It’s been less than 10 years since a group of friends realized Milwaukee’s 414 area code had a striking resemblance to the numerals in April 14 (or 4/14) and turned that laughable coincidence into a full-blown local holiday. Since its unlikely outset, “Milwaukee Day” has resulted in an official mayoral proclamation, a founder getting to throw out a first pitch before a Brewers game, an abundance of civic-centered specials offered by area businesses, a formidable hashtag, a cameo on Jeopardy!, and the inspiration for a beer.
The holiday has also become a day to celebrate local music, the wealth of music and comedy venues, and the creative spirit that helps make Milwaukee a special place to call home. To help you celebrate Milwaukee Day to the best of your ability, Milwaukee Record has rounded up a ton of events, specials, and more that will make the latest civic celebration one for the ages.
Tigernite + Midwest Death Rattle, and Zed Kenzo @ Company Brewing
Join Milwaukee Record at Company Brewing for the official Milwaukee Day Showcase. There, pints of Company Brewing’s new Milwaukee Day Lager will be available for $4 all night long. We’ve done our part by assembling an all-star cast of some of the city’s finest musicians. Celebrate Milwaukee Day with performances by Tigernite, Midwest Death Rattle, and Zed Kenzo. Tickets to the show—sponsored by Gruber Law Offices and WMSE—are on sale now.
Lex Allen (album release) @ Cactus Club
Adding to the Milwaukee Day fun is Lex Allen, who will use the holiday as an occasion to release his long-awaited Saints & Sinners. Special guests, DJ DRiPSweat, Max Holiday, and DJ Lotusmark will also be on hand to keep the spirits high for this local celebration that doubles as a record release show.
Devil Met Contention + Paper Holland @ Boone & Crockett
Before Boone & Crockett moves to Walker’s Point, the Bay View cocktail bar will go out in style with an impressive doubleheader of Milwaukee bands. After Paper Holland performs for just the second time in 2018, Devil Met Contention will take Boone’s small stage one final time to give the beloved bar a proper sendoff.
Vincent VanGreat + Kareem City, and Yogie B & Keez @ The Tonic Tavern
Speaking of Bay View bars with limited capacity and stacked bills, Tonic Tavern will host a Breaking & Entering showcase with Vincent VanGreat, the fittingly-named Kareem City, and Yogie B & Keez.
Zach Pietrini + Buffalo Gospel @ Cedarburg Cultural Center
The local celebration extends all the way to Cedarburg, as Zach Pietrini and Buffalo Gospel will bring their Milwaukee-made material across county lines to play a potent two-act show at Cedarburg Cultural Center.
Midwest Gaming Classic @ Wisconsin Center
In 2001, two guys started a small show “to celebrate the Atari Jaguar” at a Boy Scout Service Center that drew about 100 gaming enthusiasts. Since that unheralded outset, the event—which was later named Midwest Gaming Classic—has ballooned in popularity and has taken over virtually every square inch of the Brookfield Sheraton for three days every April. After more than 10,000 gamers, pinball nuts, tabletop competitors, and cosplayers milled around the suburban hotel last year, the organizers made the bold decision to bring the Classic to downtown Milwaukee this year. The move to the Wisconsin Center gives Midwest Gaming Classic more than double the space, which means there’s more room for game play, vendors, and entertainment. It’s the same MGC you know and love, except there much more of it and its way closer to come.
Ashface @ Times Cinema
Start the Milwaukee Day fun early with a noon screening of a locally-shot horror film. Times Cinema will host the premiere of Ashface, a movie about a serial killer with a split personality. Prepare yourself for masks and murder with Milwaukee ties.
Yoga @ Oriental Theatre
Speaking of unique stuff happening at Milwaukee movie houses, Outdoor Yoga Milwaukee will take things indoors for a special holiday class at Oriental Theatre. Advance tickets to the one-hour session are available now.
Lupinare + Camel Toe Truck, ZöR, Size 5’s, The Grovelers, Dick Satan Trio, They GuanUs, and Panic On Panic @ The Bottle
Billing itself “We Are Milwaukee,” this eight-hour micro-festival features an array of bands with a range of styles. Listen to metal, punk, hardcore, surf rock, and reggae in one building.
The Fainting Room + Layers&Layers, and Lyric Advisory Board @ Linneman’s Riverwest Inn
Linneman’s Riverwest Inn holds a special place in Riverwest and in Milwaukee music as a whole. Thankfully, this Locust Street hub will get in on the Milwaukee Day fun with a three-band bill that’s headed up by The Fainting Room.
First Five with Hasenpfeffer @ Mojo Dojo
What’s more Milwaukee than comedy in a brewery? Okay, there are probably lots of things, but Mojo Dojo will pair laughter and lager in its First Five improv show Saturday night. You can up the ante by purchasing Mojo’s “414” shirt, which is inspired by the city’s second best flag.
Milwaukee Makers Market @ Discovery World
Support area artists, crafters, and makers at Milwaukee Makers Market. Locally made (and oftentimes locally-themed) items will be for sale on Milwaukee’s lakefront. Bring the whole family!
Kenilworth Open Studios @ UWM Peck School of the Arts
“Explore Kenilworth Square East—a 6-floor, 500,000-square-foot, industrial artist studio space home to over 100 award-winning graduate students and faculty of UWM’s Peck School of the Arts. Watch live art in the making. Experience four hours of art exhibitions & film screenings; live performances; demonstrations and hands-on activities for all ages.”
The MilBillies, Area Jazz Band, and Lee’s Cash & Carry @ Riverwest Public House
After Riverwest Public House’s Spring Clothing Swap concludes that afternoon, the stage will be set for a Milwaukee Day show that will double as a benefit concert for the cooperative Riverwest bar.
Big Bob’s B-Day Bash with Putrid Pile + Micawker, 40 oz Fist, Minimum Wage Assassins, and Disgrunt @ Club Garibaldi
Even if you don’t know Big Bob, he’s probably the sort of guy who’d let you into his birthday bash to enjoy tunes from Putrid Pile, Micawker, 40 oz Fist, Minimum Wages Assassins, and Disgrunt. Happy birthday, Big Bob, whomever you are.
STOMP @ Pabst Theater
We now reach the point of events with little local relevance that just so happen to be occurring on April 14. Pabst Theater is easily the most gorgeous venue in the city, and likely on the short list in the country as a whole. Take in the unconventional sounds of STOMP in the historic venue at one of the touring show’s two Saturday performances. There will be shows at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness & Friends @ The Rave
We know a few thousand Milwaukeeans will be celebrating Milwaukee Day at The Rave. This Andrew McMahon show is already sold out, so we hope you got your tickets in time. If not, scroll up or down for some backup plans.
Jimmie J.J. Walker @ Potawatomi Hotel & Casino’s Northern Lights Theater
Good Times favorite Jimmie J.J. Walker will be offering some comic relief to counter the abundance of music this Saturday. You can catch one of two “DYNAMITE” performances, with shows scheduled for 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.
Houndmouth + Frederick The Younger @ Turner Hall
Indiana alternative blues outfit Houndmouth will swing by historic Turner Hall Ballroom with Frederick The Younger playing in support.
John Sebastian @ The Back Room at Colectivo
The founding member of The Lovin’ Spoonful and the voice you surely recognize from “Do You Believe In Magic?” and “Summer In The City” will play an intimate outing at Colectivo’s Back Room performance space.
An Evening With Neal Morse @ Shank Hall
If John Sebastian isn’t your thing, you can spend and evening with singer-songwriter Neal Morse down the road at Shank Hall.
Milwaukee Day Specials
Get free museum admission Saturday by wearing clothing with the word “Milwaukee” on it and take advantage of drink specials and live music at the museum’s on-site restaurant, Motor.
The folks at Historic Milwaukee honor the city’s past and ever-changing present identity all year long, but things are even better on April 14. In association with the holiday, Historic Milwaukee will sell their awesome neighborhood posters for a cool $4.14 and offer free guided walking tours of downtown.
Too Much Metal
The popular local shirt retailer has upped its game significantly for Milwaukee Day. Too Much Metal is selling takes on its best-selling 414 design that celebrate different cultures and heritages. The new releases were made with the idea of “supporting a visible community movement of self-affiliation, as well as a facilitation of social equity.”
Lakefront Brewery Beer Hall
Get $1 off all taps of Eastside Dark and Riverwest Stein all day long.
Saturday’s festivities offer new 414 Rogues Gallery shirts, Milwaukee tattoos by Horseshoe Tattoo, coozies from PBR and Milwaukee Day, food from Burger Moto, live art, and music from DJ E-Rich from 7-close.
Outpost Natural Foods
Outpost will kick off its Earth Week festivities with samples, prizes, and more.
The Third Ward art gallery will celebrate its 28th anniversary with free Saturday admission from 1-5 p.m. and $4.14 off T-shirts.
Milwaukee Public Museum
“Immerse yourself in all things Milwaukee on 414 Day!” urges Milwaukee Public Museum. We’ll forgive their egregious error of calling it “414 Day” because their collection runneth over with excellent artifacts, photographs, and information related to our fair city’s rich past. HERE is a rundown of the glut of the Public Museum’s locally-specific offerings.
Potawatomi Hotel & Casino
Specials on Twisted Path Distillery spirits and City Lights beer, as well as cocktail creations with “local flare” will be offered at the casino April 13-15.
The Riverwest brewery will be selling $4 pints of its new Milwaukee Day Lager all day/night long.
We’re selling Milwaukee Record pint glasses for $4.14 and shirts for $10 at our Company Brewing show.
Did we miss any events or specials? Please add them in the comments.