Hardcore Treeforters know that no itinerary or schedule ever survives the festival. The joy of the festival lies partly in happy accidents and discoveries. With this in mind, the following list of recommended sets and acts shouldn't—and probably couldn't—be followed slavishly. Instead, readers should use it as a starting point and see where the festival's five days take them.
Wednesday, March 20
• Noon, The Owyhee: Border Stories – Modern Imagination
• 1:30 p.m., The Owyhee: The Human Library – Conversations Beyond Stereotypes
• 3 p.m., The Owyhee: We Choose All of Us – Stories Toward Liberation
It's fitting that this year's Treefort should start with these three Storyfort panels. Implicitly, the festival has encouraged exploration and open-mindedness since its inception. These stories and discussions concerning immigration, stereotypes and victims of violence should provide plenty of food for thought over the next five days and beyond.
• 5 p.m., Tenth Street Station: That Was Epic – Stories of Failure, Folly, Fandom & F a.m.e
To quote John Cleese, "And now for something completely different." Festival-goers seeking something more lighthearted than the panels mentioned above might enjoy these tales of triumph and misadventure told by local artists.
• 7:20 p.m., Neurolux: ESC
Dale Hiscock crafts intricate, winsome dre a.m.-pop with guitar, synthesizers and looping software that he personally developed.
• 8 p.m., Knitting Factory: JPEGMAFIA(or 8:30 p.m., Grainey's Basement: CRY)
• 9:30 p.m., Linen Building: CMMNWLTH
• 10:30 p.m., El Korah Shrine: Lounge on Fire
• 11 p.m., The Shredder: J a.m.es Plane Wreck
Even dedicated local scenesters might not remember James Plane Wreck, which played its last show in 2014. Its raucous fusion of punk and country is worth revisiting (or discovering): Between Aaron Smith's sharply observed lyrics and Andrew Bagley's powerhouse drumming, this was one of Boise's best rock groups of that time.
• 11:30 p.m., Linen Building: Doe (or 11:30 p.m., Grainey's Basement: Possessive)
• Midnight, Tom Grainey's: Tylor & the Train Robbers (or 12:10 a.m., The Shredder: The Guardians of Virginity)
Thursday, March 21
• 4:20 p.m., Main Stage: Liz Cooper & The St a.m.pede
• 5 p.m., Neurolux: Lucid Aisle
• 5:40 p.m., Main Stage: The Suffers (or 5:50 p.m., Boise Contemporary Theater: Tispur)
• 6:10 p.m., Linen Building: Blood Lemon
This new local rock group is a trio of heavy hitters: Finn Riggins singer-guitarist Lisa Simpson, Marshall Poole singer-bassist Melanie Radford and Tambalka drummer Lindsey Lloyd.
• 7 p.m., The Owyhee: Why Podcasting Sucks and Why We Still Love It
• 8 p.m., The District: Anna Tivel
• 8:50 p.m., Hannah's: Wildermiss (or 8:40 p.m., Main Stage: Black Mountain)
• 9:30 p.m., Grainey's Basement: DRUG APTS
• 10 p.m., Fatty's: Jack Burton
This local DJ—who takes his name from the hero of the 1986 cult classic film Big Trouble in Little China—is one of two Treefort 2019 acts to take their name from Kurt Russell (the other is local hard rock duo Dirt Russell, whose set at the Boise All-Ages Movement Project on Saturday is worth checking out, too). He merits a look based on the name alone.
• 10:20 p.m., The Funky Taco: Ryan Peck(or 10:20 p.m., Linen Building: Mostly Muff)
• 11:30 p.m., Spacebar: Small Million
• 12:30 a.m., The Olympic: Juice
Friday, March 22
• 11 a.m., Basque Center: Bonnie Morales food demo
• Noon, The Owyhee: Idaho Reports live (or noon, The Owyhee: Telling It Strange – Fabulism, Fairy Tales and Weird Worlds)
• 4:30 p.m., The Owyhee: This is Wack – Why Isn't Idaho Hip Hop Taken Seriously?(or 4:30 p.m., Boise Contemporary Theater: Wend)
• 5:20 p.m., Pengilly's Saloon: Lee Penn Sky(or 5:20 p.m., The Shredder: Get Wet+)
• 6:40 p.m., El Korah Shrine: Farao
• 7:50 p.m., The Olympic: Cy Dune
• 8:30 p.m., Main Stage: Liz Phair
• 9 p.m., Boise All-Ages Movement Project: queen boychild (or 9 p.m., Linen Building: CJ Boyd)
• 10 p.m., Linen Building: Sun Blood Stories (or 10:10 p.m., The Olympic: Marshall Poole)
Now here's a dilemma: Which of Boise's premier young rock bands do you see? The answer will depend on whether you're in the mood for dark, menacing psychedelia (Sun Blood Stories) or limber, upbeat hard rock (Marshall Poole).
• 11 p.m., Linen Building: EMA
• 12:10 a.m., The Funky Taco: Dandu
Saturday, March 23
• 12:40 p.m., Main Stage: Bells Atlas
• 1:50 p.m., Main Stage: Y La Bamba
• 3:20 p.m., PreFunk: Haviah Mighty
• 4:30 p.m., El Korah Shrine: Transistor Send
• 5:30 p.m., The Shredder: Mountains Like Tidal Waves
• 6 p.m., Boise All-Ages Movement Project: Dirt Russell (or 6 p.m., Knitting Factory: Stepbrothers)
• 6:40 p.m., Basque Center: Cedric Burnside
• 7 p.m., Knitting Factory: Western Daughter
• 8:30 p.m., Main Stage: Angelique Kidjo's Remain In Light
Kidjo has been acclaimed for her omnivorous music and stalwart activism. This headlining set features her interpretation of the classic 1980 Talking Heads album.
• 10:30 p.m., Knitting Factory: a.m.erican Football
• 12:10 a.m., The Reef: Nappy Roots
• 12:40 a.m., Spacebar: Dedicated Servers(or 12:40 a.m., Grainey's Basement: Spiritual Warfare and the Greasy Shadows)
Sunday, March 24
• 1 p.m., Main Stage: Nick Delffs
• 2 p.m., Main Stage: Sera Cahoone and Band (or 2 p.m., Boise All-Ages Movement Project: buttstuff)
• 4:30 p.m., Main Stage: Rubblebucket (or 4:30 p.m., Linen Building: Chief Broom)
• 7 p.m., The Olympic: Slang
• 8:20 p.m., Neurolux: The Hoot Hoots
• 9:20 p.m., El Korah Shrine: Ava Luna
• 10:40 p.m., Neurolux: The French Tips
• 11 p.m., Boise All-Ages Movement Project: Terror Pigeon
Terror Pigeon is worth rallying for. The Nashville-based project's quirky, joyous dance-pop was a highlight of Treefort's 2013, 2014 and 2016.