Blue Ox Music Festival is proud to announce the initial artist lineup for the 9th Blue Ox Music Festival, taking place on June 22, 23, 24, 2023. The festival welcomes back the annual summer pilgrimage of bluegrass, Americana, roots, and folk artists, and their devoted music festival fans; returning to the tall trees and rolling hills of northern Wisconsin.
Presenting three days of music and camping with a genre-weaving, electrifying lineup of heavy hitters including – The Avett Brothers, Sam Bush Band, Mike Gordon, Charley Crockett, The Infamous Stringdusters, Sierra Hull, Charlie Parr, Kitchen Dwellers, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades, Daniel Donato’s Cosmic Country, The Lowest Pair, Yasmin Williams, Joshua Ray Walker, Them Coulee Boys, Kyle Tuttle, Rainbow Girls, Henhouse Prowlers, Big Richard, The Last Revel, Pixie and The Partygrass Boys, Barbaro, Sicard Hollow, Feed the Dog, Stillhouse Junkies, Mama Said String Band, Wild Goose Chase Cloggers, Jason Dea West, Buffalo Galaxy, The Foxgloves, and Black River Revue. With more artists to be announced.
Pert Near Sandstone will host the Blue Ox Music Festival for its ninth year, in addition to performing for two nights.
The Avett Brothers, left, will perform for the first time at the 2023 Blue Ox Music Festival – as well as guitar virtuoso, Yasmin Williams, right.
As is the heritage of the Blue Ox Music Festival, this year will again celebrate the extraordinary talent of traditional bluegrass and roots music legends, as well as progressive stars in the making. For the first time, Blue Ox welcomes to the main stage – three-time GRAMMY Award nominees and North Carolina Music Hall of Fame inductees, The Avett Brothers, who made mainstream waves with their 2009 major label debut, I And Love And You. The acclaimed documentary May It Last: A Portrait of The Avett Brothers co-directed by Judd Apatow and Michael Bonfiglio), chronicles the writing of 2016’s True Sadness. In 2019, the band released their 10th studio album, Closer Than Together, featuring “High Steppin’” which reached #1 on the Americana Radio Singles chart. Their newest album, The Third Gleam, debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Americana / Folk Albums chart, #1 on Rock Albums, #1 Vinyl Albums, and “Victory” hit #1 on the Americana Radio Singles chart. In January 2022, Swept Away, a musical inspired by and featuring the music of The Avett Brothers, premiered at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre to rave reviews from audiences and critics.
Blue Ox has been honored to have the Sam Bush Band on the lineup each year since the festival began. One of the most celebrated pioneers of progressive bluegrass, Sam Bush has continued to push boundaries since he began his career in the 1960s. The virtuoso mandolinist and fiddler has played with luminaries on the order of Emmylou Harris, Doc and Merle Watson and New Grass Revival. He has released seven albums and a live DVD over the past two decades. In 2009, the Americana Music Association awarded Sam Bush the Lifetime Achievement Award for Instrumentalist. His performances are annual highlights of the festival circuit, with Bush’s joyous perennial appearances at the Colorado town’s famed bluegrass fest earning him the appellation “King of Telluride.”
Another highight of the artist lineup includes guitar virtuoso and progressive rising star, Yasmin Williams, who plays Blue Ox Music Festival for the first time. Since its release in January 2021, Williams’ album, Urban Driftwood has been praised by numerous publications such as Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, The Washington Post, NPR Music, No Depression, and Paste Magazine.
This year, Blue Ox Music Festival welcomes Phish founding member Mike Gordon, who makes his first appearance at the festival. After founding the jam-band group in 1983, Gordon has gone on to receive kudos for his innovative songwriting for the band, as well as his finely tuned bass playing. Mike has released absorbing solo albums on his own, including 2014’s Overstep. He’s also been associated with the pioneering solo guitarist Leo Kottke on a series of albums that includes 2020’s Noon.
An eclectic musician who draws from country, soul, jazz and blues, Charley Crockett grew up in South Texas and spent time busking in New Orleans and other locales to perfect his unique hybrid of American music. Charley started out as a bluesman, and his repertoire still includes his interpretations of classic-to-obscure blues songs and his highly focused original tunes. He’s released 11 studio albums over the past decade, with 2020’s Welcome to Hard Times garnering both critical and fan support. His latest album, 2022’s Lil’ G.L. Presents: Jukebox Charley, features the great exponent of roots music covering Jerry Reed’s 1967 tune “I Feel for You.” Crockett remains hard-working and completely his own man in the firmament of Americana music. Blue Ox looks forward to Charley Crockett performing on the main stage this June.
This year attendance will be limited to 5000 tickets, to preserve the intimacy and magic that Blue Ox Music Festival was built upon.
As artists and ambassadors for the festival – members of Pert Near Sandstone, Nate Sipe and Blue Ox MC, Justin Bruhn, produce and host the popular, Road to Blue Ox Podcast. In each episode, Bruhn and Sipe interview performing artists on the Blue Ox lineup, as well as highlighting key information and updates about the festival. Tune in for new Road to Blue Ox Podcast episodes on Apple iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Stitcher and Pocket Casts. Follow along on Spotify and be notified as soon as a new episode is released.
About Blue Ox Music Festival – Blue Ox creates and fosters an inclusive sense of artistic community and has become a cornerstone of the cultural renaissance movement in the Eau Claire area. Blue Ox Music Festival at The Pines Music Park boasts 155 acres of pristine forest, walkable trails and green landscaped lawn with music presented across three distinct stages – Main Stage, Saloon Stage, Backwoods Stage.
Since its premiere in the summer of 2015, Blue Ox Music Festival has consistently brought together a lineup of top level regional and national acts that have set the stage and standard of artists for the true music festival fan’s experience. With the vision of an intimate music and camping experience focused on bluegrass, folk, and Americana roots genres, the 3-day festival creates a unique experience with an impressive lineup of notable artists, in a familial and beautiful outdoor venue setting.
As a family friendly environment, an array of cultural events take place throughout the festival grounds, including music workshops, morning yoga and meditation, eclectic arts and craft vendors, kids activity stages, as well as an impressive disc golf course. The variety of quality food and beverages offers something delicious for everyone to enjoy. All ages are welcome. Children 13 and under are free with a paid adult.
Blue Ox Music Festival 2-day and 3-day General Admission Tickets are on sale now – which gives guests access to all entertainment and Unreserved Tent Camping. Car Camping Passes are available for guests who prefer their car at the camp site next to their tent. Blue Ox Music Festival Reserved RV / Tent sites are still available for purchase, but are in limited supply. Camping accommodations include spaces for RVs, Family and Quiet Camping.