By Julia DuBois

For the very first time, and for three action packed days, Boise’s very own live music curation company–Duck Club–presented Flipside Fest. Self-described as, “a neighborhood music + mural festival in Garden City,” Flipside Fest went beyond the norms and expectations you might expect from a typical music festival. Instead of overpriced tickets, tacky outfits, and staggering crowds, Flipside Fest offered an accessible and community-centered event for musicians, artists, and creatives alike. And, by having the opportunity to move beyond Boise and into Garden City, the festival was able to expand Idaho’s sense of community, and appreciation for artistic public engagement.

One of Garden City’s districts, the Surel Mitchell Live-Work-Create District, is where Flipside Fest took place. This district is focused on creating an atmosphere that supports creative expression in the major aspects of life, such as where people live and where people work. These values of the district are ingrained into the surrounding neighborhoods, and embedded into the mindsets of those who live in them. Flipside Fest was no stranger to these values; it upheld them, and promoted them at every chance it had. 

The first value of this district that Flipside helped encourage, is “live.” The festival supported this value in a variety of different ways. When walking to and from each venue, people would walk past houses and apartments, gaining a wider perspective of what it means to live in Garden City. Being at a concert one moment, viewing a mural in the next, then getting home all within a few steps really shows how committed Flipside and Garden City are to its local residents. Also, for those of us who didn’t have these venues essentially in our backyards, it was still entirely accessible. Through free parking options, as well as its location alongside the Greenbelt which allowed others to walk, skate, or bike on over, anyone–near or far–could attend Flipside Fest.

Flipside truly highlighted the district’s second value, being “work,” throughout the entire weekend. Local businesses, such as Push & Pour Coffee or Coiled Wines, served as many of the festival’s venues, creating an opportunity to showcase everything that these companies have to offer. This also blended the lines that separate work from artistic creation, allowing for people to turn their passions into professions. Because of this opportunity, Flipside Fest was able to bring many professions together, and curate a working atmosphere that was filled with so much care and excitement.

The final value, “create,” was perhaps the most relevant of them all. Everywhere someone turned, it was almost impossible to ignore the creative projects happening at once. While walking down the street a band playing from the main stage could be heard, a muralist absorbed in their painting could be seen, and a photographer capturing the perfect shot could be witnessed. This platform for allowing artists–of all kinds–to pursue their passions felt like the heartbeat of the entire festival. The sense of community overflowed in the streets, allowing Flipside to serve as so much more than just a music festival. Instead, it also served as a beacon of light for those who hold their communities and the arts close to their hearts. 

A few moments from Flipside Fest highlighting the values of “Live-Work-Create.”

Photos taken by Julia DuBois and Preston Valles

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