Our fat-free, dolphin-safe Milwaukee events calendar is chock-full of things to do, but only a handful of events are worthy of the lofty honor of “Record Recommended” (patent pending). Here are our recommendations for August 19-25, 2019.


Hip-Hop Week MKE @ various locations
Back in 2018, the Milwaukee Common Council unanimously approved the creation of Hip-Hop Week MKE. “Hip-hop has the unique ability to bring communities together and stimulate conversations about relevant issues in our society,” said Ald. Khalif Rainey, who proposed the event. “I am thrilled to bring this event to our community with the help of my colleagues.” Now, more than a year later, Hip-Hop Week MKE returns for its second annual blowout. Expect dozens of shows, movie screenings, job fairs, health fairs, and more. (Through August 25.)


Chill On The Hill: Strangelander + Lovanova, K-Stamp @ Humboldt Park
The concept of Bay View’s Chill On The Hill is simple: laying out on a blanket and imbibing food and beverages brought from home (or purchased from a series of vendors on site) whilst enjoying a diverse bevy of homegrown talent. With a terrific 2019 lineup (Rose Of The West, Trapper Schoepp, Vincent Van Great, Buffalo Gospel, more), there’s bound to be something for most every taste. Tonight’s penultimate installment features the expansive Strangelander crew, which itself features Milwaukee music MVPs like Steve Peplin, Amanda Huff, and David Wake.


Washington Park Wednesdays: Linqua Franqa + Devin Drobka, Barry Paul Clark @ Washington Park
This free mid-week music series features a wide range of local acts performing under the gorgeous Washington Park bandshell. If the scenery alone isn’t worth the trip, this year’s downright awesome list of performers—Zed Kenzo, Immortal Girlfriend, Klassik, Ruth B8r Ginsburg, many more—certainly is. Tonight’s show doubles as a season finale and a celebration of Hip-Hop Week MKE.

The Jacob Jolliff Band (Yonder Mountain String Band) + The Boston Imposters @ The Ivy House

Pistole + Windbreaker, Tarek Sabbar @ High Dive

Kendra Amalie + Rose Winston, Hot Science, CRLSS @ X-Ray Arcade

Milwaukee Record Presents: A League Of Their Own @ Avalon Theater (SOLD OUT)


Milwaukee Record Presents: A League Of Their Own @ Avalon Theater
The 1992 baseball blockbuster follows the Rockford Peaches, a real-life team that played in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League during World War II. Led by star catcher Dottie Hinson (Geena Davis) and disgruntled former big leaguer-turned-manager Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks), the Peaches travel the Midwest as they take on the likes of the Racine Belles, Kenosha Comets, and South Bend Blue Sox. Joining that potent battery of leading actors is an all-star supporting cast that consists of Lori Petty, Madonna, Rosie O’Donnell, Jon Lovitz, Bill Pullman, and many more.

GGOOLLDD @ The Cooperage

Platinum Boys + Vamos, Indonesian Junk @ High Dive

Daikaiju + Direct Hit!, Telethon, Mush @ X-Ray Arcade


Mexican Fiesta @ Henry Maier Festival Park
Mexican Fiesta has called Henry Maier Festival Park home almost as long as Summerfest has. Starting on the south side in 1973, the fiesta moved to the lakefront grounds in 1977. The longstanding event is rooted in pillars of community, education, Mexican heritage, and cultural advancement. We’re all about the delicious food and the jalapeño-eating contest. (Through August 25.)

Friday Nite Music: Chris DeMay + Lisa Ridgely @ Colectivo Lakefront Cafe
For a second year, Colectivo Coffee has asked Milwaukee Record to put together a free, weekly concert series called Friday Nite Music. Every—you guessed it!—Friday night, we bring you a different Wisconsin singer-songwriter or band outside Colectivo’s Lakefront Cafe from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. After this week, only one more to go! See you there!

Milwaukee Fringe Festival @ various locations
For the fourth year running, the Milwaukee Fringe Festival spotlights theatre, dance, and music performances that fall a wee bit off the beaten path. Check out shows at the Underground Collaborative on August 23 and August 25, and at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts on August 24. Similar to past years, there are plenty of free outdoor performances, too. (Through August 25.)

Nickel&Rose (European tour kickoff) + Ernest Brusubardis IV, SistaStrings, Abdou Khadre Kambaye, Klassik, Yellow-Bellied Sapsuckers @ Cactus Club

Negative/Positive + The Golden Grenades, Solaris @ X-Ray Arcade

Black Flag @ Turner Hall Ballroom

Hip-Hop Legacy Concert & Awards Show: Scarface + Mystikal, Bun B, Devin The Dude, Do Or Die, Coo Coo Cal, Benny The Butcher @ The Rave

King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard + Stonefield & ORB @ Riverside Theater

Cinema Hooligante: The Blair Witch Project @ Oriental Theatre

Can I Kick It: Big Trouble In Little China @ Marcus Center For The Performing Arts


WMSE’s Backyard BBQ: Horseshoes & Hand Grenades + Lowdown Brass Band, November Criminals, The Grovelers, Paul Cebar Tomorrow Sound @ Humboldt Park
Since 2010, listener-supported radio station WMSE has helped folks start to say goodbye to summer in style with a day full of cold drinks, hot food, and cool music at Humboldt Park. (For free!) Recent installments have featured touring talents like Old 97’s, Alejandro Escovedo, and Diego’s Umbrella, as well as a ton of Milwaukee’s best bands playing beneath the Bay View park’s bandshell. As you can see, this year’s 10th anniversary lineup is no exception.

Chords & Curds Festival @ Fiserv Forum
The inaugural Chords & Curds Festival will bring local artisans, area food trucks, and Milwaukee musicians to the Deer District. Performers include Grace Weber, Angie Swan, Misha Siegfried and His Band, Christopher’s Project, De La Buena, New Age Narcissism, and the MPS Choir.

Negative/Positive + 90’sdreamboy, Cherry Punch @ Cactus Club

Rec Riddles + Guerrilla Ghost, Nile, Whaler @ X-Ray Arcade

MKE Punk Fest: Hi/Jack + Beaker, The First Rule, Rhetoric Vendetta, Vex Nation, Atheists And Airplanes @ Bremen Cafe

Castlecomer + Dramatic Lovers @ The Back Room @ Colectivo

Cullah + Fay Ray, Pineapple Migraine @ Company Brewing

Cinema Hooligante: The Blair Witch Project @ Oriental Theatre

Saebra & Carlyle + Motor Club, Tell Me @ X-Ray Arcade


Blankat + Julia-Julian, CRLSS @ Bremen Cafe
If you haven’t already immersed yourself in the dreamy/haunting electronica of Milwaukee’s CRLSS, get on it.