalities and funny conversations, and I think it influences how I’m able to write about people. The environment is stimulating for writing and I carry around a little notebook in my inside pocket,” she said. “The music/art community in Boise has been very supportive to small/local artists like me, and that all culminates at Treefort.”