Nothing says “SUMMER” quite like the beach. And yet Milwaukee’s beaches can feel strangely underutilized during the summer months. Sure, Bradford Beach is loaded with volleyball players and random sunbathers, but where’s the live music? Where are the local food vendors? Where are the “gargantuan fluorescent tentacles”?

Enter ArtBlaze On The Beach, a new (free!) beach party series that will bring live music, local food vendors, and, yes, “gargantuan fluorescent tentacles” to Bradford Beach and South Shore Beach. The series, produced by public art group Joy Engine, is set for four Wednesdays in July and August.

“In the city of festivals, our public beaches have been historically underutilized as a site for celebration,” says Steph Salvia, Joy Engine Executive Director, in a press release. “Yet when searching for a site that naturally brings people from all walks of life, including residents of the deep lake, our public beaches seem like an obvious choice.”

Here’s the schedule and individual lineups. Each installment will also include “food vendors, tie-dying by Spun.Out Dyes, hands-on art experiences with Arts@Large and Artists Working in Education, dance lessons, open yoga sessions, and make-your-own s’mores stations.” Oh, and “tentacle viewing,” because there are totally going to be 30-foot “handmade, fluorescent cephalopod tentacles” created by FuzzPop Workshop at these things.

Wednesday, July 10; 3:30-10 p.m. @ Bradford Beach

• Trapper Schoepp, 3:30-4:30 p.m.
• Roxie Beane, 5-6:15 p.m.
• Hip-hop by Your Move MKE, 6:30-7 p.m.
• Wave Chapelle, 7:15-8 p.m.
• Live DJ sets by DJ D-On, DJ Shortstyle, and DJ E Rich with a complimentary “choose your DJ” silent disco for up to 200 people, 8-9:30 p.m.

Wednesday, July 31; 3:30-10 p.m. @ South Shore Beach

• Lil Rev, 3:30-5 p.m.
• Open session with MKE Yoga Social, 4:45-5:45 p.m.
• Tigera Band, 6:15-7:45 p.m.
• Karlies Kelly “How to Salsa,” 7:45-8:15 p.m.
• De La Buena, 8:45-9:30 p.m.

Wednesday, August 7; 3:30-10 p.m. @ South Shore Beach

• The Kid Boogie Down with DJ Lukewarm, 3:30-4:30 p.m.
• Hale o Malo, 5-6 p.m.
• Undercover Organism, 6:30-7:45 p.m.
• Urban Empress, 8:15-9:30 p.m.

Wednesday, August 21; 3:30-10 p.m. @ Bradford Beach
For the ultimate sandcastle experience, visitors may join internationally acclaimed sand sculptor Ted Siebert in constructing a giant sea creature.

• Girls Rock Showcase, 3:30-4:30 p.m.
• Open session with MKE Yoga Social, 4:45-5:45 p.m.
• DJ Kenny Perez, 6-6:30 p.m.
• Gego y Nony, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
• The Sparkle and Burn Fire Show, 7:45-8:15 p.m.
• DJ Shawna 8:30-9:30 p.m.

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Milwaukee Record’s 2024 guide to summer festivals, fairs, music series, more

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Co-Founder and Editor

Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.