Justin Vernon fans got some bad news towards the end of last year, when it was revealed that the Bon Iver leader was canceling the 2019 Eaux Claires Music Festival. In a note, the fest organizers made it clear that they intend to host the festival again in 2020, though, writing (emphasis theirs), “It will happen in 2020, and it will be more focused, fun, and internal.” So, 2019 saw no Eaux Claires festival, but there will be a related event this winter, as Vernon and Aaron Dessner announced that they are hosting Eaux Claires Hiver, from November 21 to 24 in Eaux Claire, Wisconsin.
The event is described as “an immersive weekend of performance and improvisation featuring Ani DiFranco, Pieta Brown, Jon Hopkins, Aaron Dessner, Justin Vernon, William Brittelle and more, presented via three distinct events.” As for the pronunciation of the event’s name: “HIGH-ver? HEE-ver? Eee-VAIR? Even the founders aren’t sure…”
Structurally, Eaux Claires Hiver seems to be less of a traditional festival and more of a trio of events being presented together, as each are ticketed separately. The musical collective 37d03d will perform on the 22nd and 23rd. Vernon and the TU Dance troupe will present their collaborative show “Come Through” on November 22, 23, and 24. Vernon will also sit down for a conversation with Ani DiFranco on November 21, and he says of DiFranco and of the event, “Ani DiFranco is the first person I ever heard of who wrote, arranged, engineered, mixed and released her own music. She is a mind-blowing songwriter and inspiration. I want to ask her the questions I’ve always wanted to ask her; about her journey, her hardships and victories. And I want an audience there because the answers will be too special to hold on to as one person. AND…there will be some music….and surprise guests.”
The press release for Eaux Claires Hiver also sneakily snuck in some news about the Eaux Claires Music Festival: In the section about the 37d03d performances, the release reads, “The results of the residency will be viewed in progress and in proximity with the understanding that the pieces — and the experience — will inform and flavor July 2020’s Eaux Claires V (yep, that’s news…we’ll have dates soon).”
Watch the trailer for Eaux Claires Hiver above, and learn more about the event here.