One chord closer to booking a deal

Visit Eau Claire executive director speculates Eaux Claire Music and Arts Festival to bring in big revenue


While Eau Claire native and Bon Iver frontman Justin Vernon leads a busy life with his music, he still finds time to connect to his hometown, something senior Breane Lyga respects. Vernon’s newest project is bringing a new music festival to the city of Eau Claire.

“I would go to the festival he is planning because I already like his music, and I think it would be exciting to see what he is planning for the music festival,” Lyga said.

Pairing with Crashline Productions, Vernon is working on bringing a new musical experience to Eau Claire. The Eaux Claire Music and Arts Festival is planned to be held July 17 and 18 at the Country Jam USA grounds in the town of Union.
Last Thursday, the town of Union comprehensive planning commission board approved conditional use permits for Country Jam USA grounds where performances will be held, and the use of the campgrounds, Whispering Pines and Whispering Fields.
The Boston-based company, Crashline, is most known for their involvement with the music festival Boston Calling. Vernon met the well-known production company about a year ago, and the two sides started to formulate ideas about working together, Brian Appel of Crashline said.
“We liked Justin, and Justin got a good vibe from our company so we started pitching ways for us to work together,” Appel said. “His vision was to bring a festival to his hometown and we’re here to help him.”
Executive director of Visit Eau Claire Linda John said members of the community and city officials speculate this new music festival will help with tourists, just like Country Jam USA.
The Eaux Claire Music and Arts Festival could have the potential to be another signature event for the area, John said, and can be a local economy boost.
Currently Country Jam USA, Country Fest and Rock Fest generate about 10 percent of total visitor spending in the region for the year, John said.
Appel said while the festival and its planning is still in the early stages, the company is hard at work to get all the approvals and permits to make it a reality.
He said the big focus for October is to make sure they have the county and city support for the festival. From there they will start to pick the program and plan out the festival; so far, everything is going well.
While no specific genre has been chosen for the music event yet, Appel said once it is officially approved, Vernon will begin to pick music and put the line-up together as he will see fit.