April is typically a period of rebirth. Baseball season is back, the first full month of spring is upon us, and rampant festival announcements combine with extended daylight and occasional days of unseasonable warmth to signal the city’s best days are soon to come. While we’re still two months removed from PrideFest (the official start of festival season), April brings about other reasons to celebrate.

This particular April will shower the city with tremendous entertainment options, including a local holiday, two nights of Kevin Hart, a chili festival, and a ton of excellent touring musicians and comics. There’s a lot happening this April, but here are 15 events that stand out to us. Check out our standout spring shows and our spring festival guide for more event picks.

Thursday, April 4
Sarah Shook & The Disarmers + Carson McHone, Ladybird @ Cactus Club
Sarah Shook & The Disarmers absolutely love the Cactus Club and Milwaukee listeners are reaping all the benefits. The eternally busy band will return to their beloved Brew City haunt to head up an April 4 show that also features Carson McHone and Milwaukee’s own Ladybird.

Friday, April 5 to Sunday, April 7
Midwest Gaming Classic @ Baird Center
In a city absolutely stuffed with events, the annual Midwest Gaming Classic is one of our favorites. Want to relive the 2023 installment? Read our one-day minute-by-minute report HERE. Want to experience all the video games, pinball, tabletop games, panels, music, and more for yourself? Then drop by the downtown Baird Center April 5-7. Yep, MGC is BACK.

Sunday, April 7
Pours for Parks @ Best Place at the Historic Pabst Brewery
On Sunday, April 7, a new beer festival will highlight local breweries while also raising funds for parks in the process. The inaugural “Pours for Parks” will bring more than 20 local breweries to Best Place at the Historic Pabst Brewery (917 W. Juneau Ave.) for a day of beer-related fun that also happens to support Milwaukee County Parks. During their session, attendees can expect to unlimited samples, and each ticket includes a custom taster glass featuring the Pour for Parks 2024 logo. This year’s funds will be allocated to the restoration of both educational placards and the shoreline of the Humboldt Park pond.

WMSE’s Rockabilly Chili Fundraiser @ MSOE Kern Center
Rockabilly Chili will return to the Milwaukee School of Engineering’s Kern Center (1245 N. Broadway) on Sunday, April 7. Doors open at 11 a.m. The 22nd installment of the wildly popular and delicious event will feature more than 45 establishments competing in a variety of chili categories: best meat, best veggie, best heat, most unique, and “hottest display.”

Wednesday, April 10
Alyssa Edwards @ Milwaukee Improv

Beyond being a RuPaul’s Drag Race fan favorite, Alyssa Edwards is also downright hilarious. Don’t miss the comically-gifted queen’s performance at Milwaukee Improv in nearby Brookfield on April 10.

Thursday, April 11 through Thursday, April 25
Milwaukee Film Festival @ various locations
The 16th installment of Milwaukee Film Festival is set for April 11-25. The full lineup of the annual cinematic blowout was recently unveiled, but you can expect a total of nearly 300 feature films and shorts being shown on screens throughout Milwaukee. And, as always, Milwaukee Record will be the proud sponsor of the Cinema Hooligante program, which rules.

Saturday, April 13
Nicki Minaj + Monica @ Fiserv Forum
Worldwide sensation Nicki Minaj is coming to Fiserv Forum as part of her “Pink Friday 2 World Tour.” As if that’s not already great enough on its own, The Barbz should also show up early to catch an opening set by Monica of “The Boy Is Mine” and “For You I Will” fame.

Friday, April 19
Garden Home (album release) + Harrison Gordon, EMWAY?, The Others Like Us, Buena Cara @ Cactus Club
A week after its self-titled debut album is released on Thumbs Up Records, Garden Home will mark the milestone with a release show at Cactus Club. The Milwaukee screamo band will be joined on this bill by Harrison Gordon, Excuse Me, Who Are You?, The Others Like Us, and Buena Cara.

Saturday, April 20
High Score: A 4/20 Market @ X-Ray Arcade
Milwaukee Record is proud to present the inaugural High Score. This “4/20 Market” will feature a wide variety of local and regional vendors who offer botanical, plant-infused products with “added ingredients” that are 100 percent legal to purchase and consume in Wisconsin. The 21+ event is a great opportunity to both sample and stock up on (we repeat: totally legal) items while also learning more about a rapidly growing industry from those in the know. Tickets—which include samples of various products—cost $12 in advance and $18 at the door. All advance ticket purchases also include a free gift courtesy of Milwaukee Record and Kind Oasis.

Monday, April 22
Alvvays @ Pabst Theater
Since playing The Pabst Theater way back in 2018, Canadian dream-pop band Alvvays has been a stranger to Milwaukee. That’s more than five years, folks! BUT NO MORE. As part of the group’s “US Spring Tour,” Alvvays is set to return to The Pabst Theater on Monday, April 22. YES.

Thursday, April 25 to Saturday, April 27
Michael Longfellow @ The Laughing Tap
Comedian Michael Longfellow, who you probably know from his current gig as a featured player on a little show called Saturday Night Live, will spend one of the first weekends after SNL‘s season finale in Milwaukee, where he’ll perform a total of five times at The Laughing Tap April 26-28.

Friday, April 26
Something To Do (album release) + Devon Kay & The Solutions, Jinksie, Bellends @ X-Ray Arcade
Originally scheduled to take place in January, this loaded local lineup is worth the wait. Wisconsin ska stalwarts Something To Do will celebrate the belated release of its still new-ish album, Here Comes The Panic. They’ll be joined by Chicago ska-punkers Devon Kay & The Solutions, and Milwaukee-based support from Jinksie and Bellends.

Saturday, April 27
Sum 41 + The Interrupters @ The Rave/Eagles Club
About a month before the release of their final album, Heaven :x: Hell, veteran Canadian pop-punk phenoms Sum 41 will return to The Rave for one last Milwaukee performance. That swan song will be preceded by The Interrupters.

The Sloppy Boys + Dear Blanca @ Cactus Club
What iiiiiiiiiiiiiiis up?! Party rock trio The Sloppy Boys—which features accomplished television actors/writers and former members of The Birthday Boys sketch comedy troupe in its ranks—will make their Milwaukee debut at Cactus Club on Saturday, April 27. This early show (5 p.m. start!) will also feature opening support from Dear Blanca.

Saturday, April 27 and Sunday, April 28
Kevin Hart @ Miller High Life Theatre
Back in early February, it was announced stand-up comedy superstar Kevin Hart would be treating Miller High Life Theatre to an April 27 performance as part of his “Brand New Material” tour. Predictably, that show sold out instantly, leading to the addition of an April 28 show. Act fast of you’ll miss that one, too!