Eaux Claires — the Wisconsin music festival put together by Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and the National’s Aaron Dessner — has announced that they won’t be holding the event next year, but that they plan to return in 2020. In a post on their official website, festival organizers write: “After our Senior year, we find ourselves wanting to move out, change things, and take stock of who we’ve become. In order to manage this transition, we are going to take a year off.”
The festival started in 2015. I went during its second year and it was a lot of fun! But at the fest this year it seems that they ran into some problems organizing: They tried out an experiment in which they didn’t announce the lineup until festival attendees were on-site and it turns out that the lineup and whole experience was pretty disappointing.
Here’s the festival’s full statement:
As winter deepens here in Eau Claire, WI, we at Eaux Claires wanted to reach out before it gets too cold and update you to the many conversations that we have had over the past couple of months.
In the last four years we have grown together as patrons and organizers; these experiences are perfectly focused within our own collected memories, and feel something like going through four years of high school – the growth, the mistakes, the energy, but most of all the searing, stumbling beauty of becoming one’s self.
After our Senior year, we find ourselves wanting to move out, change things, and take stock of who we’ve become. In order to manage this transition, we are going to take a year off. While it will be hard for us to break the chain of momentum and the positive impact the festival has had on our community, we have fresh, clear ideas of how to make it even better. But we aren’t just changing locations, we’re bolstering our philosophies. We want to celebrate EVEN MORE about this REAL TOWN we call home by extolling and imagining things we haven’t seen or experienced to date.
Ultimately, we want a better experience – not just for us, but for everyone. Is that too vague? We’re not trying to do that anymore, so here…
No Eaux Claires V in 2019. It will happen in 2020, and it will be more focused, fun, and internal. We will have a couple of public events in the coming months hosted at Pablo Center at the Confluence. These events will incorporate performance and dialogue about the direction we plan on taking the festival throughout the coming decade. Looking forward to seeing you there.
-EXC Founders and Organizers