Climb Up to The Treefort After Action Report


The 2018 Treefort Music (and everything else) festival has come to a close and Boise is all the better for having hosted it. Year after year, Treefort continues to draw top talent, big crowds, and lots of money for our local businesses. With its whimsical yet avant garde art direction and military like precision in organization, Treefort is a recipe for success from top to bottom. Let’s take a look at this year’s festival in our official after action report.

 PETER LOVERA / TREEFORT MUSIC FEST

Image credit: PETER LOVERA / TREEFORT MUSIC FEST

Music

The music of Treefort 2018 was bumping and boasted the best lineup yet. A sure sign of a successful concert in Boise is that you’ve actually heard of the headliners outside of local media. Treefort 7 brought us such multinational headline grabbing acts as George Clinton (and Parliament Funkadelic), Andrew W.K. (PARTY!), and the infamous Pussy Riot.

We had a fair share of local acts that deserve a place in the spotlight as well. Those include Built to Spill, Magic Sword, TreePeople, and The Frim Fram Four, among many others. If you’re looking for 2018’s best blind buy album, I recommend Mirah’s, “Sundial” which she performed this year with the Boise Philharmonic String Quartet at the First Presbyterian Church on State Street. Mirah may have been buried a bit under the weight of much more flashy headliners, but mark my words, she puts on the best show this side of the Equator.

We were happy and proud to supply swag bags for the festival which provided over 400 artists with their own Better Man Beard balm. Rock on!


Art

Art: The best way to express yourself for those of us who have too much social anxiety to be musicians. This year’s Treefort brought talented artists from all around to show off their wares and push boundaries. Some of the highlights included the soulful analog collages of Colleen Condon who’s twisted and surreal aesthetic demands the attention of the observer while simultaneously commenting on this dark reality we’re trapped in.

While walking down the garden path of abstract melancholy, stop off at local Idaho artist Ashley Carlson’s work. She uses watercolor, charcoal, and canvas to transport her audience to a world of isolation fused with technology and anonymity. She is a true talent and we are proud of our Idaho gal.  

For a more (slightly) upbeat artistic journey, set your sights on Eli Craven. He brought his multidisciplinary talents to this year’s festival and is also based in Boise. He uses altered vintage photos arranged and recontextualized to evoke and challenge our concepts of identity, memory, and desire. His work is a unique approach to reexamining American social norms and beliefs. Consider yourself warned: you will not leave his exhibit unchanged. Bring a friend.

All their work, and much more was housed at the Treefort Gallery at The Owyhee.


Films

What’s an art festival without great films? If you have an aspiring Spielberg in your life, then this is the place for you. Filmfort took over the local darling film haus The Flicks for this year’s run. This included a delightful short film variety pack that surprised and delighted audiences. An audience favorite was the film, “Who Decides” which is about a “sick woman and a young girl engage in a discussion about who decides when it's your time to die.”

We may not be Sundance, but our film festival packs some serious punch, including a festival favorite that was an official selection of the LA Film Festival, “Everything Beautiful is Far Away.” This film features Joseph Cross (Big Little Lies) and Julia Garner (Ozarks, The Americans) and was directed by Pete Ohs. From the official website: This film is a fable about a trio – a guy, his robot head companion and a determined young woman – who traverse a planet in search of a mythical lake. From filmmakers and artists Pete Ohs and Andrea Sisson, EVERYTHING BEAUTIFUL IS FAR AWAY is a personal, thoughtful and richly told story about the basic longing to connect while reflecting very modern concerns.

Beard Contest!

We had music, we had art, we had films, but most importantly Treefort 2018 had BEARDS! That’s right, Better Man Beards put on a contest and had a HUGE upswell of entries. All you had to do was send us a picture of your epic beard via social media and you would be entered. The winner this year was Kevin Jensen who won the ultimate beard care kit, which includes: Better Man Original Beard Balm, Better Man Original Beard Oil, and our super handy sandalwood Beard Comb. Congrats and thank you to all who entered. See you next year for another great Treefort!

Beard contestant Michael Bonocore