Enjoy a variety of entertainment and activities throughout the weekend! Listen to live music at the Main Stage and Forest Stage, explore family fun and kids’ activities at Rainbow’s End, get moving in a yoga, aerial dance, or fitness class, or just take a break in the shade!
The MREA Events Team is hard at work putting together the don’t-miss events for The 2023 Energy Fair. Check back in the Spring to view all that will be available.
2022 Live Music
Friday, June 24 - 2:00 pm
Billy Bronsted –
Northwoods Country & Roots musician Billy Bronsted plans to release 3 albums in 2022. The first of the bunch, his second studio record, Rhythm, Racket, & Romance is slated for release on May 2nd, 2022. Billy’s album grew out of years of payin’ dues and playing little shows around the US. It is a work of real midwestern collaboration interspersed with some very personal moments. “It represents those first few years of diving into my living life as a performing artist”. To support the album release Billy plans to hit some homegrown Wisconsin festivals and Venues on the weekends while he helps hammer on his family home during the weeks.
After the release of This Bed of Mine, Bronsted began playing banjo in the bluegrass trio Linus and the Lute which recorded the EP It’s Real with Marc Golde at Rock Garden Studio in Appleton, WI. He would spend the next year hanging around the Fox Valley collaborating with local bands and artists such as Feed The Dog and Sam Luna.
The first few months of 2019 Billy toured with Sam Luna, where they performed solo and duo sets across 13 states for two and a half months. They started in Chicago and made stops in Louisville, Nashville, Asheville, Atlanta, New Orleans, Austin, Houston, Dallas, Phoenix, Las Vegas, San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, along with many, many other smaller towns in between. He returned to Wisconsin for the summer of 2019 to work and play gigs around the state, saving money for studio time to make his second solo record. The shows were often collaborative, with many performances paired with his drummer and longtime collaborator John Kneipp. Inspired by the American landscape he spent so much time touring through, Bronsted began writing more songs about his travels and their parallels to his working life back home. He would spend 2018 & 2019 taking in life experience, swinging a hammer, gigging 3-4 times a week, and demoing songs for his sophomore album.
In January 2020, Billy booked a month-long tour spanning Kentucky, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas. Touring as the duo Billy Bronsted and the Loot, they brought the Milwaukee-based trio Listening Party and effectively stuffed six men, their bags, and all of their gear into one van and a 4’ x 6’ trailer. They returned home mid-February with even more ambitious goals for the next few years.
Of course, the world was put on pause almost immediately thereafter, but Billy took the time to keep plugging away at the record. After returning from a refreshing winter in the Rocky Mountains, he plans to release this new album “Rhythm, Racket, & Romance” recorded with the band on May 2nd 2022.
About Billy Bronsted and the Loot:
Billy Bronsted and the Loot are a Cosmic Country/Rock band from central Wisconsin. Billy and his percussionist John Kneipp were both born and raised in Tomahawk, WI, where their love for music was definitely thought of as “unique.” Growing up in Tomahawk instilled strong values of hard work and the importance of family, grounding them and shaping the way they walk through their lives. Their sound reflects this peaceful upbringing; there is a characteristic storytelling and writing style that is second nature to them. The duo’s raw and aggressive percussion mixed with Bronsted’s diverse acoustic playing styles pulls the listener back through time. Their albums evoke the milieu of the backwoods, where campfire strumming sets the tone for well-crafted narratives.
In 2008. Billy and John recorded their first series of demos as a duo with friends. Billy found himself working on multiple projects, honing his talents and building his reputation in close collaboration with David Blessent, with whom he founded projects such as Linus and the Lute and One Strong Army. During this period, Bronsted crossed paths with many of his current collaborators.
In recent years, John and Billy have been hard at work creating their next evolution as performing artists, Billy Bronsted & the Loot. Billy brought the band to the studio to help finish the latest record “Rhythm, Racket, & Romance” which is set for release in October of 2021. The album was conceived through years of gigging all around Wisconsin, while taking time to jam and write with other artists. It is a work of real midwestern collaboration interspersed with some very personal moments.
Friday, June 24 - 8:00 pm
Friday 8:00pm – Main Stage
GGOOLLDD isn’t like other bands. They formed on whim, decided to play their first show mostly as an excuse to host a killer party, and they eschew the traditional gotta-get-a-record-deal game in favor of playing a lot of shows and releasing their own material. That sense of whimsy blended with resolute autonomy is all part of the signature GGOOLLDD aesthetic.
Saturday, June 25 - 2:00 pm
Adept at both guitar and piano, Genevieve writes the songs she sings, songs firmly rooted in the contemporary, with faint hints of tendrils running deep toward the influence of old footsteps. She’s opened for Grammy winners, and shared the stage with national touring acts and performers who have written songs for some of the biggest names in music. A fixture of local café open mics, Genevieve cut her teeth performing, playing in front of both small handfuls and crowds of thousands. She’s as comfortable with Tin Pan Alley as she is today’s teen pop, and tells you with a voice built to bewilder – equal parts soft and smoky, and smooth as fresh Wisconsin butter. It’s a warm and natural sound, absent of pretension and imbued with an honesty that affirms the beneficent nature of her music. Genevieve said it best herself – “I want to play music because people seem to like it, and that makes me happy.”
Tae & The Neighborly
Saturday, June 25 - 6:00 pm
Tae & The Neighborly, a Wisconsin based Soul-pop R&B group, found themselves playing music together in a very unconventional way. They were all neighbors, each one living alone on one floor of a five-story flat. Cake baking is a shared passion of the five member group, but in the sugar shortages early in the 2020 pandemic, they found themselves so continually knocking on each other’s doors asking for a single cup of sugar that a group decision was made to all move in together and share cake-baking resources. And since everyone knows all good rhythms begin in the kitchen, it wasn’t before long that the group began to write and perform together across the nation. Critics hail the group as “having more kick than a bagged-up mule” (Rotary Times) and their live show “…going down smoother than a can of [beans] warmed on the campfire” (Cowboy Gazette). All in all, if you are looking for a dense show that will give you more inspiration fuel for self lovin’, world changin’, and consideration havin’ meet them where the music is made to be shared.
Saturday, June 25 - 8:00 pm
Saturday 8:00pm – Main Stage
Rising from the forests and rivers of Central Wisconsin, Armchair Boogie’s high-energy take on the Jamgrass genre fuses intricate arrangements of acoustic guitar and banjo with the funky back beats of electric bass and drums.
Augie Dougherty (banjo, vocals) and Ben Majeska (guitar, vocals) started playing together in the fall of 2014 while attending the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, and within a year their musical collaborations led to the formation of Armchair Boogie. Eager to expand their sound for a bigger stage, Augie and Ben recruited bassist Eli Frieders and drummer Dan Waterman to fill out the band’s four-piece configuration.
Armchair Boogie solidified their current lineup in the spring of 2017 when Denzel Connor took over for a departing Dan Waterman on drums. In conjunction with the release of their debut, self-titled album, the band moved to Madison, WI, a jumping-off point from where Armchair Boogie has become a regular on the upper Midwest festival circuit while also sowing roots in the Rocky Mountains.
Sunday, June 26 - 1:00 pm
One of the fastest rising stars in Minnesota’s music scene, Nur-D burst onto the stage in 2018 and has been making headlines ever since. Performing on stages alongside national acts like Migos, Logic, Tyler The Creator, and The Wu Tang Clan, Nur-D is well on his way to becoming a household name and brings an explosion of energy every time he hits the stage.
Imagine the soulful sounds of Bruno Mars, the powerful energy of Lizzo, and the pop culture punchlines of an episode of “Community” all rolled up into a show that everyone can enjoy. Bring the entire family to the Main Stage on closing day of the Fair to enjoy Nur-D with his ten-piece band. Dancing shoes are highly encouraged.
We invite you to view Homemade Music, a local music platform that showcases talented musicians from the Midwest. We are proud to have teamed up with the platform’s creator, Alex Grant, to book a few of the artists new to the Fair. Check out Nur-D’s Homemade Music performance!