Words & Deeds

Treefort Music Fest reveals 75 acts coming to Boise in 2017

The sixth annual Treefort Music Fest is four months away, but here I am already — sitting at my desk, typing and headbanging to the Meat Puppets’ “Monsters” album.

Treefort, which happens March 22-26 in Downtown Boise, revealed its first wave of acts Thursday — 75 total. As usual, the list is an insanely eclectic geyser of bands. Two more waves of acts will be announced in coming months.

Treefort’s media release highlights talent including Mac DeMarco, The Growlers, The Bouncing Souls, STRFKR, Deafheaven, WHY?, JMSN, The Album Leaf, Rituals of Mine, Open Mike Eagle, Carpenter Brut, Eilen Jewell, Jonathan Richman, Grouper, Lower Dens — and Meat Puppets. For the jaded, old or both, that ’80s/’90s-era band is a rocking reminder that Treefort is much more than a hipster indie fest.

“I feel really strongly about how things are coming,” festival director Eric Gilbert said Wednesday.

DeMarco is a major indie name — about as Pitchforkian as you can get — and he’s never been to Boise. “Beach goth” act The Growlers have taken off since their last Idaho visit in 2010. WHY? headlined the first night of the debut Treefort. It almost feels nostalgic to have that group back.

DeMarco will bring his quirky songs to the main stage, Gilbert says, but he’ll also play a second gig. That’s one of the trends at next year’s Treefort. More bands will play multiple shows.

“We’ve just been trying to continue to expand on that,” Gilbert explains. “There’s a lot of things happening at once. All of the bands want to stay for a couple of days, anyways.”

If you’ve attended Treefort, you’re aware that you can’t see everything. And it keeps growing. With all the concerts simultaneously erupting at a zillion venues — plus Filmfort, Hackfort, Storyfort, Alefort and Yogafort — you are constantly missing something cool. Unless, of course, you happen to be fictional TV anchor Robin Higgins, who stars in Treefort’s ridiculous, hilarious new promotional video. She saw virtually all of it last year. “76 shows, nine films, four authors, tried every beer AND did three Bikrams at Yogafort,” she sneers competitively.

Along with the first band announcement came a price bump. Five-day general passes are now $165. That price goes up $20 beginning March 1, so do yourself a favor and snag a pass soon.

Michael Deeds: 208-377-6407, @michaeldeeds

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