Eaux Claires Ranked Amongst Top 5 Summer Music Festivals

V1 Staff, photos by Lee Butterworth |

July’s inaugural Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival was not only a special thing for locals, but it seems to have struck a resounding chord beyond our fair Valley. One year in, and the good people over at Consequence of Sound just ranked the Justin Vernon-curated fest one of the top five music festivals in North America for 2015, beating out the likes of Pitchfork, Bonaroo, and Austin City Limits. Coachella was their top choice. Of Eaux Claires, they say ...

It’s hard to know what to expect from a brand new music festival, but when the curators happen to be two of the biggest names in indie rock—Justin Vernon and Aaron Dessner—chances are it’s going to be an experience. Those who ventured to Eau Claire, Wisconsin this past July found a festival off the beaten path in both the phrase’s literal and figurative meaning. Located away from the city proper, Eaux Claires thrived along the banks of Chippewa River, which provided a unique space for creativity in all forms. As was reiterated by almost every act on the lineup, the festival was for the music — it wasn’t a scene. Sufjan Stevens boasted that he never plays festivals, namely because he “is agoraphobic and terrified of contracting lyme disease or an STD or whatever.” But more to the point he doesn’t play them because the appreciation wasn’t there. The consensus was that Eaux Claires was a special place for musicians and their fans, for art to breathe and be enjoyed. –Amanda Roscoe Mayo