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First Flipside Fest wraps up, highlighting Garden City's rich 'artistic ecosystem'

The back of the heads of audience members are in the foreground as they look towards the main stage where Angela Abaya is playing a the guitar. She shares the stage with four other band members. The picture is taken on a sunny day.
Arianna Mangubat
Duck Club Entertainment / Flipside Music Fest
LA-based musician Angela Abaya plays on the mains stage of Flipside's inaugural festival in Garden City.

The inaugural Flipside Fest concluded this weekend in Garden City, where 90 local and out-of-town bands played across fourteen stages. The festival was set up to encourage attendees to walk or bike between venues while checking out murals and artist installations in the neighborhood.

John Michael Schert said the event reminded him of what Boise felt like when he first moved here 15 years ago.

“It feels a little lawless and just feels like a lot of possibility,” he said. “It feels like something youthful and unformed.”

Schert is on the board of Treefort Music Fest, Flipside’s sister music festival that inspired the Garden City event. He said this first iteration captured the vibes of the area’s community. He described it as a mix of early-years Treefort and the now-defunct Ranch Fest.

“There's always been this promise of Garden City being the hub of where all the creatives will end up,” he said. “And I feel like the promise is becoming fulfilled with this festival”

The LA-based musician Angela Abaya performed on the last day of the event. She grew up in the area and came back specifically for the event.

“I would definitely say this is post-pandemic revival vibes of Boise,” she said.

While LA has a bigger music scene, Abaya said it doesn’t have what people come to the fest for: community.

“It's an artistic ecosystem, it's not an artistic industry. And there's a difference,” she said. “And that difference is here we don't have industry. We have, like, each other.”

Organizers say this ecosystem brought around 1,500 people together each day of the three-day weekend.

As the Canyon County reporter, I cover the Latina/o/x communities and agricultural hub of the Treasure Valley. I’m super invested in local journalism and social equity, and very grateful to be working in Idaho.