Your guide to Milwaukee’s Summerfest 2024

Your Guide To The 2024 Summerfest In Milwaukee

Photo courtesy of Summerfest.

By Erin Yarnall

May 8, 2024

Between hitting the beach, grabbing a bite to eat, and simply enjoying the weather, there are few things better than summer in the Midwest. But one of the best parts about summer in Milwaukee? All the festivals — especially the city’s largest, Summerfest.

The nine-day festival, which has been held since the ’60s, takes over the city’s Henry Maier Festival Park each summer, bringing in the biggest names in music across every genre.

In this guide, we’ll answer all of your questions about Summerfest 2024.

What is Summerfest?

For decades, Summerfest, a massive music festival in downtown Milwaukee, has brought in countless performers and musicians to take to the festival’s many stages.

Summerfest owns the trademark for the World’s Largest Music Festival, and the huge Milwaukee festival certainly packs in a large crowd over its nine days, but the statement isn’t necessarily true. While Summerfest was named as the world’s largest music festival by Guinness World Records in 1999, it’s been eclipsed by festivals in Montreal, Morocco, and Austria in terms of the number of concertgoers.

That doesn’t take away from how massive Summerfest is — spanning over three weekends, with more than 175 artists performing on 13 stages. The festival, located on Milwaukee’s lakefront, is one of the city’s most important events every summer.

Your Guide To The 2024 Summerfest In Milwaukee

Photo courtesy of Summerfest.

Where is Summerfest?

Summerfest, the largest music festival in Milwaukee, takes place each year along the city’s downtown lakefront. Since 1970, the festival has been held at Henry Maier Festival Park, located at 200 North Harbor Drive.

However, it’s not the only festival that’s based in the 75-acre park. Each year, popular festivals like Irish Fest, Polish Fest, and German Fest are all held at Henry Maier Festival Park.

Your Guide To The 2024 Summerfest In Milwaukee

Photo courtesy of Summerfest.

When is Summerfest?

The festival takes place over three different weekends and runs for a total of nine days. The festival opens on June 20 and runs through June 22. It resumes on June 27 and runs through June 29. The festival’s final weekend starts on July 4 and ends July 6.

How many stages are there?

Summerfest has trademarked the nickname The World’s Largest Music Festival, so it only makes sense that there are plenty of stages at the festival. A general admission entrance ticket gives attendees access to 12 different stages that range in size.

Among the larger stages at the festival are the Miller Lite Oasis, which can accommodate more than 11,000 attendees; the Generac Power Stage, which can also accommodate approximately 11,000 attendees and also underwent renovations in 2021; and BMO Harris Pavilion, which can accommodate 10,000 concertgoers.

The festival is also home to the American Family Amphitheater, which was first opened in 1987. The amphitheater can hold up to 23,000 people, and is the stage where the festival’s main headliners perform. Concertgoers have to buy a separate, more expensive ticket to enter the amphitheater, but an amphitheater ticket also allows entry into the festival grounds.

Your Guide To The 2024 Summerfest In Milwaukee

Photo courtesy of Summerfest.

Who’s playing?

There’s more than 175 artists playing at Summerfest over the course of the festival’s nine days. This year, the festival’s American Family Amphitheater headliners consist of artists like Kane Brown, SZA, Illenium, Mötley Crüe, AJR, Tyler Childers, Keith Urban, Maroon 5 and Lil Uzi Vert. An additional ticket is needed to attend these headlining concerts.

Summerfest’s 12 additional stages will also see plenty of acts throughout the duration of the long-running festival. Some of the other performers that are playing over Summerfest’s three weekends include: Sleater-Kinney, Chase Rice, Baby Bash, the All-American Rejects, Taking Back Sunday, Goo Goo Dolls, Three Dog Night, Bryson Tiller, MUNA, Sleeping With Sirens, Del Water Gap, FLETCHER, jxdn, Jamila Woods, Metric, and REO Speedwagon, among many others.

The festival’s full lineup, which was announced in April, along with a day-to-day schedule, is available on its website.

How much are tickets?

General admission tickets, which allow attendees to enter the festival and access all areas of the festival, except for the American Family Amphitheater, cost $28 per day, and are general admission. Attendees can also purchase a three-day general admission pass for $62, or a nine-day general admission pass for $130.

Tickets to attend shows at the American Family Amphitheater range in prices based on where the seats are, and include entrance to the Summerfest grounds as well. There are also ticket and hotel packages for each weekend available on Summerfest’s website.

Your Guide To The 2024 Summerfest In Milwaukee

Photo courtesy of Summerfest.

How can I get there, and is there parking?

Most Summerfest attendees get to the festival grounds by car. The festival is easily accessible, and can be reached by exiting on any of the downtown, or lakefront expressway exits.

While there are parking lots within walking distance of the festival grounds all over the city, there’s also designated parking, which can be purchased in advance for $40 on Summerfest’s website. The festival provides accessible parking spaces in its Lot H. The festival also provides parking specifically for motorcycles near its Mid Gate. Motorcycle parking, which costs $15 per day, opens each day of the festival at 9 a.m.

Tailgating is not permitted in Summerfest’s official parking lots, and all parking is on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Driving isn’t the only way that concertgoers can get to Summerfest, though. The festival is also accessible through Milwaukee’s public transportation. The Milwaukee County Transit System operates shuttle buses throughout the duration of the festival. The buses run every 15 minutes from College Avenue, Brown Deer Park or Hales Corner Park, and cost $10 for riders ages 12 and up, and $5 for children 11 years old or younger, and seniors 65 and over. The shuttles are cashless, and riders pay upon arrival at Summerfest grounds.

Milwaukee also has several bus routes that will bring passengers to Summerfest grounds.

Your Guide To The 2024 Summerfest In Milwaukee

Photo courtesy of Summerfest.

What can I eat and drink?

There’s no problem if you walk into Summerfest with an empty stomach — each year, the festival has an impressive array of food and drink options lined up for concertgoers. Summerfest hasn’t unveiled its food and beverage lineup for 2024 yet, but it can be expected to contain items from numerous local restaurants, as it has in the past, as well as festival favorites, like funnel cake and popcorn vendors.

This year, the festival has partnered with Pepsi to be the soft drink provider throughout the festival grounds.

Can I reenter?

While many festivals don’t allow attendees to exit and reenter once their tickets have been scanned, Summerfest runs a bit differently. The festival opens at 12 p.m. each day, and attendees can exit and then reenter the festival grounds once until 7 p.m. After 7 p.m., no re-entry is allowed. If attendees want to reenter, they have to obtain a wristband, which are available at all of the festival’s gate areas from 12 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. every day.

Your Guide To The 2024 Summerfest In Milwaukee

Photo courtesy of Summerfest.

What else is there to do at Summerfest?

It’s not just musicians that perform each year at Summerfest. For one thing, there’s plenty of entertainment for kids at the festival’s Northwestern Mutual Community Park. The area, which includes a playground area, green space, sensory rooms, and nursing mothers stations, also features a stage with child-focused entertainment happening throughout the festival.

There are other activities for adults, too. The festival has dedicated shopping areas, showcasing items like artwork, clothing and accessories. For a unique view of the festival, attendees can hop on its SkyGlider — a seated lift that nearly spans the length of the festival grounds. A one-way ride on the SkyGlider costs $6, while a round-trip costs $10.

Another perk? The festival also has events like a fireworks display on the 4th of July, and Latin Music Day.

What else should I know?

Summerfest may no longer hold the title of the largest music festival in the world — a festival in Austria attracted more than three million attendees in 2016 —but it’s still an impressive festival. Spanning nine days, with more than 100 different artists of numerous genres, it is a highlight of summertime in Milwaukee.

Additional information about the festival can be found on the Summerfest’s website and app.

This article first appeared on Good Info News Wire and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.Your guide to Milwaukee's Summerfest 2024Your guide to Milwaukee's Summerfest 2024

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