I didn't quite know what to expect as I prepared to head off to Treefort Music Festival in Boise, Idaho, but what I found exceeded all of MY expectations. The five-day festival full of music, food, yoga, skating and so much more was like an adult playground for all of the senses. The strong sense of community throughout the city of Boise was inspiring, uplifting, and infectious. With so much to do, it was easy to be overwhelmed, but the days just seemed to flow with one amazing activity after another. I discovered some of my new favorite new artists, met people I will have lasting friendships with, and left a piece of my heart with the Treefort Fam.
The festival laid out across the entire city of Boise, and it seemed as though everyone in the community was involved. With one show being within walking distance of another, the accessibility of the festival made it all the more sweet. With over 450 bands playing throughout the five days, there was truly something for everyone to enjoy. My ears led the way during the festival: I would walk the grounds, hear something I liked, and make my way over to find one of my new obsession. Treefort is the kind of festival where you just have to go with the flow and see where it takes you. One of the best parts of this festival was how eclectic it was. Whether you were into funk music, world music, punk, electronica, or new wave, Treefort delivered across all boards. I stumbled upon some so many amazing musicians I would otherwise have never known about, such as Lido Pimienta (Canada),Lala Lala (Chicago),Pregnant and The Muckers (Brooklyn) . They left me wanting more and opened my eyes to a new realm of music.
I spent my mornings in Boise at Yogafort practicing meditation, mindfulness, and yoga in a way I never have before. The sessions were accompanied by talented musicians who soothed the soul as we went from one position to the next. The yoga classes also required us to get friendly and close with one another, opening our hearts up to strangers who became friends. On Saturday, I made my way to Skatefort, where it was awesome to see the skating community come together. Skaters of all genders were sharing the space, creating an exciting and chill environment.
For myself, there were two personal highlights of the trip. The first was learning about my new obsession, Haley Heynderickx: her powerful lyrics, accompanied by her angelic voice, and smooth guitar licks left me in shock. As I watched her perform with tears in my eyes, I was surprised I was able to let myself go to such a vulnerable place in front of so many people. Heynderickx captivated the audience, and it felt as if the entire room had let their guard down, even if only for few moments.
The second was the worldly sounds of Qais Essar. I was so pleased to see Treefort include such sounds and textures within the festival. Essar played the rabab, accompanied by tabla, oud, and other instruments, taking the breath away from everyone in the audience. His ability to take you to a place way beyond the city of Boise sent chills throughout my body. It was extremely impressive the lengths that Treefort Festival went to make this an all-inclusive event that could expand the minds of anyone who ventured there.
My conclusions from this festival are simple: Boise, Idaho rocks, and Treefort is everything. I certainly hope to return to this magical place for years to come. The community of Boise, Idaho is a model example of the way more communities should be, coming together to create an experience that benefits everyone involved.
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Janeth Ann Gonda is currently the events and promotions manager at BUST Magazine, a singer, dancer, writer, and event planner living in Brooklyn, NY. She is currently the lead singer in the Gypsy Witch Rock Band Espejismo. After working in the Brooklyn music industry for several years she created her own event space Barranquilla Studios. Janeth has hosted hundreds of bands and fans alike and is an active member in the NYC music community.