Start: 2 September 2021
12:00
End: 18 September 2021
00:00

Address

200 North Harbor Drive, Milwaukee, WI 53202, United States

GPS: 43.0331263, -87.8995192

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Emblematic of the city of Milwaukee, Summerfest is considered the largest music festival in the world. The event was founded in 1968 by the mayor of the largest city in the state of Wisconsin, Henry Maier, who wanted a festival for everyone. It is organized by the Milwaukee World Festival, a non-profit organisation run by volunteers.

Summerfest has been centrally located since 1970 on the grounds of Henry Maier Festival Park. In the past, this site was home of the former Maitland Airport (opened in 1927) and the place of the installation of Nike missiles during the Cold War (in the 1950s). The Henry Maier Festival Park is close to downtown Milwaukee and the central business district.

During 11 days of festivities, a thousand performances, shows and concerts take place on 12 music stages spread over 30 hectares. A total of 800 musical groups including international headliners, young talent and local artists perform before a crowd of 750,000 participants.

Covering a wide variety of musical genres, Summerfest enjoys a privileged setting on the shores of Lake Michigan. In addition to music concerts, there are theatres, entertainment and playgrounds for children.

In 2021, Summerfest celebrates its 53rd edition. It does not take place over two weeks from the end of June to the beginning of July as in the past, but over three consecutive weekends in September, from Thursday to Saturday (September 2 to 4, September 9 to 11 and September 16 to 18).

The highlight of the show takes place in the American Family Insurance Amphitheatre (formerly known as the Marcus Amphitheatre), which is the festival’s largest stage. Renovated in 2019 at a cost of over $50 million, this site has a capacity of 23,000 and hosts the world’s biggest music industry stars.

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  • The opportunity to choose from 800 artists and 1,000 shows (uninterrupted music from noon to midnight during each day of the festival)
  • The multitude of services offered during the festival (food, drinks, sports activities, musical experiences, shows, children’s areas, sale of merchandise and souvenirs…)
  • The pleasant environment and setting of Lake Michigan
  • The former mayor of the city of Milwaukee was inspired to create a music-themed festival on a similar scale while visiting the Oktoberfest in Munich.
  • The title of “world’s largest music festival”, was awarded to Summerfest by the Guinness World Records in 1999. The festival was first held a year before Woodstock (1968).
  • Private spaces exist to host family reunions, corporate incentive or reward trips, birthday parties or personal events (costs optional).
  • The 2020 edition of Summerfest has been cancelled for the first time in its 53-year history due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Allow a sufficient margin of safety when travelling within the City of Milwaukee to reach the festival site on time. Summerfest is a 10-minute drive from Milwaukee’s General Mitchell International Airport.
  • Camping is not permitted on or near the site. A parking space can be reserved in advance near Henry Maier Festival Park (additional cost).
  • Wristbands for leaving and re-entering the festival grounds are distributed free of charge at the entrance gates (from 12:00 to 18:30). Only one re-entry is tolerated per day (no re-entry possible after 7pm).
  • Only small backpacks and handbags are allowed (smaller than 22 x 25 x 30 cm) inside the festival perimeter.
  • If you plan to spend a whole day on site, remember to bring water and sun cream.
  • If you haven’t booked your tickets in advance, be careful. Buy your tickets only at authorized sales points such as the Summerfest box office, the official website of the festival and Ticketmaster (counterfeit tickets are sold at the festival entrances).
  • Purchasing an admission ticket grants access to all Summerfest stages (from noon to midnight) with the exception of the American Family Insurance Amphitheater (formerly Marcus Amphitheater) which requires a special ticket (the latter includes admission to the festival). Multi-day tickets and premium terrace seating are also available for purchase.
  • The list of products allowed and prohibited on the Summerfest festival can be found here

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