BOISE, IDAHO—Wyoming artists hit the road to perform last week in Boise, gaining exposure at one of the region’s major music festivals. 

The Treefort Music Festival boasted more than 500 artists at its 2023 event, including at least seven bands with Wyoming roots alongside headliners like Built to Spill, Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Surf Curse. Musicians played on stages and in businesses all around the city during the five-day festival.

The Wyoming Arts Council partnered with Treefort for a third year to host a Wyoming showcase last Thursday. It featured Reckless Rooster (Pinedale), Kalyn Beasley (Cody), Jamie Hansen (Laramie), Aaron Davis and the Mystery Machine (Hoback), SGRNY (Laramie) and Box Elder (Jackson). The partnership is part of the Arts Council’s Wyoming Independent Music Initiative to help artists reach out-of-state audiences. 

A four-piece band performs on a stage looking out onto fans standing in front. The image was taken from behind the band, with the drummer in focus
Kalyn Beasley performs March 23, 2023 as part of the Treefort Music Festival in Boise. (Madelyn Beck/WyoFile)

Locally brewed beer flowed at the event as the multi-talented Rooster played several instruments, Beasley’s group got everyone tapping their toes and Hansen sang heartfelt songs reminiscent of Taylor Swift. All the bands also played elsewhere during the week, including the Western-styled Penguilly’s Saloon

Parts of the showcase were also broadcast live on Wyoming Public Media. 

Another Wyoming artist who played the festival — though not the showcase — was Christian Wallowing Bull of Lander. The enrolled member of the Northern Arapaho Tribe describes “his heart as a storyteller is to represent his own indigenous roots, and to bridge perspective and healing to the lives of those indigenous, as well as, non-indigenous,” according to his festival profile.

Organizers expected around 25,000 people would attend the festival this year, even though many had to contend with sporadic snow, rain and chilly weather at the outside stages throughout the week.

Madelyn Beck reports from Laramie on health and public safety. Before working with WyoFile, she was a public radio journalist reporting for NPR stations across the Mountain West, covering regional issues...

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