Every (non-pandemic) Milwaukee summer has one of those days—a day when it seems approximately 8,000 music festivals, block parties, food fests, and other shindigs are happening at once. For Milwaukee Summer 2023, that day is Saturday, June 17.

Here’s a brief guide to this sure-to-be-zany day. And we’re probably missing a bunch of stuff! Enjoy, Milwaukee! Stay safe! Have fun! Here’s hoping it’s not 48 degrees!

Lakefront Festival of Art @ Milwaukee Art Museum (June 16-18)
Following a three-year pandemic pause, the ever-popular Lakefront Festival of Art will return to the grounds of the Milwaukee Art Museum this weekend. As always, the festival will showcase “the work of 120 artists from across the nation selected by an expert jury that evaluated the beauty, creativity, and technical virtuosity of their paintings, ceramics, textiles, metalwork, jewelry, sculpture, and more.” Food, drink, and family-friendly art projects will also be involved. The fest begins Friday (that’s today!, and will run through Sunday. Find more information HERE.

Summer Soulstice Music Festival @ North & Farwell
When the ever-popular Summer Soulstice Music Festival takes over the East Side this Saturday from noon until midnight, it will come complete with three stages, a stunningly good local music lineup (Collections Of Colonies Of Bees! NileXNile! Bug Moment! More!) and an all-day Black Cat Alley DJ/dance party. As always, oodles of food, drink, arts and crafts, vendors, an Adventure Rock climbing wall, and mini-golf from Nine Below will also be part of the summertime block party mix. The action will run from noon until midnight. Find the musical lineup for the three stages, plus the DJ lineup for Black Cat Alley, HERE. And yes, Milwaukee Record is a proud media sponsor of the Ivanhoe Stage.

Kind Oasis 3-Year Anniversary Festival @ Kind Oasis
As Summer Soulstice Music Festival rings in the season a block away, East Side CBD and Delta 8/9 purveyor Kind Oasis will celebrate its third anniversary. Happy anniversary, Kind! From 12-8 p.m., the business’ so-called “Jaguar Alley” beside the store will host a winning blend of live music (Browns Crew!), food (Twisted Plants!), drinks (Hemptails!), and other fully legal goodies. And yes, there will also be plenty of Milwaukee Record gummies available for purchase! Whether you’re looking for something to spice up your Summer Soulstice experience or you’re seeking a summer festival with a twist, make your way to Kind Oasis and have a nice time. Find more information HERE.

Southland Tales + Rebekah Del Rio @ Oriental Theatre
As Summer Soulstice Music Festival rings in the season immediately outside the door, East Side movie palace Oriental Theatre will host a special 7 p.m. screening of Richard Kelly’s wildly ambitious, wildly bizarre, and just plain wild 2006 film Southland Tales. The gonzo sci-fi follow-up to Donnie Darko involves (among other things) “an action star stricken with amnesia (The Rock), an adult film star developing her own reality television project (Sarah Michelle Gellar), and a Hermosa Beach police officer who holds the key to a vast conspiracy (Justin Timberlake).” Oh! And not only will Kelly be on hand for a post-film Q&A, singer Rebekah Del Rio (who appears in the film, as well as in Mulholland Drive and the third season of Twin Peaks) will perform before the film. Wow! General admission tickets are $20. And yes, Milwaukee Record is a proud media sponsor of the event.

Brady Street Art Walk @ Brady Street
And there’s more action just a few blocks away! From 12-4 p.m., the Brady Street Art Walk will feature live art and kid-friendly activities, all located on the sidewalks of the vibrant East Side street. Brady Street BID has assembled an eclectic and impressive cast of close to 30 artists for this one-day experience, including painters, blacksmiths, sculptors, jewelry makers, leather makers, potters, and ceramic specialists who will be creating new works live and in front of onlookers. There will also be a wall set up for kids to throw paint-filled water balloons and help create a collaborative art piece. Fun! Find more information HERE.

Milwaukee Taco Fest @ Henry Maier Festival Park
The ninth annual Milwaukee Taco Fest will feature more than just a bunch of folks scarfing down tacos either during the lunch shift (11 a.m. – 3 p.m.) or the dinner shift (4-8 p.m.) The South Gate portion of the Summerfest grounds (or Henry Maier Festival Park, if you’re nasty) will also be alive with entertainment from Bars & Rec (karaoke, shuffleboard, bags), Mondo Lucha wrestling, and a Chihuahua beauty pageant. The tacos, meanwhile, will be provided by vendors like Jalisco’s, Chucho’s, Romero’s, Azteca, and others. Find more information HERE.

Wisconsin Beer Lovers Festival @ Bayshore
A beer festival! In Wisconsin! What else do you need to know! Well, this year’s Wisconsin Beer Lovers Festival will take place at Bayshore from 1-5 p.m. There’ll be live music throughout the afternoon, designated driver and shuttle services, and—oh yeah!—more than 50 craft breweries from across the state pouring out samples of their brews! Day-of general admission tickets are $75. Find more information HERE.

Milwaukee Hardcore Summer Jam Vol. 2 @ X-Ray Arcade
Meanwhile, over in Cudahy, hardcore haven X-Ray Arcade will host the second installment of its all-ages Milwaukee Hardcore Summer Jam. A free BBQ and pop-up market will start things off at noon; the music will begin at 3 p.m. Who’s providing the music? Bands like Infamy, Enervate, Mind Harvester, Zero Function, Peroxide, Chalk, and many more. Tickets are $15 before the first band, and $20 after that. Get there early, hardcore folks!

Gametime @ The Park @ The New State
If you’re looking for something a little more low-key, head over to The New State—a.k.a. the still-redeveloping State Theater—for an afternoon of chess from hip-hop chess club YourMoveMKE, board games, a makers market, food trucks, free ice cream, and a musical performance from the incomparable Klassik. The Gametime @ The Park event will take place at The New State Music Park from 1-5 p.m. Find more information about The New State HERE.


Ayre In The Square: Okay Omen + Clementine, Erin Krebs, Ben Wagner @ Catalano Square

South Shore Farmers Market @ South Shore Park

Salute To Hip Hop: MC Lyte + Big Daddy Kane @ The Riverside Theater

Circle Jerks + Descendents, Adolescents @ The Rave/Eagles Club

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Milwaukee Record’s 2023 guide to summer festivals, fairs, music series, more