If Boise's Treefort Music Fest someday grows to be 10 percent as amazing as South By Southwest - which is blasting at full throttle in Austin, Texas, right now - it would have to be considered a monumental success.
Has that time arrived already?
From a band perspective, Treefort, March 21-24, arguably will surpass that goal in its second year. Three of Rolling Stone magazine's "20 Must-See Acts" at South By Southwest also will perform at Treefort: Foxygen, Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Boise's own Youth Lagoon.
In a western state where most of the population still thinks "pitchfork" means "hay-jabbing tool,"* Treefort somehow seems poised to explode in year two.
The number of performers is doubling. Grove Street will be closed between 12th and 13th streets on the Saturday and Sunday, so that people can actually, like, party in public.
Has Treefort officially arrived? Consider this: Boise Mayor Dave Bieter even makes a goofy, bike-riding cameo in Treefort's latest promotional video.
"I think the big takeaway from last year was basically, 'Well, cool, it looks like this can work,' " festival director Eric Gilbert says.
In 2012, Treefort rocked eight stages mostly in the Linen District area. This year, there are 13 stages (14 if you count the separate Alefort beer-garden stage), with an increased focus on stretching showcases into Old Boise.
There will be a head-spinning 270 acts at Treefort. (Make that 282 if you count the dozen at Alefort.)
That's nearly 300 bands blasting Downtown over four days.
About 300 volunteers will help coordinate the chaos. This explains, at least partly, Gilbert's strikingly calm demeanor as Treefort nears.
Perhaps he's just stunned by the fact that this seemingly far-fetched dream - a large-scale, hip, emerging-acts festival in Boise - seems not just sustainable but burgeoning.
"We lost a little money last year but that's to be expected," Gilbert says. "The first year, we were prepared for that. That was one of the reasons the ticket price went up a little bit.
"Well," he admits, chuckling, "the biggest reason ... ."
Even at $30 for a single-day, main-stage pass (that's a $1 hike over 2012) or $50 for a single-day all-festival pass (an $11 hike), Treefort is an opportunity and bargain. Maybe that's why tickets are selling faster this year. (Complete pricing, page 14.)
Gilbert savvily diversified the music, too. More than 100 acts are local. The 170 or so out-of-staters comprise endless subgenres. This is a festival where you can be a blogger kid dying to see indie-rock duo Widowspeak, yet take your parents to appreciate the soulful sounds of Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, too.
Varying the music genres widely was a conscious decision, Gilbert says.
"That was conscious last year, too, but we didn't necessarily accomplish it," he says. "Our vision is to do our best to represent the community as a whole. We're never going to do that with any sort of perfection, but we decided if we're going to expand the venues, it wouldn't make sense to book all the same sorts of bands everywhere."
Certain venues will have specific music focuses. You'll find electronic-influenced acts at China Blue, for example, and mostly hip-hop at Reef.
It's inevitable that some venues will fill to capacity, too, especially later at night. El Korah Shrine, which can hold just more than 500 people, will be a hot destination with acts such as Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Built To Spill and Foxygen. (You can see Foxygen free, by the way, at BSU around 3 p.m. March 21. Details, 24.)
Next year, perhaps, Treefort will need to add even more stages.
"There's a lot more venues locally that wanted to be involved," Gilbert says. "But we still didn't want to expand our capacity faster than our crowd is expanding. We were really careful with that."
You read that correctly: Treefort, in year two, is being careful with its growth. By that definition, we probably ought to give our pals in Austin a heads-up: Look out, Longhorns, Treefort is coming for more of your bands in 2014.
*Dear Mom: Pitchfork means "website that helped transform Trevor Powers into a hipster music sensation."
Michael Deeds' column runs Fridays in Scene and Sundays in Life. He co-hosts "The Other Studio" at 9 p.m. Sundays on 94.9 FM "The River" and appears Thursdays on Channel 6 News.