Oh, Claire.

Hey all! I've been itching to find interesting life happenings and cool Internetty things to post about, but I've been too busy to make the time for it.

... That is, until coming back from the Eaux Claires festival this past weekend in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, where I spent five glorious years as a student at UW-Eau Claire (shoutout to the Journalism and Art History departments – thanks for all the homework)! Such an amazing weekend that I just had to A) Brag that I was there, and B) Give myself an excuse to post a few photos.

We got a late start, as my boyfriend Pat was a late addition to the party as of Wednesday, and we had to wait for him to wrap up work to head out of town. By the way, can this road construction be done yet?! It took me nearly 45 minutes to JUST get on 94 West from Uptown when I went to pick him up. Ugh.

Anyway, we arrived (after a LONG drive, a last-minute taxi ride, and a StubHub ticket snafu, which was eventually fixed nicely by a phone call to their badass customer service department) at about 8:00, just in time to catch a little Tallest Man on Earth and ... The National! I'd never seen them before (shockingly), and it was my MISSION to make it on time to at least see them. What a beautiful show. Nothing but chills the whole time.

Additionally, I got to catch shows from Lizzo (QUEEN!), Marijuana Deathsquads (one of my absolute favorite live acts), Melt-Banana (whoa!), Poliça (cute pregnant Channy), Indigo Girls (still sound amazing), Sufjan Stevens (melting hearts the whole time), Sylvan Esso (just a big ol' dance party, as per usual), and of course Bon Iver (phenomenal doesn't even do it justice). A lot of collaborations and surprise guests made every performance all the more special, and there wasn't a single act I saw that I thought could've sounded any better.

These three like to stick to a music fest schedule.

These three like to stick to a music fest schedule.

The real sign that this festival was nearly perfect: while I was in line for water, Pat was waiting off to the side, and a security guard recognized his MPLS streets shirt. After chatting a little about both being from there, he told pat, "Man ... 20,000 people over two days, and you know what? Not even one arrest. This is the best music festival I've ever worked at, and I've worked a LOT."

Minus drunken morons while we waited for the shuttle to come and take us back to Water Street, I can't even say I saw anyone behaving badly, like pushing, shoving, verbal or physical fights, littering, or anything else. I think part of it was that the crowd was there for MUSIC, not strictly to party and get obnoxious. Apparently Justin Vernon knows how to throw a (civilized) party.

Can't wait for next year! We may be ... dare I say it ... CAMPING.