Attending Treefort is a lot like visiting an all-you-can-eat buffet: there’s so much, attendees will inevitably leave a lot of excellent options off the plate. It is impossible to see every band, taste every food, watch every presentation and drink every Ale. What is a paradox of riches also provides choice and wall to wall options which attract diverse audiences and options to satisfy everyone. Here are some of the observations our team at zenruption made over the last few days. Also, visit our Treefort Updates and zenrupt Boise for links and photos from the festival.

Lila Eidi

  • Favorite Moment:  Cedric Burnside

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Being front and center at The Olympic Friday night of Treefort was a total bonus and so exciting to watch the north Mississippi Blues guitarist and drummer bring a raw, wild and yet contained sound. It felt like we were all witnessing something special. Cedric Burnside is a natural bluesman. He was raised by his grandfather, the legendary bluesman, R.L. Burnside, and growing up, was surrounded and influenced by some of the greatest, most influential and impactful Mississippi blues musicians around, from Junior Kimbrough to T-Model Ford. When I learned he was performing at Treefort, I couldn’t wait to see what this young Burnside would bring.


He did not disappoint. Playing his own brand of Hill country blues and performing songs from his album Benton County Relic, Burnside and band partner Brian J. took turns at both guitar and drums. They ended the show playing Kimbrough’s All Night Long, leaving most in the audience happy but hungry for more. Perhaps that’s why the line at the Basque Center Saturday night where Burnside was playing, was so long. Wrapping around the building longer than any line I saw at Treefort this year.

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I’m all about setting intentions and working to manifest good things. It’s worked pretty well for me. The artist East Forest opened Treefort music by asking everyone attending to write down an intention, thus setting the tone of the festival. He shared songs from his latest album “Ram Dass”,  a collaboration with the acclaimed spiritual teacher, Ram Dass. The result was a hypnotic and tranquil sound with chanting and bells. It was a nice start to a non-stop 5 days.

The Ones That Got Away:

  • CHAI

I’m kicking myself for missing this all female band. As my colleague, Brian, wrote:

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“Four women from Japan, dressed in the same pink outfits, not one over five feet tall, songs mostly in Japanese, self-described as a punk band and they rocked it. Like seriously rocked it.”

I mean, they all wore the exact same pink outfit. That’s pure gold … er, pink.

Runner up:


Bummed to have missed this ... it’s always fun to pop in and discover new talent. Next time, for sure. Luckily, we’re less than a year until Treefort 2020.

Brian McKay

  • Surprizes

Treefort itself is one of my favorite things every year. I start looking forward to it as soon as January. Never quite knowing what you’re going to get but always finding something amazing is what makes it great. It never fails to surprise.



You run into friends, have drinks and just roam around. Walking five miles a day burns off those beer calories too.

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Reporting on Treefort added a whole new level this year. The ability to chat with different bands and the people working the festival was amazing. The little Boise band Illicit Nature was absolutely thrilled to get their own write up.


My other write ups talk about awesome bands like Lounge on Fire. There were also incredible bands I didn’t write about but loved, like the Suffers, a soulful delight, and Black Mountain, which was like sex, Pink Floyd and a UFO sound all wrapped into one. There is more goodness than one can even write.

It’s no secret that my favorite moment was exposing my daughter to this amazing festival for the first time and seeing how much fun it was for her. The band Chai introduced her to seeing things you never would have expected. The group Caroline Rose was her chance to hear just pure awesomeness. I can’t wait for her to have a full pass next year.

You run into a lot of friends at Treefort. Here is Kevin as the Capitol Bar (my favorite) had a pop up spot at B-AMP

Jerry Mooney

  • Favorite Moment: The Suffers — The Suffers killed it!

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Although there were other bands that rose to the level of entertainment and quality, The Suffers had the advantage of surprise. I had no prior experience with them and honestly, attended their show over other options due to their time-proximity to the mayor’s announcement of the Boise Kind initiative. Since we were already there, we stayed for the show. The Suffers didn’t disappoint. Their brand of gulf coast soul was a fun, energetic fusion of cambio, jazz and funk that made it impossible for me to sit still.


Adding to the experience was the joyous participation of the audience, including Lila, Brian and me. Intoxicated with the optimism of the unfolding 5-day festival, we swayed, bounced, smiled and emoted our approval of the exotic beats that are not a daily backdrop to the Boise scene.

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“You make new friends. Lauren exposed me to what an amazing company New Belgium is.”

-Brian McKay

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Favorite Festival

You get to hear from bands how the festival and Boise are amazing. Esme Patterson (pictured right) was incredible and said it was her “favorite festival in America.”


Mayor Dave Bieter gave out free Chorizos after announcing Boise Kind

So the problem with a favorite moment might be that for me, it is the festival as a whole. It is the combination of great beer, great music, numerous activities, fabulous people and this incredible city that is Boise.

The individual parts all add up to a yearly experience that I never want to miss. Cheers!

Thank you, Treefort, from all of us at zenruption!

Jerry, Brian and Lila