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Blue Ox Music Festival ’23: Music & More in the Pines 

  • Event Parking
  • Celine Jerly
  • 7 minutes

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Got summer plans? Here’s an idea – set camp at the Pines Music Park in Eau Claire. Blue Ox Music Festival is back in the park this June, and you have three days to enjoy the annual all-ages event. The outdoor summer festival has a diverse lineup, with the spotlight on Americana and folk sounds. Here’s more about tickets, camping, dates, and the venue. 

The 9th edition of the Blue Ox Music Festival is taking over Wisconsin’s Eau Claire County at the end of June 2023. Since its debut in 2015, the annual event has grown into a fan-centric summer camping experience for all ages. The festival is more than three days of music across three stages. The Pines Music Park festival grounds will also host various activities and attractions to suit everyone’s taste. Here’s all you need to know about the upcoming event: 

What is Blue Ox Music Festival 2023? 

Blue Ox is an annual music festival at The Pines Music Park in Eau Claire County, Wisconsin. The family-owned festival, founded in 2015, will kick off its 9th edition in June 2023. All ages are welcome; the event has family-friendly amenities for camping and entertainment.   

It’s all about having a relaxed outdoor musical experience. The three-day schedule of live performances features 40+ artists and bands, focusing on Bluegrass, Americana, and folk music. Apart from the three stages spread across the park, the Blue Ox Festival will also have many activities to keep you busy. Art installations, vendors, food & drinks, etc., complete the summer music festival experience.  

Are there any activities for children? 

Blue Ox Music Festival is a kid-friendly event with a separate family section in the campgrounds. You’ll also find a Family Stage on the festival grounds. Boats and Bluegrass is setting up several activities for children attending the event.  

Grown-ups can also enjoy additional attractions at the Blue Ox Festival. Choose from wellness experiences at The Soul Sanctuary, a 9-hole disc golf course, jam sessions at the Potluck Pickin’ Area, or Late Night Sets at the Backwoods Stage after the headliners close. You’ll also find songwriting and musical instrument workshops at the festival.  

What are the Blue Ox Music Festival 2023 dates? 

Thu Jun 22, 2023 – Sat Jun 24, 2023 

Three-day festival pass holders can enter the venue and campgrounds from 7 am on Thursday. On Friday, entry for two-day pass holders begins at 9 am, and the gates open for single-day pass access at 10 am on Saturday. You can also upgrade your three-day tickets for Pre Set Camping and get early access to the festival on Wednesday.  

What are the gate timings? 

Festival Bowl gates open at 4:30 pm on Thursday and 10:00 am on Friday and Saturday. The campground gates are open from 7:00 am to midnight on Thursday. On Friday, the gates open only at 9:00 am, and campground entry is available only between 10:00 am and 11:00 pm on Saturday.  

Who’s on the Blue Ox Music Festival 2023 lineup? 

45 artists and bands are performing at the 2023 edition of Blue Ox Music Festival in Eau Claire. The Avett Brothers, Mike Gordon, and The Infamous Stringdusters will headline the Main Stage sets each day.  

The festival also has the Saloon and Backwoods stages within The Pines Music Park. See the full lineup and Blue Ox Music Festival 2023 schedule here. 

How much are the Blue Ox Music Festival 2023 tickets? 

  • Tier 5: 3-day General Admission: $249.00 
  • Tier 3: 2-day (Fri + Sat) General Admission: $230.00 
  • 1-day (Saturday) General Admission tickets: $135.00 

Note: Festival entry is free only for children under 13 accompanying ticketed adults.  

You can transfer Blue Ox Music festival tickets and campsites to others through the official ticketing platform. Refunds and rollovers are not available.  

Three-day and two-day tickets will be available for purchase at the Fields Gate during the festival. You can pay with cash or by card. 

Is camping extra? 

GA tickets do not include car camping. But you can camp in the unreserved tent camping area; spots are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Parking is available at a designated lot near the venue. 

If you want to camp next to your car or sleep in your car, get a car camping pass for $65. However, it is only for the unreserved car camping areas.  

You must purchase a reserved camping site if your vehicle is over 20′ long. Reserved camping pass prices vary from $140 – $505, depending on the option. See more here.  

Pre-set Glamping tents are also available for $695 (2 persons/pass). With this upgrade, you can camp in the shaded Backyards and Beyond tent village and park your car close to your tent. The reserved area is only a 5-minute walk from the main stage, and you can enter the campgrounds early on Wednesday. 

Find out more about camping options and guidelines here. 

Where is the Blue Ox Music Festival venue? 

The Pines Music Park (Whispering Pines Campground) is a 120-acre wooded area with a concert bowl at the center. It is about 5 miles west of downtown Eau Claire and is a cozy destination for live music festivals and special events. Minneapolis is 90 miles west of The Pines Music Park and Eau Claire. 

The Blue Ox Festival venue address is 5024 Crescent Ave, Eau Claire, Wisconsin 54703. See the map below for directions: 

How to reach 

You can reach the Blue Ox Festival venue only by car. The nearest airport is Minneapolis−Saint Paul International Airport – it’s at least a 1.5 hours drive via the I-94 E to The Pines Music Park. Entrance to the venue is from Crescent Avenue – via the Pines Gate or Fields Gate. 

Note: Eau Clair County Sheriff’s Office is in charge of traffic during the festival. Check for re-routing and restriction updates on the official website or social media feeds. 

Are there any hotels nearby? 

If you don’t want to camp at the Blue Ox Music Festival, several hotels are available within five miles of The Pines Music Park. Downtown Eau Claire is only a 10–15-minute drive away, and a few hotels are on the festival’s shuttle schedule.  

The Hampton Inn of Eau Claire is the preferred partner of the 2023 Blue Ox Music Festival. Other options are The Oxbow Hotel, The Lismore Hotel, Quality Inn, Holiday Inn Express, and Best Western Plus Eau Claire. 

How much is the shuttle fare? 

You’ll get unlimited rides for $45/person (3 days) or $20/person (1 day). No need to reserve; pay the driver for tickets when you board.  

The buses have multiple stops in Eau Claire on their way to The Pines Music Park; see the shuttle schedule here. Buses will return from the festival venue from 9 pm to the close of the last set on the main stage; the last shuttle to Eau Claire is at 12:30 am.  

How much is Blue Ox Music Festival parking? 

Parking is free at the venue during the festival. However, you’ll have to leave the car at the general parking lot without a camping upgrade. The Fields parking area to the west of the festival bow is the largest and closest lot; ADA/Accessible spots are also available here. Five additional parking locations are available around the Pines Music Park, mostly northwest of the main stage.  

See the festival map, directions, and more info for visitors here. 

If you are looking for alternative Whispering Pines Campground parking or planning to take the shuttle from a nearby hotel, check out Eau Claire parking deals online before booking a spot. You can save up to 60% on guaranteed parking space by pre-booking the spot using apps like Way.  

See: How to Book City Parking on Way.com: A Step-by-Step Guide 

*Lineup, set times, dates, and event rules are subject to change. Check the official website and social media feed for up-to-date details.

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