Over the course of just five days, the Treefort Music Festival has managed to bring in a multitude of performers, volunteers and community members alike to create one of the most sought-after opportunities of the last eight years in Boise. Each attendee of the jam-packed event takes away a different feeling, and the diversity of experiences is part of what makes Treefort such a successful event year after year. Although considered a music fest, Boise State students and community members alike prove that the music isn’t everyone’s main attraction.
Most who live in the area know how many opportunities Treefort provides, but few may be able to articulate the educational value of an event like this one. One of these attendees, Adrienne Kerr, a senior multidisciplinary studies major, is also a returning performer at the festival. A principal dancer with Ballet Idaho, Kerr has created a deeper understanding about what it means to be a Treefort attendee beyond the festival season, and she explained it for the medium she knows the most about: dance.
“Coming to Treefort really exposes all different kinds of dance, and it doesn’t matter if you like only one thing, you’ll see everything,” Kerr said. “It’s a very up-close and personal experience when you’re watching dance at Treefort venues and, because they’re more interactive, they really draw interest and educate people on the versatility of dance. Once they see that, they become interested in their favorites or that style or that organization, and they can expand that and come to other performances within the community.”
While the performing arts are a fundamental part of Kerr’s festival experience, there are some festival-goers who find themselves more immersed in the way Treefort is created throughout the year and, more specifically, on the week of the event. Ellie Saunders, a senior communication major and internal communication director for PRSSA, described the way Treefort presents itself to the community, beyond the musical headliners.
“I think the best representation (of Treefort) is how everyone is on-board with what’s happening,” Saunders said. “There’s so many artists and venues, and all of these businesses are coming together. It really takes the entire city to make this happen. It shows this sense of community, because everyone is putting forth their best effort to make these five days the best they can be.”
The community value is a highly praised aspect of the at-home retreat of sorts, and Emri Moore, Boise State grad and Treefort volunteer, explained that the attitude of the entire city changes. Because the fest falls in the month of March, Moore described it as the kickoff to spring, creating almost an atmospheric change in attitude for the rest of the season.
While others wrapped up the festivities with a takeaway beyond the music, Moore’s interests lie in the basics. She believes the music at Treefort is enough to create relationships and bonds outside of the stagefront crowds.
“You can describe it in so many different ways,” Moore said. “I think Treefort is a way to meet new people, especially if you’re new to Boise or you’re really invested in music. You can share something in common with other people. You’re making connections, (because) you’re surrounding yourself with something you love with people you will love in your community.”