Monday, June 12, 2017

Travel Adventures: Blue Ox Music Festival

It was hot, we were sweaty but it was so worth it. The music was hopping all weekend and the beers were a flowing. Every year Ryan and I try to go to a new festival. This year we set our eyes on Blue Ox right in Eau Claire Wisconsin. I will break the festival down by day below. I only took pictures of the bands I really enjoyed and will talk about them below. Overall it had to be my favorite festival thus far.  The grounds were kept extremely clean no porta-johns were gross and the stages always started on time. We had super fun neighbors from Oregon that flew in for the festival.



Thursday Day 1
The Ox!

First here is our campsite for the weekend. We have collected things over the years to get our camping set up almost perfect. We still need to get a little table so I do not have to cook on our stove on the ground. We got a used Coleman propane stove at a retail store for $20 that works like magic recently.

Them Coulee Boys
Them Coulee Boys-- They opened the night and did a great job. The have a classic blue grass sound to them. They had great energy and got the crowd singing along and dancing right away.

Fruition and the beer koozie I bought with their name on it.
Fruition-- I loved them so much I had to buy a bar koozie with their name on it. Each of the band members sings and they all sound different which allows them to have a huge range and sound to their music. The female singer who plays guitar and mandolin was soulful and brought some funk to their sound. The bassist had a deep rasp to his singing which added some fun tone as well. I just could not get enough of them.

Charlie Parr

Charlie Parr-- I saw Charlie at small festival and was blown away by him. He is a little old man that is soulful. He almost looks homeless in how he dresses and how his hair hangs down. Don't let that fool you he is outstanding at his craft. He was the first late night act that went up at 12am. He rocked those woods and had everyone losing their minds with his upbeat tunes. Just a man and his guitar.

I am only going to go over the food we bought for dinner each night. We did eat two meals at the campsite each day.

I tried the BBQ stand first because that is what I was craving. Had a
pulled pork sandwich called a "jenny sloppy" topped with coleslaw. I loved their hot BBQ sauce I could have drank it.

Natural cup holders.
The beer was all Bells all weekend. Which was totally fine with Ryan and I we made it a point of Ryan trying every beer on tap by the end of the weekend. There were a lot of them to get through. If you paid $20 the first time you got an awesome metal cup to use for $5 beer refills all weekend. Those cups worked well for bloody marys and water too.

Friday Day 2
Sun was shinning

Colter Wall

Colter Wall-- We found some shade and watched Colter work the crowd with his folk songs and fun stories. He has an interesting way he writes songs some of them based off of him being from the backwoods of Canada. I thought upon hearing him that he was a old man but he is actually really young.  Some of his song is fun and cheeky like his song "motorcycle".

Trout Steak Revival

Trout Steak Revival-- I actually had not listened to a lot of their music before the festival but what I heard I loved during. It was hot so we stood up on the porch area in the shade and watched from the side. Their harmony is on point and they have some really cool songs. I liked how merry their music is it almost forces a smile on your face.
Trout Steak Revival

Dead Horses
Dead Horses-- This band is a huge reminder on why I love going to festivals. Ryan usually creates a playlist for us to listen to before hand and I fell head over heels in love with this band. I played all their music on repeat and memorized all their songs. They lived up to the hype I had in my head too. Deep harmonies and complex song lyrics. I loved every minute of their split set. Sarah the lead woman of the group (guitar) was shy and funny. Dan was humorous (The bassist). Their voices blended so well and the music was perfection.

Horse Shoes and Hand Grenades
Horse Shoes and Hand Grenades- YES!!!! 
Okay they were sandwiched in between Dead Horses and it was like all my musical dreams came true in one day. I originally saw them on a PBS music special and was so interested in their unique style. They use a central microphone and all sing together off of it. They have one guy that just plays harmonica and has a belt with like 10 of them in it. They really seemed to feed off the energy of the crowd and because they are local you could tell they were SUPER stoked to be playing. One of the band members was celebrating his birthday so we all sang happy birthday to him. It was fun and I wish their set was like 3 hours long.

The Infamous Stringdusters

The Infamous Stringdusters--
I danced and I danced a lot.
"Hey rattlesnake shake on out of here!"

Pert Near Sandstone--They hosted the event and helped headline it two nights. Both nights they played the same set which was a little annoying. I really like them though. Their music is really good and will get you grooving.They also had a dude that like tap danced.

Greensky Bluegrass-- I saw them at Electric Forest last year and they were the only band I had to wear my ear buds for due to their blow away sound. This year was better and we finished the night to an outrageous prince cover song. I will say more dancing and confetti was involved. They are a well polished bluegrass band. Classic with a modern twist.

I was pretty hungry at dinner time and Ryan and I got gyros. They were wrapped up like a burrito and were huge. The meat was shimmering away in a giant pot and got this really good flavor by that process. Packed with fresh veggies it was a perfect meal and filling.

We also drank bloody marys in the morning.

Bloody Mary's
On this day I tried the other offerings outside of Bells beer they had some Loon cider's. I disliked them all besides the pear. The pear was the right amount of tart and sweet. It was really light and refreshing for all your dancing fuel needs.

Saturday Day 3
Ginger drink!

On this day Maggie and Marshal joined us for a hot but fun day of music.

Joseph Huber--He started the day off on a good note. He has a really interesting depth to his voice and some interesting lyrics.

Billy Strings
Billy Strings-- Billy may have been slightly under the influence as he rambled a lot during his set. I wanted to yell at him to get it together. He was funny though and he has some fun songs.

Evergreen Grass Band-- Another band I really wanted to see. Somewhat of a let down as they are not as good live as they are recording. Neatherless it maybe because Greg the bassist was missing. No one knows where he went and we thought maybe he had went to our neighbors site to use their fancy $80 pool they bought from a guy off a truck... Who knows if he was ever found.

Punch Brothers
Punch Brothers-- Yes, yes and more yes. It does not hurt that the band is all young attractive young men but their music is outstanding. Some of it was almost like classical music. The lead singer (Chris)  hosts a popular Minnesota radio show A Prairie Home Companion. I think I will need to go to a taping as he is electric on stage. One thing I love about this bands and really all bluegrass is how they take sad stories but pair them with upbeat music. That mix sometimes makes one really laugh.

Railroad Earth--
Railroad Earth
They are like the funk of the bluegrass world. I do not think I stopped dancing the entire time. It was infectious and they really know how to bring the groove. The cool thing about them is they are all cute little old men. Really talented and fun.

Late night stage final--
We arrived and were right away filled with good vibes all around us. I think they had like 30 musicians on stage from a mix of all the bands that weekend. This set sums up the magic of a festival perfectly. All the bands get together and just jam through made up songs. Sometimes they know a song and others just add in as they go.

Final night show!
Eggs and Bacon
Korean taco
We may have ate a ton of eggs and bacon for breakfast with Tara's bread from Great Harvest. Who says you cannot eat good while camping?

Pot Stickers
We sampled a couple of items to make up our dinner starting with a Korean taco of beef, pickled veggies and a spicy sauce. I want to make this now it was the perfect starter. We then ate a fire baked pizza which was okay. Worth trying for sure. The star of the meal was these little pot stickers filled with yummy pork and served over a bed of rice. They topped it with a soy type sauce. They were huge but I loved them.

Last beer!
Ryan did it he finished off all the beers that they offered at the festival. This is our excited face. My favorites included the pear cider mentioned above and the Oarsman ale.

Light dancing
Fire dancing at 5am
Bubble man with his huge bubble wand

The Ox!
Ryan even got the Ox on him for the weekend!


In closing get out there and experience fun events and be brave. Sometimes I worry about traveling that it will be a waste of time and money. I have yet to be let down by a fun adventure trip like this. We made some awesome memories and I cannot wait for the next adventure.
Until next time~
XoXo Emily 

No comments:

Post a Comment