Summerfest rules. The “World’s Largest Music Festival” brings free shows from hundreds of musical acts, tasty treats from dozens of food and drink vendors, oodles of non-musical entertainment, and an overwhelming helping of summertime vibes to Milwaukee every year. There’s something for almost everyone on the grounds each and every summer.

We’re fans of the Big Gig for sure and we have very little in the way of notes, but if we had one minor complaint about Summerfest, it would be that it occurs during the absolute busiest time of the year. Though we’re in no way proposing a drastic change, we mention that tiny qualm only to recognize we’re powerless to devote as much time as we’d like to Summerfest. Especially now that the festival only takes place Thursday through Saturday.

So with one half of our newsroom heading out of town for a family function and the other half splitting festival coverage with other writing needs and helping his sister move, the entirety of our first weekend at Henry Maier Festival Park took place during daytime hours. We didn’t mind! Our schedule these next two weeks is far more favorable for nighttime coverage. Also, it’s honestly just nice to be back at Summerfest in general to experience fun things like…

Relaxing by the water.

Taking cover in the shade in the place we used to review Taped Music.

Being aggressively marketed to by a soft drink.

Running into celebrities.

Shopping local.

Hearing early sets from lesser-known bands and countless cover bands. You haven’t  lived until you’ve heard two different tribute bands on neighboring stages both cover “Juice” by Lizzo within a 10-minute span.

Hearing Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” while housing a bag of Walking Nachos at 2:45 p.m.

Waiting to meet the dog from those commercials for baked beans.

Shopping for art.

Eating too much ice cream.

Photographing bleachers for Bleachers.

Getting coffee.

Just taking it all in after 50 weeks away.

Yes, Summerfest is “The World’s Largest Music Festival,” but even without the element of going to see well-known superstar headliners, it’s also just a massive local happening and a nice reason to get out and explore the grounds during the early days of summer. We’ll be back again (sometimes at night, even!), but it felt good to ease our way into the daytime amenities offered by Summerfest in Weekend 1.

About The Author

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Co-Founder and Editor

Before co-founding Milwaukee Record, Tyler Maas wrote for virtually every Milwaukee publication (except Wassup! Magazine). He lives in Bay View and enjoys both stuff and things.