Summerfest: Milwaukee World Festival
Review by Dan Locke
Photos by Coren McLead
Summerfest attendance hit 831,769 people in 2017, according to results released by Milwaukee World Festival Inc. The attendance figure represented a 3.4% boost from 2016. Nearly 115,935 people — entered the grounds through free daily admission promotion offers.It marks two years of consecutive attendance growth for Summerfest, despite heavy rain on opening day of the 2017 festival.

Summerfest celebrated this historic milestone locally and internationally. Here are some of the highlights of the 50th edition:

  • For the first time in fest history, Summerfest announced its ground stage lineup on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!. In addition, streamed musical performances and festival highlights to viewers worldwide throughout the 11-day run of Summerfest.
  • 50 Days of Summerfest – Summerfest made the most of the 50 days leading up to the festival with various activities throughout the community, including Picnics in the Park hosted by American Family Insurance, NEWaukee Night Market, Milwaukee Art Museum After Dark, and more.
  • Fan For Life – wrapping up the 2017 festival on July 9h, Summerfest awarded lifetime Summerfest tickets, as well as hundreds of other prizes, to thank the community and fans for their loyalty and support.  30,000 general admission tickets to Summerfest 2018 were also distributed.
  • Summerfest 50 – a retrospective exhibit, sponsored by Pick ‘n Save, showcased five decades of the festival and was developed in partnership with Milwaukee County Historical Society. A traveling Summerfest historical exhibit was also on display at various Pick ‘n Save locations and libraries, and a large exhibit was installed on the grounds during Summerfest.
  • Summerfest 50 Commemorative Book – “50 Years of Smiles” – featuring photos of renowned artists that appeared over the past 50 years and the evolution of the festival.

“As our 50th edition comes to a close, we want to thank all of our fans, sponsors, volunteers, vendors and staff who celebrated with us,” Don Smiley, Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. President and CEO, said in a press release. “Looking ahead, we will continue to make significant improvements ensuring a world-class fan experience for all visiting Summerfest, the ethnic festivals, and all events at Henry Maier Festival Park



Highly Suspect


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