200 North Harbor Drive, Milwaukee, WI 53202, United States
GPS: 43.0331263, -87.8995192
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 2023, Summerfest celebrates its 55th 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 between 22nd June and 8th July.
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.