The Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival, often referred to simply as Eaux Claires, is a two-day multi-stage cultural event that takes place in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. It is held annually and was first started in 2015 by Justin Vernon of Bon Iver and Aaron Dessner of The National. The idea behind it was to highlight the culture of the region and also serve as a platform for performers from different musical genres.
In addition to repeat performances by Bon Iver and The National, other bands and musicians like Chance the Rapper, Erykah Badu, Marijuana Deathsquads, Sufjan Stevens, Blind Boys of Alabama, Sturgill Simpson, Vince Staples, James Blake, and Doomtree have performed at the festival.
Eaux Claires organizers wanted to give people a unique experience different from other festivals at the time which they felt had a reputation for subpar food and loud music.
Apart from the music, you can expect to enjoy some stunning performance art, visual art, delicious food, and more. Art pieces from leading visual artists are commissioned every year to create installations for the venue. The festival brings thousands of people to the town of Eau Claire every year and has had a tremendous positive impact on the community.
There are single day general admission passes on sale as well as tickets for both days. You can choose from various tiers, and prices range from $90 for a single-day general admission pass to $370 for top tier two-day Chippewa general admission passes.
You’ll have to purchase a camp pass to camp overnight on the festival grounds. In addition to the camp pass, you’ll need a general campsite (standard campsite) or oversized vehicle (Trailers and RVs) ticket. These cost anywhere between $165 and $300. In addition, each camping attendee must also have a two-day festival ticket. Check the event website to find out more about all the available options.
Driving through Wisconsin can be a delight thanks to its natural beauty and wide roads. Whether you’re traveling alone or with family and friends, there’s plenty of fun to be had in this lush and scenic part of the country. You are not likely to have any trouble getting to the festival RV Park since maps and detailed instructions are provided on the website.
Onsite parking is limited, and you’ll need to purchase a weekend festival parking pass to use it. If you need to park more than one car, you can buy a campground overflow parking pass. An ADA parking is available for patrons with disabilities as well as a shuttle service to the main entrance.
Whether you’re staying on the festival grounds or at another campsite or hotel, you can make use of the free shuttle buses. A dedicated fleet of buses will be available to take patrons to and from the festival all weekend. If you hold an oversized vehicle camping pass, shuttle service will be available to and from the festival.
There are two camping options available—general campsite and oversized vehicle. Spots are allotted on a first-come, first-serve basis. Garbage disposal facilities and portable potties will be present, but there are no electrical, sewage, or water hookups. When you prepare to camp in your RV, make sure you make the necessary arrangements for your rig's water and sewage setup.
There are a few RV parks a short drive away from the venue that let you take advantage of the scenic beauty of Eau Claire. Many of them come with facilities like sewage, electric, and water hookups, and onsite laundry services. So, if you'd prefer a camping experience with a few more frills, then you may wish to opt for one of these.
Shuttles will be available to take you from the festival campgrounds to the venue. Personal motorized vehicles, scooters, skateboards, and bicycles will not be allowed inside the venue. Re-entry is not permitted for vehicles once you’ve arrived and checked into the campsite. The grounds have ADA access and measures in place to help people with disabilities may be needed per individual.
The vibe is pretty laid back, and most people opt for shorts or jeans. Individuality is celebrated, so feel free to add an eclectic pair of sunglasses or funky jewelry. Comfortable footwear is a must since you’re likely to be on your feet all day. You are not likely to see too many costumes or typical rave attire at Eaux Claires, but they are welcome as fits the permitted event guidelines.
You will be allowed to take a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen into the venue. Carry an empty water bottle which can be refilled at the free hydration stations. Have a valid form of identification with you at all times, especially if you plan on drinking alcohol. Non-professional cameras are permitted so be sure to carry one and capture your memories.
Remember to stay hydrated at all times and protect yourself from the sun with a hat and sunglasses. Eaux Claires has a noise curfew that will be strictly enforced. Anyone flouting the rules will be escorted out of the venue without a refund. Guests are encouraged not to wander away from the grounds and must adhere to walking routes for safety.
Campfires and cooking fires may be allowed depending on conditions as long as they are enclosed within a metal container or stone ring. Any flames must be supervised at all times and put out responsibly. If a burn ban is in effect, fires will not be permitted at all. Regardless of what current conditions deem permissible, you will want to remember to check the cooking fuels in your camper since so you can cook there as desired.
In Eau Claire, you will never have to look too far to find a great restaurant. The food scene has evolved over the years and has grown into something special. You’ll find everything you’re in the mood for from great coffee houses to fine dining options. There are also some great bars to choose from in the area.
You will find top-notch food vendors selling their yummy selections at Eaux Claires. Apart from the usual festival fare, you’ll be able to try some more exotic foods like pita wraps and specialized treats. Be sure to try the delicious desserts on offer and local Wisconsin specialties like the fried cheese curd.
The security team will thoroughly check vehicles upon entering the grounds. Illegal drugs or weapons of any kind are strictly prohibited. All camping areas will have security around the clock, but you will be responsible for taking care of your belongings. Security personnel will be present at the venue throughout the event.
Eaux Claires is a rain or shine event and is unlikely to be called off due to adverse weather. Festival-goers will, of course, want a sunny forecast, but there is always a chance of rain. In the case of bad weather, a warning will be issued by festival authorities. Attendees are requested to follow the given instructions carefully.
Medical tents will be present at the venues as well as at the campgrounds. In case you or someone you know needs assistance, you can contact one of the EMTs or festival staff for help. The campsites and venue are handicap accessible, and campground staff will be available to assist with any special needs.