Justin Green lived in Austin, Texas, most of his life. He opened a music studio there, got married, and had two kids. But by 2016, the 31-year-old felt it was time to leave behind the heat, crowds, and costs of the state’s fast-growing capital.
He thought about Madison, Wisconsin, with its strong music scene. But bands kept telling Green to look further north, to Eau Claire. The town is known to indie music fans as the home of the Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival, a two-day event co-founded and curated by singer-songwriter Justin Vernon of the band Bon Iver, who grew up there. So Green and his wife paid a visit.