A new year represents new beginnings, new opportunities, and new ways that things can crash and burn and leave us begging to shuffle off this mortal coil once and for all. BUT LET’S NOT FOCUS ON THAT LAST BIT. Instead, let’s follow the advice of that old Hold Steady song and stay positive! Using our site’s seven main categories at guides (Music, City Life, Food/Drink, Comedy, Film, Arts, Sports), let’s talk about some Milwaukee things we can look forward to in 2023!
Throw a stone during any given week in Milwaukee and you’ll hit a metric ton of terrific shows from both national and local artists. (Be sure to check out our weekly “Record Recommended” roundup to stay in the loop.) For big national acts, it doesn’t get much bigger than Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band (March 7 at Fiserv Forum); Lizzo (May 16 at Fiserv Forum); Janet Jackson (May 28 at American Family Insurance Amphitheater); P!nk (August 14 at American Family Field); and Shania Twain (October 31 at Fiserv Forum). Meanwhile, the Pabst Theater Group’s MKE Music Nights at The Back Room @ Colectivo will continue to highlight stellar local acts. Look for fantastic Milwaukee group Bug Moment to release its highly anticipated full-length album, The Flying Toad Circus, at The Back Room on March 18.
Also, construction on that FPC Live/Live Nation/Ticketmaster/Deer District two-room concert venue is expected to begin in 2023, with an opening date tentatively set for 2024. Your “looking-forward-to” mileage may vary on that one.
Twenty-twenty-three feels like it’s going to be a consequential year for the City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County, doesn’t it? Cavalier Johnson will settle into his first full year as mayor, the city will prep for the 2024 Republican National Convention (see the above YMMV line), and a slew of new developments and pedestrian-friendly infrastructure changes will come to fruition. And holy crap, after nearly a decade of talking about it, starting task forces about it, and pissing away money on it, the County will actually figure out what to do with the Domes! In July. Maybe.
Meanwhile, both the City and County MUST come up with a way to wiggle out from under the boot of a certain political party (and party leader) that won’t allow them to raise much-needed revenue to address their impending fiscal crises. “Without a solution,” a recent op-ed from Marcelia Nicholson and Jose G. Perez reads, “the City of Milwaukee will be required to eliminate 25 percent of its workforce by 2025. Milwaukee County will be unable to fund any non-mandated services—including parks, cultural institutions, and transit by 2027.”
Is there any doubt that Milwaukee’s food scene will continue to thrive in 2023? New places will open, thousands of new places will pop up in the city’s food halls, and a few new food halls will pop up, too. As for drinks, we’re excited about the city’s growing embrace of all things non-alcoholic. The n/a Counter Day Bar will open at Crossroads Collective in February, and, oh yeah, WE’RE ORGANIZING AN N/A FESTIVAL THIS SATURDAY AT THE COOPERAGE. Tickets are available now!
We fully expect the homegrown Milwaukee Comedy Festival to return this fall (ditto with our popular “Roast Of Milwaukee“), but until then, Milwaukee can enjoy the comedic stylings of folks like David Spade (January 15 at The Pabst Theater); Tim Allen (February 24 at the Miller High Life Theatre); Katt Williams (March 10 at the Miller High Life Theatre); Nate Bargatze (April 29 at The Riverside Theater); David Cross (May 11 at Turner Hall Ballroom); Samantha Bee (May 13 at The Pabst Theater); and Trevor Noah (November 3-4 at The Riverside Theater). UuuRUeughh!
We’ve said it 8,000 times before and we’ll say it again: we love the Milwaukee Film Festival. This year’s fest will take place April 20 – May 4, 2023. We’re told that while there may be some digital screenings (similar to 2022’s hybrid festival, not to mention the all-virtual 2020 and 2021 installments), the emphasis in 2023 will be on getting people out to the theater—namely the gorgeous, recently renovated Oriental Theatre.
Beyond MFF, Milwaukee Film’s year-round programming looks to remain top-notch. Expect plenty of great screenings for Black History Month (including The Last Dragon February 4 at the Oriental), as well as great screenings of stone-cold classics (do NOT miss The Third Man February 12 at the Oriental).
We’re going to stretch the definition of “Arts” to include one of our favorite art forms: VIDEO GAMES. (Apologies to the ghost of Roger Ebert.) Yes, the always awesome Midwest Gaming Classic is set to return to the downtown Wisconsin Center March 31 – April 2. Attendees will once again be able to enjoy more than 150,000 square feet of arcade machines, pinball machines, retro gaming consoles, computers, tabletop RPGs and board games, card games, and much more. Until the big weekend arrives, be sure to check out MGC’s Instagram for an ever-growing lineup of panelists and speakers; for folks like us who are unnaturally excited to meet, say, the dude who runs the LGR YouTube channel, MGC 2023 is going to be huge.
The never-ending thrill of the Milwaukee Bucks and Bucks MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo! The never-ending thrill of the Milwaukee Brewers and that Brewers restaurant that finally has a name! The name of Milwaukee’s new USL Championship soccer team! ANOTHER YEAR OF UECKER. Happy 2023, Milwaukee!
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