Trampled by Turtles sold out the Minnesota State Fair grandstand this past summer. / Aaron Lavinsky, Star Tribune

Trampled by Turtles sold out the Minnesota State Fair grandstand in August. / Aaron Lavinsky, Star Tribune

For its fifth year, the biggest bluegrass/Americana/string-band festival in the Upper Midwest has finally landed the biggest bluegrass/Americana/string-band act from the Upper Midwest.

Trampled by Turtles has been announced as one of the headliners of next summer’s Blue Ox Music Fest, happening June 13-15 at the Whispering Pines Campground in Eau Claire, Wis. Once again, Trampled’s pals in Pert Near Sandstone are serving as hosts for the cultishly popular three-day fest and will themselves perform there two days.

Some of the other big names on the 2019 lineup include returning favorites Railroad Earth, the Del McCoury Band, the Sam Bush Band, the Infamous Stringdusters, the Earls of Leicester (led by stringmeister Jerry Douglas from Alison Krauss’ Union Station), plus regional stalwarts Charlie Parr, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades, David Huckfelt and Them Coulee Boys.

Because they used to put on their own Festival Palomino – and then went on hiatus for almost two years – Trampled has weirdly never been in the mix at Blue Ox before, though the TBT offshoot band Dead Man Winter (performing every Tuesday this month at the Turf Club) did play the fest in 2017.

Three-day tickets for the Blue Ox are on sale now for $175 (increasing to $195 on Dec. 11) via, where you can also buy $35-$60 camping passes. Two-day and single day tickets will also go on sale in the coming months. The day-to-day schedule has not been confirmed yet.

Unlike this past year, next year’s Blue Ox fest does not fall on the same weekend as Rock the Garden in Minneapolis, which is scheduled June 29 (congrats, Bill DeVille!). It also might not compete with the Eaux Claires Music & Art Festival in terms of other events within Eau Claire, as word is Justin Vernon's cool rock 'n' roll campout could be on hold for next year. 

The Blue Ox 2019 poster