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Treefort is next week! How will the big festival impact local businesses

The festival could bring tens of thousands of people to the City of Trees, and small businesses in the city could benefit.
Posted at 6:09 PM, Mar 13, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-13 20:09:51-04

BOISE, Idaho — Treefort Music Fest is just days away, and last year the festival brought tens of thousands of people to Boise. Idaho News 6 spoke to a local business, and concert venue, about how the festival impacts them.

  • Treefort 2023 brought $11 Million to the city.
  • The Record Exchange says that not only does it bring additional business, but it also brings more promotion.

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story.)

The Record Exchange has been selling vinyl in Boise since 1977, and they've got a big week coming up for the Treefort Music Festival.

"It's a real festive atmosphere," said John O'Neil, the general manager of The Record Exchange.

O'Neil has been working at the Record Exchange since the 90s and has seen Treefort every year of its 12-year existence.

He says the festival is big for business.

The store even dedicates a section to artists who have rocked the Treefort Stage.

"This is Nick Delffs will be playing this year I believe," O'Neil said, flipping through the section.

During the five-day festival, The Record Exchange sees more visitors because of its central location, but they're also a concert venue offering what they call "Second Chance Sets" where artists will play in the store free for the public.

"It's part of what they call 'Freefort' where people that didn't necessarily buy tickets to the show can just wander around and take in the vibe. In a lot of ways that's the best," O'Neil said.

The Record Exchange is just one Boise business so I talked to the experts at Visit Boise to learn more about how the festival impacts the bigger picture.

"This event is huge for Boise, they average around 15,000 people a day," said Carrie Westergard, the executive director of Visit Boise.

Visit Boise says last year alone, Treefort brought in $11 million to the capital city, and of the 15,000 daily visitors, 45% of those were visiting from out of state with the need for food, drinks, and a place to stay.

Back at the Record Exchange, customers like lifelong Boisean Joe Evett like to see the success of the festival grow alongside the city.

"I'm just so excited and delighted to see what it has done to this city. The vibrancy of it, the artistic vibrancy of it is a big deal," Evett said.

Staff say it's more about the extra eyes than the extra dollar signs.

"Our business goes up a little bit but it's not really the point of our involvement. We're just basically showing ourselves, it's like basically a promotional opportunity for us," O'Neil said.