The Indie Festival Director Making Boise Cool
A former chemical engineering student and #vanlife keyboardist, Eric Gilbert is the co-founder and festival director of Treefort Music Fest in Boise, Idaho. Returning to his hometown after years of DIY touring, Eric and his Duck Club team wanted to create a festival with a strong focus on community building, artist discovery and advocacy. You might say, he’s fighting against everything Ticketmaster’s building. Maintaining a home in the cultural frontier of Idaho has proven fertile ground for his fresh and collaborative approach. And as an artist first and foremost, Eric advocates for other artists working to achieve a similar vision. He also hosts a weekly radio show called ‘Antler Crafts’ on community radio station Radio Boise 89.9 FM, and still occasionally plays keys and sings with his band Finn Riggins. Rock on, Eric.
Since its inaugural festival in 2012, Treefort has evolved into a multi-disciplined, multi-venue event that, in addition to music, now includes include film, performance art, storytelling, yoga — and plenty of craft beer. At this year’s five-day event: 450+ bands, 700+ events, and 60 different venues around downtown Boise. What’s even more impressive? Treefort is known for showcasing artists without representation by making submissions free (your move, Coachella). And — if you can even imagine — while there’s still sponsorship, there are no banners on stages. With his co-creatives at Duck Club, Eric also produces Flipside Fest, a three-day music and mural festival in Garden City, Idaho, featuring 80+ local and touring bands and live murals by local artists, and runs Treefort Music Hall, a state-of-the-art performance venue that opened in 2023.