It’s official: Justin Vernon’s Eaux Claires Music & Art Festival is coming back for a second year.
The Bon Iver bandleader and his team are getting a jump on the growingly competitive field of farm-field rock fests and just announced the 2016 dates for their two-day campout in west central Wisconsin: Aug. 12-13, a few weeks later than the event was held this year. They also are offering a limited number of two-day pre-sale tickets on sale at 10 a.m. Thursday for an early-bird price of $125 general-admission and $250 for the “enhanced” (don’t call 'em VIP!) Chippewa passes.
The location – Foster Farms along the Chippewa River just outside Eau Claire, Wis. – will be the same, as will the curators of the event: Vernon, who grew up in the area and closed out this year’s fest with his first Bon Iver gig in three years; and Aaron Dessner, guitarist for the National, whose main band headlined opening night in July. With its eclectic lineup, scenic setting and adventurous production and performance set-ups, Eaux Claires’s inaugural installment drew about 22,000 fans and widespread raves from critics in attendance (yep, including us).
As is usually the catch with discounted festival pre-sales, the lineup for the 2016 is still coming together and under wraps. The 2015 roster wasn’t unveiled until February. Still, it's never too early to start the Kanye rumors again.
The change in weekends to mid-August alleviates one conflict for fans and bands: Chicago’s Pitchfork Music Fest, held the same weekend as Eaux Claires this year. However, Vernon’s 2016 party could bump up against the more EDM-flavored Summer Set Music & Camping Festival, always held in mid-August an hour away in Somerset, Wis.
To tout today’s pre-sale, Eaux Claires organizers also unveiled this new 5-minute video recap of Year 1 produced by Twin Cities filmmaker Dan Huiting.