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Madison bands head west for second Bluelight festival

The event in Highland, Wisconsin also features Kevin Greenspon and other touring artists.

The event in Highland, Wisconsin also features Kevin Greenspon and other touring artists.


Kevin Greenspon.

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Kevin Greenspon.

The event in Highland, Wisconsin also features Kevin Greenspon and other touring artists.

One of the summer’s richest lineups of experimental (or just eccentric) Madison musicians is taking shape at the second annual Bluelight festival, scheduled to take place July 17 through 19 on a patch of rural land in Highland, Wisconsin, about 60 miles west of Madison. Of course, Madison musicians have a long history of putting on music festivals in the surrounding countryside, including the Rock County Folk Symposium(which won’t be returning this year), and this one is the same weekend as Pitchfork Fest in Chicago, but Bluelight is worth noting for getting so many distinctive local acts in one spot.

Billed as a “posivibe DIY music fest,” Bluelight is organized by Madison musician Spencer Bible (of Christian Dior and Autographite) and takes place on a property his family owns, mostly in an old barn. “I’ve been recording albums out there for years,” Bible says. “It has the best acoustics of any place I’ve ever performed.”

The Friday, July 17 music lineup is heavy on experimental Madison acts, including Julian Lynch, electronics-hacking madman Kleptix, and Spires That In The Sunset Rise member Taralie Peterson’s cello- and vocals-centered solo project Tar Pet, but also boasts a performances from out-of-town acts including LA’s Kevin Greenspon, who makes gorgeous, enveloping, elaborately textured ambient music.

July 18’s Madison-based acts include instrumental hip-hop producer Coby Ashpis, synth-pop band Neens, and R&B eccentric Mr. Jackson. That day’s touring acts include Kansas City electro-pop outfit Scammers, sprawling Chicago art-rockers Crown Larks, and Spokane, Washington punk act Bad Hex. There’s no music scheduled for Sunday, which Bible says is for relaxing.

Tickets are $15 and include camping, and Bible says some lineup changes and additions are still coming. For more info, see the Bluelight website or Facebook event.

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