'Blue Ox Music Festival' kicks off Thursday in Eau Claire - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

'Blue Ox Music Festival' kicks off Thursday in Eau Claire

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Eau Claire (WQOW) - Starting Thursday, locals got a listen to Eau Claire's boot tappin' bluegrass. 

The event lasts Thursday through Saturday at Whispering Pines Campground. The festival kicked off Thursday morning, with hundreds of campers already claiming their spots for the weekend of music. 

The festival is in its fourth year. Organizers estimate 4,500 attendees, an increase of more than 1,000 since last year. Jim Bischel, festival president, said this is all thanks to their family-friendly, Grammy award-winning lineup. 

"We tried in the last four years, we tried to put together a line up unlike any line ups that can be found in the Midwest," said Bischel. "There are several great bluegrass Americana folk festivals across the county, but we've tried to put one together in the Midwest that would be similar to all those other event like Telluride."

Some of these popular acts include Sam Bush and Greensky Bluegrass. The festival also brings in well-known local acts including Them Coulee Boys and Horseshoes and Hand Grenades.There are also some new festival features, organizers have expanded kids' programming, a new private lodge called the Paul Bunyan Pass and additional ground and venue improvements.

Organizers hope to keep the event intimate in numbers. The Blue Ox Music Festival is the kickoff to festivals in the Chippewa Valley. Next weekend in Cadott is Country Fest and come July, Eau Claire's Country Jam, the Eaux Claires Music Festival and Rock Fest.

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