Ever-mysterious Eaux Claires rolls out chunk of lineup via snail mail, hashtaggin'

Eric Christenson |

Just this last weekend, if you were one of the Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival pre-sale ticket buyers, you were given the opportunity to help announce two-thirds of the July music fest's lineup, which includes a ton of Justin Vernon collaborators and Minneapolis friends.

Eaux Claires co-curators Aaron Dessner (The National) and Justin Vernon (Bon Iver), shown here as they keep on truckin'. (Image: http://instagram.com/aarondessner)
Eaux Claires co-curators Aaron Dessner (The National) and Justin Vernon (Bon Iver), shown here as they keep on truckin'. (Image: instagram.com/aarondessner)

In collaboration with Eau Claire's Ambient Inks and Knorth Studios, the festival crew printed custom black letters to mail to those few folks that ordered pre-sale tickets. And on each individual letter was the name of one of the acts in the hotly-anticipated lineup  in handwritten silver ink, with instructions to tweet it out.

Naturally, the localest folks got their letters as early as Saturday and started peppering social media, each act being confirmed by the festival's own Twitter account (@EauxClairesWI).  The lineup so far:

Aero Flynn, Blind Boys Of Alabama, Boys Noize, Charles Bradley, Colin Stetson, Doomtree, Field Report, Francis and The Lights, Haley Bonar, Liturgy, Low, Marijuana Deathsquads, Melt-Banana, Phil Cook, Phox, Poliça, S. Carey, Sam Amidon, Spooky Black, Sylvan Esso, The Lone Bellow, and The Tallest Man On Earth. Also: Lizzo, and  The Staves.

Hell, even the Gordy's Guru got in on the action. Anyway, here's the text of the letter, which – along with those enigmatic teaser videos  –  indicates some heavy involvement  from local, New York Times bestselling author Michael Perry:

We took a leap of faith. We didn’t know if anyone would leap with us. And then there you were.

Sight unseen, you’ve agreed to join us at the inaugural Eaux Claires Festival along the banks of the Chippewa River this July.

We hope you can feel our gratitude.

Eaux Claires is more than just music. It will be an experience including and celebrating art in a multitude of forms — from the paintbrush to the pen, from the plow to the plate, from local brews to local bootstrappers. Above all, we want to share this place — the Chippewa Valley that has been so good to so many of us.

To make this work, we need early leaders. You are among them. To show our appreciation for your support at the start, here’s a sneak peek at just one of the many artists from the lineup we’re assembling:

We encourage you to share your artists by tagging this information #eauxclaires and broadcasting it in any way you choose. In this way, three quarters of the lineup can be discovered before the full reveal.

We also invite you to join us at www.eauxclaires.com on February 11th when we officially announce our lineup along with other surprises.

Right now the Chippewa River slips dark and silent beneath the sheeted ice. come summer, the water will flow warm and slow. Along the banks the grass will grow, and the night will fill with music and light.

We’ll join you there.

Michael Perry, Eaux Claires Narrator
Justin Vernon, Eaux Claires Curator

We'll announce the rest of the lineup (and a few other goodies) here at VolumeOne.org on Wednesday and we'll keep you up to date as more people receive their pre-sale letters early this week.

Watch: Eaux Claires Teaser Video 3