COVID-19 has, by now, forced the postponement of the ninth-annual Treefort Music Fest twice. Currently, it is set to take place in September of 2021, and the festival has taken its thinking outside the box when it comes to ticketing options and fundraising. On July 28, it officially announced what it calls an equity crowdfunding campaign, allowing its members to become part-owners of the festival.
“Treefort has already been built up to what it is by the community,” Treefort Music Fest spokesperson Marissa Lovell said. “It is a natural fit because people already feel a lot of ownership of it, so this gives them a chance to actually own it.”
Starting Friday, July 31, fans and ticket holders can become a “Community Owner of Treefort Music Fest” by donating a minimum of $100 that will help ensure the continuation of the music festival. The program is managed by WeFunder.
Aside from helping make Treefort happen in 2021, donors will receive several different perks in exchange. Community Owners will get early access to Treefort tickets, custom merchandise, options to join the Guardians of the Fort and recognition online.
Treefort Music Fest was initially postponed until September in an effort to reduce public exposure to COVID-19, but was kicked back an entire year when the spread of the disease accelerated in mid-summer. Because the first cancellation took place so close to the original date of the event, money was lost because many items had already been paid for, and a second cancellation only added to the burden, pushing the organization to get creative.
“We’ve reached a crossroads that requires a new approach, and rather than involving traditional private equity or other large investors, we’ve chosen to give our fans an opportunity to invest in the fest—because y'all have helped build this entire Treefort experience since day one,” wrote Treefort Music Fest Marketing Director Megan Stoll in a July 28 press release. “We can't think of a better sustainable business model than for our festival to be owned by the community that critically shapes our culture.”
In addition to the crowdfunding program, Treefort has also announced its 2021 ticket pricing structure:
- Early Birds, locals only: sold out
- 5-day Discovery passes: $250, available until the first artist announcement in March 2021
- 5-day Treefort pass: $270, available between March and September 2021
- 5-day Bedhead pass: $290, available from Sept. 1 until the festival itself
- 5-day Zipline pass: $420
- 5-day U-21 pass: $150
As for 2020 ticket holders, they will be contacted by the festival directly with options that include transferring their ticket to 2021, donating their ticket or a portion of their ticket to the festival via the WeFunder program, transferring their 2021 ticket to a friend or obtaining a full refund. Those options will officially open on Monday, Aug. 3, and ticket holders will have to select one by Wednesday, Sept. 23, at 11:59 MT. Ticket holders who do not select an option will have their tickets automatically rolled over to the 2021 festival.