Words & Deeds

Treefort Music Fest keeps growing. So are next year’s ticket prices

This year’s Treefort Music Fest in Downtown Boise was bigger than ever.

So it’s not exactly shocking that tickets next year will be priced higher than ever.

The Treefort faithful will notice an across-the-board hike when tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 7, at treefortmusicfest.com/tickets. The eighth annual Treefort will be March 20-24, 2019, at various Downtown venues.

A five-day Locals Pass, available in-person at the Record Exchange on Sept. 7 and 8, will increase from $139 to $155. (Last year, they sold out near the end of the second day.) A Discovery Pass, available until the first artist announcement in November, is going up 16 percent from $155 to $180. A standard Treefort Pass is jumping from $175 to $200. Most glaringly, the beloved Early Bird Pass — a virtual steal limited to 200 available — is getting its first-ever bump. The price is up 50 percent, from $50 to $75.

“It’s been $50 forever,” festival director Eric Gilbert acknowledged.

When Treefort started in 2012, you could waltz up and buy an all-festival pass for $79. Prices have inched up as the indie-focused music and arts showcase has evolved. This latest increase was necessary for Treefort’s continued success, Gilbert explained.

“I think in the end, we’re behind the market in general, especially for a five-day festival,” he said. “We feel like it’s worth it, and in order to make it work, we need to raise ticket prices a bit.”

This past March, Treefort attendance grew by about 33 percent over the prior year, averaging about 10,000 people per day. An eye-popping 460 musical acts performed at 31 venues.

But Treefort did not make a profit, organizers said. Instead, the festival funneled money into infrastructure and other improvements, ultimately winding up in the red.

Treefort is still more affordable than higher-profile festivals. Three-day passes to this coming weekend’s Bumbershoot in Seattle started at $220 and are now $240. Bumbershoot’s headliners are bigger names than Treefort’s, but again, it’s only three days. A single-day pass is $130.

A standard $200 Treefort Pass averages out to $40 per day. A $155 Locals Pass? $31 per day.

“We’re planning some things, too,” Gilbert added. “I think we’re confident that it’s worth that now, but we’re planning some things that I think will better represent the worth of the pass.”

Here’s the scoop from the official press release:

● $75 Early Bird Pass: Available online only (at 10 a.m. Sept. 7) and typically sell out within 1-2 minutes. Only 200 available.

● $155 Locals Pass: Available at the Record Exchange only from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 7 and Saturday, Sept. 8. Locals passes are available for these two days only. Limit four passes per person. Limited quantity available.

● $180 Discovery Pass: Available until first artist announcement in November.

● $200 Treefort Pass: Only option available after first artist announcement until March 1, 2019.

● $220 Bed Head Pass: Only option available after March 1, 2019 and during festival week.

● $125 U21 Pass: Available to fans under age 21. This pass allows entry to all-ages venues only. ID is required upon purchase and passholder must be under 21 before March 20, 2019. Available for purchase until March 1, 2019.

● $135 U21 Bed Head Pass; Only option available to fans under 21 after March 1, 2019. This pass allows entry to all-ages venues only. ID is required upon purchase and passholder must be under 21 before March 20, 2019.

● $325 ZIPLINE Discovery Pass: Allows passholder to zip to the front of any line at every Treefort venue. Only 300 available.

● $365 ZIPLINE Pass: Only option available after first artist announcement in November.

2019 submissions for the festival and forts are now open. Guidelines, instructions and entry forms can be found at treefortmusicfest.com/get-involved/submissions.

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