The list of musicians who have performed at Higher Ground—which opened in South Burlington, Vermont, in 1998—transcends the bounds of genre and generation in the way that any self-respecting indie concert venue should.
You’ve got your Modest Mouse and your Thundercat, your Fleet Foxes and your Mountain Goats. Big Freedia and Big Thief have both graced the stage; so have Al Green and “Weird Al” Yankovic. The place has also played host to two of the three members of supergroup boygenius (Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus, though not together), as well as Bonnie Raitt, Tenacious D, and Busta Rhymes (also not together).
For most of the acts, there’s a silkscreen concert poster to match, produced through a partnership with two other Burlington-based creative organizations: graphic design firm Solidarity of Unbridled Labour and nonprofit printmaking studio Iskra Print Collective. But Higher Ground doesn’t actually sell the posters—instead, they’re passed out free of charge to audience members who stick around for long enough to nab one.
To celebrate its 25th birthday this year, Higher Ground is publishing ECHO: A Survey at 25 Years of Sound, Art, and Ink on Paper, a 10-inch-by-10-inch coffee table book filled with 367 poster designs commemorating many of Higher Ground’s most memorable guests, from Bob Dylan to Wu Tang Clan to Maggie Rogers. In addition to the images, the book also features interviews with leaders of the tri-org collaboration and a foreword by Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy.
“Concert posters are as close as one can get to the solid evidence that we all crave—proof that what happens when we create is beyond the scope of the individual work,” Tweedy writes.
The purchase even comes with the promise that you’re pouring your money right back into Vermont’s arts community: Proceeds benefit Iskra Print Collective. ECHO goes on sale April 1, and you can pre-order it for $59.50 here.