It was March 2012 when I realized that the 4th of July was no longer my favorite holiday.

The activities are still fresh in my mind, and I’ve only gotten better and juggling all the excitement: 5 days of absolute Boise bliss. For the novice, Treefort Music Fest (March 23-27, 2016) is a celebration of music, art, and culture nestled in Idaho’s capital city. Music being the “trunk” of the tree (supporting a vast array of forts from food to storytelling), it draws thousand of party-goers from across the northwest and beyond. I always find myself making new friends, discovering new bands, exhausting myself into a post-Treefort coma, and reigniting my love for Idaho. A “Prefort” planning session in the living room with my buddies, schedules and highlighters in hand, is always necessary as we compare notes in order to perfectly execute our Treefort adventure. You would think with so much to explore that one could never have the “perfect” Treefort experience, but I am happy to inform that, year by year, the experience only gets more perfect.

A cellphone notification reminding me of Treefort 2015

Treefort 2016 is bound to impress just like any other year. Fortunately for you, as a self-proclaimed Treefort pro, I am happy to share my secrets to success for your Treefort journey, and maybe one day you’ll realize it’s your favorite holiday too.

1. Do Your Research

There are so many resources available to help you gear-up for your Treefort adventure, especially considering there will be hundreds of bands taking over downtown Boise. Check out the Treefort website and start exploring the musical lineup, and tune in to Radio Boise (you can listen online!) for Treefort related programming. With venues across Downtown Boise, Treefort is able to utilize the uniqueness of the city while keeping everything withing walking (or biking) distance.

Insider tip: Leave some wiggle room, because you never know when you might accidentally stumble upon your new favorite band.

a shadow of the trumpet player of Rubblebucket
My 2015 Discovery: Rubblebucket

2. Explore The Forts

It seems as though the masterminds at Treefort manage to add a new element to the festival every year. With 9 forts (and, I would have to presume, more to come) there is a little (or a lot) of something for everyone.

Foodie? Check out this years new addition, Foodfort, a celebration of locally sourced foods. This three-day food fête and forum will showcase local producers, industry creatives, and agriculture experts, gathering to discuss innovations and share ideas, paired with tastings of Idaho grown and produced creations. Literally, we will get to celebrate the flavors of Idaho.

What better way to pair your Foodfort experience than with a taste of Alefort. You heard me right, Alefort: three-days of tasting Idaho’s liquid gold. Lucky for you, the two forts are housed in a common area, making the food/beverage interaction seamless.

The entryway to Alefort
The Gateway To Greatness

It’s not all play and no work at Treefort, some folks spend days collaborating and engineering the entrepreneurial spirit that will help build Boise into the next technology hub. Hackfort allows innovators and teachers, who might not otherwise meet, the platform to create and discover in an exploratory environment.

An audience stretching in their chairs before a seminar
A Little Chair-Yoga Tutorial Before The Women In Tech Panel

After hours running around in the sunshine, sometimes a hide-away in the dark and absorb some of the visual arts is just the right medicine. Bringing the best in independent cinema to Boise, Filmfort will host exceptional film screening and Q & A with filmmakers and special guests.

A tent at Treefort Music Fest
Camp Modern: The Home Of Filmfort 2015

3. Check Out The Town

Due to the awesome location of the festival, there is a vast array of happenings to explore in downtown Boise while visiting for Treefort. Grab a Boise Green Bike and explore the Boise Greenbelt, check out the Boise Art Museum, and indulge in the local restaurant scene. Treefort is just one of the many components that make this city so magical, so might as well take it all in while you can.

4. Stay Energized

Five days of go-go-go is an absolute blast, but remember to drink that water and keep nourished! Nobody has time to miss out on the festival due to sleep deprivation or dehydration…

5. Remember To Call Your Mother

A text from my mom asking if I am having fun at Treefort
Thanks Mom

So, make the most of these five days in beautiful Boise, and thank those volunteers and staff you see running around the streets. They are the real MVPs that make this a one-of-a-kind event, something I am so happy to be a part of every year.

Be sure to share your experience using #treefort16 and #visitidaho. Happy Treeforting!

Amy Rajkovich

Published on March 10, 2016