October 21, 2015


Bon Iver's Justin Vernon: Eaux Claires Fest Returning in 2016

Back in July, Justin Vernon launched the Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival on his Wisconsin home turf. The occasion was anchored by the first Bon Iver set in two years, one that gave us a pair of new songs via surprisingly high-quality bootleg videos. The lineup featured PoliçaSpoon, Field Report, Sylvan Esso, Sufjan Stevens, the Tallest Man on Earth, Low, Liturgy and the Kanye up-and-comer Allan Kingdom.

Now Vernon and the National's Aaron Dessner, who co-curated the inaugural Eaux Claires Fest, have announced a second go-round. The two day event will hit Foster Farms on August 12 and 13, 2016. A "very limited presale" begins at 10am CST on Thursday, October 22.

The announcement came on Wednesday in the form of a five-minute video set to the audio of Bon Iver's 2015 performance of "Babys," the aching, tinkling tune from the Blood Bank EP. Watching the clip gives a clear idea of how woodsy, DIY, eclectic and laid-back Eaux Claires aims to be—and what a cool role Wisconsin author Michael Perry (Population: 485 – Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time, and Coop: A Year of Poultry, Pigs, and Parenting) played as creative director.

Is Justin Vernon's special festival building up to New Bonnaroo/Coachella/Voodoo/Lolla status? We'll find out in 2016 (and, hopefully, beyond).