Musical Ox-Cellence

the third annual Blue Ox Music Festival brings together rootsy greatness

Eric Christenson

BEST OF BOTH! The Blue Ox Music Festival’s 2017 installment (June 8-10) will pull in top tier bluegrass like the Punch Brothers (above), but is adding alt-country legends like the Drive-By Truckers (below) and Son Volt.
BEST OF BOTH! The Blue Ox Music Festival’s 2017 installment (June 8-10) will pull in top tier bluegrass like the Punch Brothers (above), but is adding alt-country legends like the Drive-By Truckers (below) and Son Volt.

The lineup for the third annual Blue Ox Music Festival was released last week, and it definitely keeps up its trailblazing trend of curating one of the finest roots and bluegrass festivals in the country amongst the pine trees of Paul Bunyan country at the Whispering Pines Campground in the outskirts of Eau Claire.

Now in its third year the fledgling music fest is flying high with an absolutely stacked lineup of bluegrass greats like the Punch Brothers, Greensky Bluegrass, the Sam Bush Band (who’s played all three years of this thing), and Railroad Earth; alt-country staples like Son Volt and the Drive-By Truckers; and even some local flavor courtesy of the Chippewa Valley’s own Evergreen Grass Band, Them Coulee Boys, and LASKA. And of course, Blue Ox’s band behind the wheel Pert Near Sandstone – who have curated and hosted the fest since its conception – will once again play two nights of music at the fest.

Drive-By Truckers
Drive-By Truckers

The eclectic three-day party runs June 8-10. While this is only Blue Ox’s third summer in existence, it has quickly risen the ranks to become one of the coolest roots music festivals in America, and we can take it all in right here in the Chippewa Valley.

“Between the lineup, improvements, and additions to our festival venue, and the incredible fans we have, it is going to be a fantastic year,” says Jim Bischel, the executive director of Blue Ox as well as Country Jam. “We can’t wait until June.”

Tickets are on sale from now until Jan. 26 at a special introductory rate. General admission three-day tickets are $145, and children under 13 are free with a paid adult – and remember, unreserved tent camping and parking is included in the general admission pass. To learn more about the festival, tickets, and camping, head to blueoxmusicfestival.com.

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