[UPDATED] Eaux Claires Unleashes 2017 Lineup

Eric Christenson, photos by Janae Breunig

UPDATE (2-9-17)

A limited supply of advance two-day general admission and Chippewa passes for Eaux Claires – which come with catered meals and free drinks are on sale right now at www.eauxclaires.com. Advance regular two-day tickets are $159 while the Chippewa passes go for $325. Once initial passes sell out, prices hike up to $169 and $350, respectively.

And if you plan to camp at the nearby Whispering Pines Campgrounds, camping passes are sold separately for $165 and $300 for oversized vehicles and include a campsite and camp access for 1 attendee for three nights. Campers will also have the option to add additional camp access passes for $35 per attendee.

Above: To many, a ray of sunlight within the deep folds of winter. (Photo: Scott Kunkel)
Above: To many, a ray of sunlight within the deep folds of winter. (Photo: Scott Kunkel)

Today, when unsuspecting Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival presale ticket buyers opened their mailboxes, what should appear but an illustrious zine called Troix packed with abstract wintry images, poetically-stated details about the upcoming fest, and what looks to be the full lineup of artists – which includes Wilco, Chance The Rapper, Paul Simon (performing with yMusic), Feist, John Prine, Danny Brown, Perfume Genius, Sylvan Esso, and tons more artists and collaborators.

Here’s the lineup listed in the Troix zine

The Autumn Defense
Big Red Machine
Bon Iver Presents John Prine and the American Songbook
Chance The Rapper
Collections Of Colonies Of Bees
Danny Brown
Francis and the Lights
Happy Apple
Julieta Venegas
Mountain Man
Mouse On Mars
Music For The Long Emergency
Paul Simon with yMusic
Perfume Genius
S. Carey & Glenn Kotche
Spank Rock
Sylvan Esso
This Is The Kit
Velvet Negroni
Zebulon Pike

That Zine, Though

If you were one of the lucky ones, you’ll notice some familiar imagery within the zine’s pages like photos from within The Joynt and even that infamous house at the corner of Third and Lake that Justin Vernon sang about once. The zine has Michael Perry’s signature words washed all over it and starts with a short letter about this time of year in Wisconsin: “We resent the darkness more than the cold,” it reads. "It is the darkness that makes us long for spring. The cold chills your bones, but the darkness deadens your heart. It is the darkness we are desperate to dispel. So we are making plans for the light."

Year three is packed with big names, big ideas, and big ambition, but as the opening lines of the zine put it, they’re purposefully downsizing a little bit with reconfigured grounds and fewer stages. That means there won’t be any conflicting musical acts, and festival goers can take in everything without missing anything. “We are doing this so that we will all experience more of the festival together.”

The lineup is eclectic as all get out. From the hard-hitting rap force of Danny Brown to the legendary Paul Simon teaming up with neo-classical ensemble yMusic, to the indie splash of Feist, to the soulful hip hop of the one-and-only Chance The Rapper, to folk royalty John Prine performing with the members of Bon Iver, to alt-country great Wilco – there’s a lot to take in. Plus, when you book Wilco at a festival like Eaux Claires, you’re gonna get the many side projects and collaborations of its members, in the form of Tweedy, Cup, The Autumn Defense, Quindar, and even a team up between S. Carey and Wilco’s drummer Glenn Kotchke.

Another cool thing outlined in the zine is this list of "artists in residence” – musicians and collaborators who aren’t specifically on the lineup, but will contribute in ways seen, unseen, and unforeseen. “Ever evolving, the residents will serve as a creative core, one set to bolster the musical performances and interactions of the festival with the flexibility to contribute with whomever, however, and whenever they desire,” the zine reads. This list includes Justin Vernon, Sam Amidon, Phil Cook, Sean Carey, Aaron and Bryce Dessner (of The National), Jenny Lewis, Anaïs Mitchell, Ryan Olson (of GAYNGS and Marijuana Deathsquads), The Staves, and others.

This festival, which is happening on June 16 and 17 this year at the festival grounds outside of Eau Claire, is starting to come together and – like always – there’s plenty to be astonished and excited about. And – like always – we’ll join you there.

“For now, this place is rimed with ice and studded with slush knobs,” Perry writes of the festival grounds. "What sweet antidote it is to envision how we might dance in the grass. There is great power in wanting what we cannot have."

Eaux Claires will announce the lineup formally and in full as well ticket options at noon on Thursday, and we’ll have that covered at www.VolumeOne.org, so check back throughout the day.

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