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  • Matthew Kenagy

Summerfest: A Midwest Music Party Like No Other


Growing up in Wisconsin, I lived for Summer. The grey and cold temperatures always loomed longer than we all thought they should, and Memorial Day through Labor Day was pure bliss. It was a time to enjoy the sunshine, catch some great Brewers baseball, and hang out with friends on the various lakefronts. But, nothing was as fun as the ultimate party of the Summer: Summerfest.

Summerfest is an annual tradition in Milwaukee that dates back to 1968. Held at the Henry Maier Festival Park, it's home to 12 stages with over 1,000 music performances over the course of the 11 day festival from late June to early July. It's home to great Milwaukee eats, a ton of beer, but more importantly, a ton of great music.


No matter what your taste in music, you can find it on one of the many stages that are dedicated to a specific genre. No matter what your taste, you can find a stage with all-day performances from Rap to Rock, from Country to Heavy Metal, and everything in between. Major headliners take the stage at night, with the biggest stage being the American Family Amphitheater seating over 20,000 fans. This year, the stage will play host to Green Day, Fall Out Boy, Weezer, Luke Bryan, Chance the Rapper, the Jonas Brothers, Chris Stapleton, Kelsea Ballerini, the Zac Brown Band, Megan Thee Stallion, and many more.


My favorite night by far at Summerfest is the first night, when the Big Bang takes place. The Big Bang is a massive fireworks show on the lakefront that rivals most major market 4th of July fireworks - it's a show not to be missed.


Summerfest was cancelled for the first time in it's history last year due to Covid 19, but it's roaring back in 2021 with a delayed start date of September 1. Given the progress of vaccinations and immunity, it could be the "party to end all parties" this year as everyone looks to exit their year long quarantines in search of live event experiences. Tickets start at $23 for a single-day pass or $57 for a multi-day pass. Passes do not include tickets to major headliners on the American Family Amphitheater stage. For more information, visit www.summerfest.com.


Even though I'm a long-time Nevada resident now, I'm hoping to make it back again for the biggest party of the Summer! What about you? What activities are you looking forward to this Summer that you have been missing during the Pandemic?



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