For as long as we can remember, January in the Midwest has been an absolute drag. It’s freezing cold, holiday traffic has turned the once-white snow to a drab, sloppy grey, are are no more holidays to look forward to, and there’s really no telling when the temperate weather will return. Things seem bleak.
That’s where FRZN Fest comes in. Since 2012, the multi-day festival (it began as two days, once got up to four, and now we’re settled for three) has been pulling music fans out of their winter slumps and into an uplifting and festive musical mecca, where they can hopefully forget about the seasonal monotony and grind for a few days.
The festival used to be held exclusively at High Noon Saloon, but 2018 will mark the first year it also occupies the Majestic Theatre, which is a very exciting prospect for future acts. Two venues means growth, and growth means more bands will take notice and more bands will want to play. That’s a win for fans, bands, and promoters alike.
Like the Madison scene in general, FRZN Fest has an honorable reputation for booking tastemakers and emerging artists; the emphasis on smaller acts has been one of the fest’s ethos since the start. The exciting part is many of those bands go onto explode into stardom shortly after: in 2012, Chairlift headlined the festival; in 2013, Chance the Rapper was an opener; 2014 was Nothing, Superchunk, and Diarrhea Planet, to name a few. With this reputation firmly in place, one can safely assume that even if they don’t already know many bands on the bill, they may very well end up finding their new favorite band(s) throughout the three days.
This year’s lineup looks to be as diverse as ever, with acts ranging from hip-hop (Shredders, Astronautalis, Charles Grant), to dreamy indie rock (Typhoon, Mimicking Birds), to groovy/dance new wave (Destroyer, Mega Bog), and just about everything in between. If you’re a fan of music in general, you already know Madison is a promising place to spend your time. If you’re a fan of a ton of music in one place (or if we’re counting by venues, two) in the Midwest in January, there’s no festival quite like FRZN Fest. FRZN Fest returns to Madison January 18th, 19th, and 20th, both at High Noon Saloon and Majestic Theatre.
Can’t wait until January?
Get your ears ready with these Spotify playlists.
PLAYLIST 1: DAY 1: Shredders, Astronautalis, Typhoon, and Mimicking Birds
PLAYLIST 2: DAY 2: Destroyer, Mega Bog, Rayland Baxter, Liz Cooper & The Stampede, and Bedouine
PLAYLIST 3: DAY 3: Hinds, Sløtface, Snail Mail, Stef Chura, POLIÇA, and Gus Dapperton
Half the fun of any experience is all the anticipation. Don’t wait (they WILL sell out), and get your tickets to FRZN Fest today! You can purchase 3-day passes for $50 (+fees and taxes)
Not sure you want to commit to the whole fest? That’s okay! Score individual show tickets below:
DAY 1: Thursday, January 18th
DAY 2: Friday, January 19th
DAY 3: Saturday, January 20th
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