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Justin Vernon Launching Eaux Claires Festival in 2015

Justin Vernon performing with Volcano Choir in 2013.

Justin Vernon performing with Volcano Choir in 2013.

Justin Vernon is finally turning his idea for a music festival in his hometown of Eau Claire into a reality. According to the Current, the Eaux Claires Music and Arts Festival received permits for a two-day event on July 17 and 18, 2015.

As described in the permit application, the event would be "a world class festival which would uniquely present and blend music, dance, art, cinema, and the culinary arts." Daily attendance of 25,000 people is anticipated, the permit states.

Update: Tickets go on sale at the festival's official site on Thursday, December 18. The lineup, curated with help from the National's Aaron Dessner, will not be released until early 2015. The site notes that "Eaux Claires promises to be one of the most diverse and special festival lineups of the year, featuring performances and collaborations you won't see at any other event in 2015."

See also:
Eaux Claires Music and Arts Festival 2015 Lineup


The Bon Iver, Shouting Matches, and Vocano Choir frontman has teamed with Crashline Productions (the group behind the Boston Calling Festival) for Eaux Claires, and have added provisions to include children's programming.

A note from Vernon:

After several years of touring and playing music festivals of all different types around the world, I wanted to put together an event that would honor what we love about this place--including an independent attitude and blaze orange caps--but also shine a light on less familiar and surprising elements that are already weaving themselves into our future. 

Having this festival right in my backyard gives me and the guest artists a chance to share familiar work and new creations in a setting close to my heart and different than any other stage in the world. To create this event within view of the Chippewa River--the very river that defines this place--makes it all the more meaningful. 

We're fortunate, because the Chippewa Valley already has a history of great music festivals. Everyone--the city, the county, and the Country Jam folks--has been very supportive. They're helping us take it beyond music into a celebration of film, art, and things still in the works ... just walking around the place is going to be an experience.

The event will be held at the Foster Farm, the same site as the area's yearly Country Jam festival, with three stages alternating acts. Judging by the country fest's setup, there's plentiful camping near this rural spot about an hour and a half from the Twin Cities. There are also provisions for future years built into the language of the document. The intention is to build something long-term.

The character of the event is still largely unknown, though. Judging by its description, there's no clear style of music (or cinema, dance, etc.) that is prioritized above all.

"I think it's cool that it's an indie rock festival," Michael Strubel of Visit Eau Claire told a local TV station. "We've got country, we've got rock that we cover but this is a new and growing segment of music and I think it's got a lot of people who really like it so it's great that it's finally coming to Eau Claire on a grand scale." 

Eaux Claires Festival 2015. $100-$200 for a 2-day pass during pre-sale. Info.

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