After their “break” from public performance declared in October, 2009, Bon Iver is back, and this time – at a festival, that we know, is close to their hearts and closer to Justin Vernon’s home. 

Justin Vernon - Sepockt :: YouTube

(Image Courtesy: YouTube)

The Eaux Claires Music & Art Festival, in Eau Claire, Wisconsin is going to premiere on the 17th of July, 2015 – with talk going around about it’s eccentricity and awesomeness, we thought you deserve to take a look at why this festival is going to be all sorts of amazing! But before we give you the DL, some context is necessary!

EC Logo

(Image Courtesy: Eaux Claires Festival Facebook)

Curated by Justin Vernon (of Bon Iver) & Aaron Dessner (of The National), the festival came about as a means to create an experience for both, the artists and the audience. With their claim to fame being the amazing line up that is in store, as well as a picturesque 20-acre farm with three stages located in the beautiful city of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, right along the banks of the Chippewa River, this festival is going to be one to reckon with.

Vernon also, in his press release – gave everyone some really revolutionary words of wisdom about the festival –

“We at Eaux Claires have been driven by the idea that our festival would encourage music-genre-walls to melt away. That the barriers between the stage and the audience altered, and expression and experience put above all. We have put so much thought into who should collaborate at this festival, from musicians to actors, filmmakers to visual artists. We will all share and revel in this collision of artistic force while performing in the arms of our own Chippewa River Valley.”

So, here’s our list of 8 things that will make Eaux Claires one amazing festival this July:

1. Bon Iver, The National, and Sufjan Stevens

Yes, you read that right. After almost 6 years, Bon Iver is back for it’s first public performance, and as per the lack of buzz, this performance will also be its last one for the foreseeable future. However, for now, Vernon has reconvened the band, and is all set to close the festival on Saturday night, at the mainstage!

Apart from the epic Bon Iver act on the roster, Sufjan Stevens and The National will also be performing, with the National closing on Friday night and Sufjan Stevens playing the set leading up to Bon Iver’s performance on Saturday night!

2. The art installations

At Eaux Claires, the word ‘art’ seems to have developed a rather inconclusive definition. It’s exciting to see how this festival is bringing together so many different things on to one platform, only to enable an uplifted state at the festival grounds! There’s going to be stand-alone installations that are commissioned works of art by renowned artists placed all across the venue, apart from that – there’s going to be audio-visual installations that are more than just interactive, and there’s going to be performative installations- with artists performing newly written pieces only to premiere them at the festival!


3. Film screenings

While the festival is primarily one that aims to break the barriers between the audience and the artist, it also provides artists with the opportunity to experiment, discover, and heighten their experience of the festival. Phox, a pop sextet from Baraboo is premiering a documentary/short film that they have made, featuring a new acappella track written by Monica Martin. This, along with other films will be screened across the venue of the festival throughout the two days of its running!


4. Cool “interactive” things

The Eaux Claires Festival is going to be revolutionary, and it is going to be the space for artists to flourish as they please, sans the barriers that commercial endeavours pose to their creative ability! For the inaugural session of the festival, Jon Mueller  is not going to be performing, however, he will be showcasing a piece known as “initiation”, which is his new label focused on providing a extra-sensory experience to those that view it! In collaboration with the visual artist Chris Hefner along with the dancer Dawn Springer (who will be performing live as the label is played), Mueller plans to premier his label ‘Initiation’, which cannot be heard in any form, but its live version.

Interactive isn’t limiting itself to just on the stage at Eaux Claires, there’s going to be multiple installations that are interactive and user-based also – providing the audience the opportunity to participate in the creation of an even more enlightening festival experience!

5. The No BS! Brass Band parade

No BS Brass Band Parade :: Web Page

(Image Courtesy: No BS Brass Band Web Page)

Live music on stage is one thing, however, parades of musicians and bands are going to be on the grounds throughout the day, on both days of the festival! These parades will roam the festival, and provide everyone with a completely different experience at Eaux Claires, that allows them to be surrounded by creative expression during the festival’s entirety!

6. “Dorm Lodging” 

Cool Dorm :: Tumblr

(Image Courtesy: Gurl)

Apart from usual camping, the Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival also has the ‘dorm lodging’, where any attendee can relive their dormitorial experiences, and perhaps catch a fleeting glimpse of a bygone era, or indulge in some meaningful nostalgic discussion with dorm-mates! On a twin-sharing basis, this is one of the first in-house dorm lodging areas we’ve heard of, sponsored by the University of Wisconsin, the Eaux Claires dorm lodging experience, is sure as hell going to be AMAZING!

7. $135 GA season tickets! 

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(Image Courtesy: Eaux Claires Web Page)

That’s probably all we need to tell you.

8. A drool-worthy line-up for an inaugural festival

(Image Courtesy: Eaux Claires Festival Facebook)

Last, but not least – the Eaux Claires Festival inaugural session boasts of a line-up with some amazing artists, it is replete with artists from all genres, categories, and fields of life. Right from Sylvan Esso, the Indigo Girls (who are performing the entire Swamp Ophelia album for their set), to The Lone Bellow – the festival’s musical experience is all things legendary, especially for a first-time festival.

Here’s wishing Eaux Claires the best, we know that it’s going to be mad!