World’s Largest Music Festival in Milwaukee Runs June 29-July 3 and July 5-10
Summerfest – or The Big Gig, as it is known locally – is a summer institution in Milwaukee, a huge event that attracts 850,000 people. It’s a mecca of music, ranging from contemporary to country, rock, pop, alternative, reggae, R&B. It’s more versatile than Aaron Rodgers.
In all, there are a staggering 700 bands. They play on an equally astonishing 11 stages.
In this part of the country, Summerfest is more than a music festival.
It’s a happening.
The lineup for 2011 includes Peter Gabriel with the New Blood Orchestra, Toby Keith with special guest Eric Church, Kid Rock with special guests Sheryl Crow and Leroy Powell and The Messengers, Def Leppard with special guest Heart, The Black Keys with special guests Florence + The Machine and Cage the Elephant, Katy Perry with special guest Marina and The Diamonds, Britney Spears with special guest Nicki Minaj and Sugarland with special guest Sara Bareilles.
And that’s just on the main stage, the 23,000-seat Marcus Amphitheater.
So the lineup is a strong as ever, but the big news for 2011 is that for the first time in memory, Summerfest is going dark for the Fourth of July. Milwaukee County has several fireworks on the 4th in these parks (starts at 9:15 p.m.): Alcott Park, Gordon Park, Humboldt Park, Jackson Park, Lake Park, Lincoln Park, Mitchell Park, Noyes Park. So there’s plenty of patriotic spark in the area on that day.
Summerfest does have a fireworks celebration of its own, and it takes place Sunday, July 3, at 9:25 p.m.
In addition to the music, Summerfest features 45 vendors, including PubClub.com correspondent Luau Larry’s favorite, the Lienie Lodge. (It’s one of several tents that serves beer.)
Tickets are just $15 ($8 Wednesdays before 4 p.m.) and there is a “3 for $33” deal which is good for any three days.
For tickets, visit the official Summerfest website.