The Week in Review: Boise Becomes a Hotbed of Subcultures 

CenturyLink was an oasis of costumes at the Anime Oasis Convention.

Tabitha Bower

CenturyLink was an oasis of costumes at the Anime Oasis Convention.

Walking through the streets of downtown Boise last week, you could have run into a 6-foot-tall, mustachioed Luigi, a sleek European bicyclist or a tatted pin-up model. With Anime Oasis Double One, the Exergy Tour and the 208 Tat2Fest all going down at the same time, Boise was a hotbed of niche subcultures this Memorial Day Weekend.

Anime Oasis Double One filled the Grove Hotel with panels, bikini contests and cosplay competitions. Boise Weekly intern Tabitha Bower swung by a harajuku punk-themed tea party and chatted up organizer Steve Barber, an esthetician wearing a black skull-covered dress and Hello Kitty backpack.

"We really don't take ourselves too seriously and are able to laugh at ourselves," Barber said. "A lot of us have all gone through the same kind of stuff in life. We really understand where each other are coming from. It is really nice, a really friendly atmosphere."

Bower also stopped by the Anime Oasis cosplay competition at the CenturyLink Arena, where 44 contestants--representing characters from Star Wars to Sailor Moon to Domo--all brought out their best impersonations and battle skills.

Out at Expo Idaho, the 208 Tat2Fest drew out more than 3,000 skin-ink enthusiasts. On May 26, BW freelancer Mika Belle reveled in "motorcycle stunts, hot rods, custom choppers, a skate park, live music, glass blowing, an art gallery, a food court, a pinup model contest, and, oh yeah, tattoos."

Belle chatted up Amy Nicoletto from the reality show LA Ink, who had glowing things to say about Boise.

"The weather is perfect and the downtown area is just beautiful," she said.

For a glimpse at all the Tat2Fest action, check out Belle's photo slideshow at

But there was plenty going on out of town, as well.

While staffers Josh Gross and Andrew Crisp were soaking in rain and an epic stream of live music in Tumbleweeds during Finn Riggins' annual Ranch Fest, former Boise Weekly intern Lizzy Duffy was braving the hoards at The Gorge for the Sasquatch Music Festival.

Duffy chronicled her daily experiences, which included everything from her pre-fest jitters to walking the mile from camp to the festival gates to trying to stay awake through the epic music marathon. Oh, and she caught a few bands, too--acts like Of Monsters and Men, Blitzen Trapper, Metric, The Shins, Beirut and Bon Iver.

For more extensive coverage of Duffy's Sasquatch experiences, visit

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