If there’s anything we learned last year, is that the Justin Vernon and Aaron Dessner curated Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival definitely knows how to set itself apart. Upping the ante from last year, the rumblings of what was to come this year along the banks of the Chippewa arrived in analogue form. Wrapped in the official EXC colors of black, white, shades of grey and blaze orange, a cassette dubbed “DEUX,” available only to early-bird ticket purchasers, full of b-sides and demos, teased an eclectic lineup, ranging from one of last year’s headliners, Bon Iver, to soul songstress Erykah Badu, electronic crooner James Blake, dream-pop band Beach House, and Indonesian metal band Senyawa. With additional announcements about the art installations to come, just this teaser was enough to assure me this year’s festival was sure to hold the same magic, spontaneous collaboration and sense of artistic expression.

Eaux Claires continues to set high standards for the artistic direction as well, with beautiful words from NYT bestselling author and wordsmith, Michael Perry, creative director Michael Brown, and design from Knorth Studios and Ambient Inks. Take a look at the festival announcement video below, with gorgeous camera work from one of my favorite directors, Dan Huiting. Seeing the stark “dramatic monochromatic” and knowing it would transform into the gorgeously lush 60-acre Foster Farms in August gave me goosebumps.


As if that wasn’t enough, there will be an appearance from Aaron and Bryce Dessner’s Grateful Dead tribute project, Day of the Dead. This will be the first and only scheduled performance, and will include several of this year’s lineup artists.


For tickets, camping, lodging and festival details, head over to the Eaux Claires website.




Article: Lesley Keller


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