Go Listen Boise (golistenboise.org) After touring nationally with her band Hillfolk Noir and having the opportunity to travel to Austin, Texas, in the spring of 2008 for SXSW, Ali Ward decided that it was due time for a local music collective in Boise. Geographically, Boise has some challenges – being the most isolated city of its size in the Lower 48 makes careers for our resident professional musicians particularly difficult, because it is not all that easy to travel and play in a wide variety of communities or big cities on a regular basis or “circuit”. Therefore, our city needed a self-sustaining local music scene if we wanted our musicians to be able to live here and sustain themselves and their families. In addition, it was time to change our reputation that, at that time, was often communicated among local musicians as well as to touring bands — that Boise was not a music town. This was simply not true, and Ali felt that it would be a great time to make some changes in our attitudes and the accessibility of music in our community.
Go Listen Boise was formed under the basic premises of generating support and fostering communication between Boise-area musicians, listeners, event planners, and venue owners. Through talking with one another and brainstorming, we identified some of the barriers and issues we were having as an arts community. In the years to follow, Go Listen Boise began experimenting with hosting special events, presenting shows, and coordinating live music on behalf of other organizations. Soon after these experiments started came the creation of a website that contains, among other things, a local music calendar and a comprehensive database of active local bands and venue booking information. After 4 years of establishing partnerships throughout town, the simultaneous and symbiotic creation of Radio Boise, and the many live music events planned and supported by others, it is possible to discern a positive change in our local musical fabric.
The time and honesty with which the committee members have helped mold those initial ideas into action is incredible, and Go Listen Boise will continue to help create a more prosperous, self-sustaining, infectiously positive local music scene in the Boise area for many years to come. This group has a fiery energy that has been embraced and appreciated by countless people and organizations, working collaboratively with other engaged individuals and businesses to create access to higher quality shows; a more sustainable lifestyle for musicians; better engagement with event planners, venue owners, and promoters; and increased attendance and enthusiasm at shows from the general public. In the spirit of amplifying our local music scene, “Go Ahead, Get an Earful!”
GO LISTEN BOISE LOCAL OPENERS AT ALIVE AFTER FIVE
Go Listen Boise organizes the lineup of local openers for the annual Downtown Boise Alive After Five Summer Concert Series, pairing some of Boise’s best musicians with the headliners each week. GLB also maintains an information booth at AA5 so you can learn more about the organization and when and where you can see local music.