Artisan Forge Studios to host indie music festival

Experience live music again at Forge Fest on September 18

Grace Olson

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Student speaks
October 27, 2021
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Students and Eau Claire locals can enjoy both art and music at an upcoming festival.

Eau Claire indie music lovers will have the chance to see six indie and alt-rock bands perform this weekend. 

A new indie music festival is on it’s way to Eau Claire. “Forge Fest” is a combination of art and music which creates an “explosion of creativity, beauty and togetherness,” the website said. 

The entire festival will take place from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Sept. 18, with the morning dedicated to the art side of the festival with free admission at Artisan Forge Studios

Jim Kasmarek, the event organizer, said there will be about 20 to 25 booths with some “high powered artists” from all over the midwest. 

From 5 to 11 p.m., Forge Fest will transition to purely a music festival. There will be six bands playing, who come from Chicago to Kansas City. 

The music portion will cost $30 for general admission and $25 for students. 

This festival will be only for indie and alt-rock bands, which makes it unique to other festivals Eau Claire already has, Kasmarek said.

Hi-Lux, Ludlow, Nathan Graham, Valaska, Mitch Mead and the headliner Peter Wolf Crier will take the stage at Forge Fest.

If you want to check out any of the bands before the festival, check out the “Forge Fest Eau Claire 2021” Spotify playlist

Most of the bands who will perform at the festival are unknown except for the headliner, Kasmarek said. 

Peter Wolf Crier hasn’t performed in a few years, so it will be a great experience to see them live, Kasmarek said.

Brain Moen, the drummer of Peter Wolf Crier – who has worked with Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon – said the festival will provide a first-time, real music festival experience for many of the bands.

“It’s really unique to see six bands that you otherwise probably wouldn’t get too,” Moen said. “We’re playing our first show in five years, so you get to see something you wouldn’t normally get to since we don’t perform anymore.” 

The rest of the bands will provide a great experience for the audience as well, Kasmarek said. Like Hi-Lux, a funk reggae indie band from Kansas City, who’s lead singer has a silky-smooth voice, he said. 

As a way to thank healthcare workers and those who helped the public get vaccinated, those people  will get $10 of free food tickets. 

“All the nurses, doctors, and those who work with the Eau Claire City-County Health Department, we really want to thank them for helping the public get tested for COVID and/or get a vaccine,” Kasmarek said. 

Any university students who helped are also eligible, Kasmarek said. 

The event has 20,000 square feet and can safely hold 2,500 to 3,000 people, Kasmarek said. They will also be requiring proof of vaccination or a 72-hour negative COVID-19 test result. 

It’s an opportunity for underclassmen to come out and try something new since the festival is on upper campus, Kasmarek said. There will also be a raffle students can participate in, for a chance to win a free Peter Wolf crier vinyl record. 

More information can be found here

Olson can be reached at [email protected]