FLOTSAM is a troupe of musicians, puppeteers, and circus artists who travel on a ramshackle raft giving free performances in riverfront towns along the way. During the tour, our boat is our mode of …
FLOTSAM is a troupe of musicians, puppeteers, and circus artists who travel on a ramshackle raft giving free performances in riverfront towns along the way. During the tour, our boat is our mode of transit, our home, and also our stage. This summer we are bringing our whimsical craft down the Mississippi River all the way from Minneapolis to St. Louis.
Inspired by the American showboat tradition and other modern floating art projects, Flotsam is captained by accordion troubadour Jason Webley. The crew is made up of internationally renowned artists joining us from everywhere from New York City to Tĳuana, Mexico. In 2019, thousands came to see us on our inaugural voyage down Oregon's Willamette River. We followed this with trips through the waterways around Seattle in 2021 and down the Sacramento River into San Francisco Bay in 2022.
This summer we are finally realizing our dream of undertaking a longer tour on a much bigger river. Our Mississippi trip takes us through five states and over 650 river miles. Along the way we will give more than thirty performances in Minneapolis, Saint Paul, La Crosse, Dubuque, the Quad Cities, Quincy, Saint Louis, and dozens of small towns in between. Plans for future trips include the Ohio River, the Hudson River, the Missouri, the Illinois, and more. We eventually hope to take the project to the rivers and canals of Europe and beyond.
“This group of nine has embarked on a seemingly Huck Finn inspired journey on a homemade raft for three weeks to entertain the masses along the river.” -Willamette Weekly
“The folks of Flotsam chose a path much less travelled they are a floating circus on a handmade pontoon boat, and they are making their way down the Willamette River.” - WNYC’s Think Out Loud
“It’s totally worth trying to catch this wild rumpus, this children’s book come alive and afloat — for the songs and silliness, for the eight-breasted evil mermaid and for the surprisingly moving acrobatic scene at the end that ferried me entirely away from worries and into that rare sea called wonder.” -Crosscut
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There will be a performance in Hastings on Monday, August 7, at 6:00 p.m. at Levee Park.