Announcing our 2023 La Crosse festival headliners performing from November 3-4th. Read more about the artists below, and grab your tickets to the fest here!
PERT NEAR SANDSTONE
MINNEAPOLIS, MN | BLUEGRASS
Hailing from Minneapolis & St. Paul, Minnesota and founded by childhood friends within the vibrant Minneapolis music scene, Pert Near’s chemistry hearkens back to the family bands of yesteryear. They cut straight to the heart across the musical landscape of the Great North and beyond. Formed soon after the turn of the millennium, they have been tireless stewards of the midwestern roots music community ever since. Privileged with co-founding, curating and hosting the prestigious Blue Ox Music Festival, Pert Near performs with infectious energy and an undeniable joy. Strong songcraft melds with old-time sensibilities in a unique brand of modern string band music delivered to fans around the world. Their new album, ‘Rising Tide’, reaches a new height in their songwriting, addressing issues directly relating to our modern times and not holding back commentary on politics and society. Touring from the Great North on the regular, they bring their performances Northwest across to Southeast and often to central Europe.
AUSTIN, MN | FOLK
Charlie Parr is an incorruptible outsider who writes novelistic, multi-layered stories that shine a kaleidoscopic light on defiant, unseen characters thriving in the shadows all around us. He hasn’t moved to LA or Nashville; he’s stayed in the frozen north of Minnesota, because that’s his home. Charlie’s most recent critically acclaimed record, ‘Last of the Better Days Ahead’, was his first for the legendary Smithsonian Folkways Recordings.
Cincinnati, OH | INDIE ROCK
Serious songs from goofy people. That’s what you can expect from diverse, Midwest indie-rockers, Motherfolk. What started out as a writing project among two college friends turned into a fully realized band untethered to genres, with an endlessly bright future. Composed of Bobby Paver and Nathan Dickerson on vocals and guitar, bassist Clayton Allender, drummer Ethan Wescott, and Karlie Dickerson on keys Motherfolk are not only bandmates, but best friends. The band’s close-knit relationship allows each member to be their most authentic self, leaving every ounce of their souls to be poured into each song and high-energy performance.
AX AND THE HATCHETMEN
CHICAGO, IL | INDIE ROCK
Ax and the Hatchetmen came to party. The Chicago based rock and roll band’s shimmering three guitar attack, earthy rhythms and blistering horns have gained them a loyal following nationwide. Formed in 2018, the camaraderie and musicality between the long-time group of friends is apparent the moment they take the stage. Led by the vocals and guitars of Axel Ellis and Kenny Olzewski, the seven piece band also showcases Sal Defilippis on guitar, Hunter Olshefke on bass, Nick Deputy on drums, Phil Pistone on trumpet and Quinn Dolan on saxophone. 2022 saw the band complete two headlining tours as well as release four new singles that have amassed millions of streams globally. They plan on touring and releasing music for the foreseeable future. They also will party.
BAD BAD HATS
MINNEAPOLIS, MN | INDIE ROCK
Bad Bad Hats is an indie rock band from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Kerry Alexander and Chris Hoge met in college and formed the band in 2012. In the 10 years of BBH, they have toured the country several times in their trusty minivan, sampling the best local cuisine along the way. BBH has toured with The Beths, Margaret Glaspy, The Front Bottoms, Hippo Campus, and Michelle Branch, among many others. Their latest album Walkman was released September 17th, 2021 on Don Giovanni Records.
COLLECTION OF COLONIES OF BEES
MILWAUKEE, WI| INDIE ROCK
For two decades, Collections of Colonies of Bees have existed in various forms and incarnations, beginning with Chris Rosenau and Jon Mueller (who split time with post-rock band Pele). From there, the line-up grew and evolved. At one time, Nick Sanborn -- currently in the spotlight as one-half of Sylvan Esso -- counted himself as a member. At another, the group joined forces with Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon to release two albums under the moniker Volcano Choir. (In fact, it was Vernon who proclaimed of his collaborators: “If the world was perfect, they would be as big as U2.”) Never content to paint the soundscape twice, the previously instrumental Bees now come outfitted with vocalist Marielle Allschwang and a new full-length, HAWAII, that finds the Wisconsin-based ensemble harvesting the fertile intersection between experimental and pop to maximum effect.