Artists put best feet forward at Boise’s Treefort Music Fest

Forrest Gump once said, “My mama always said you can tell a lot about a person by their shoes.”

Usually in photography you look straight ahead, sometimes up, but rarely down. During the Band Dialogue V at Treefort Music Fest last month, I spent part of the afternoon looking nowhere but down.

The Band Dialogue is an experimental music collaboration featuring more than 60 members from 20 bands performing a piece composed by Seth Olinsky. The music was wonderful, and as I made my way around the large circle of band members lining West Grove Street, I noticed how interesting and diverse the musicians’ feet and shoes were, and thought that this event would make for a fun photo essay.

For the week during Treefort, Boise was filled with more than 400 musicians, each bringing his or her own personal style. I wondered as I walked the streets of Downtown this year whether I was seeing a glimpse of what Boise will be in 20 years. The 20-somethings walking around during Treefort definitely do not adhere to the solid brown wingtips of yesteryear.

What can you tell by looking at these feet? I see youth, vigor, individuality and nonconformity. The same could be said about the Treefort Music Fest, and possibly Boise in the future.

Go to to match the Treefort shoes to the musician’s face.