Summerfest! It continues! Weekend 2 of the 2023 Big Gig takes over Henry Maier Festival Park June 29 – July 1, with Weekend 3 wrapping things up July 6-8. Looking for some Weekend 2 recommendations? Look no further! (Find the full schedule HERE.)



Cypress Hill — 9:30 p.m. @ BMO Pavilion
Thursday is “Throwback Thursday” at Summerfest (insert easy/accurate joke about every day being “Throwback Thursday” at Summerfest), so why not get your ’90s hip-hop on with Cypress Hill? Making this 9:30 p.m. headlining slot even more insane (in the brain) is a Twan Mack opening set at 7:30 p.m., plus Digable Planets at 5:30 p.m.!


Debbie Gibson — 4:15 p.m. @ Miller Lite Oasis Stage
Was it Tiffany or Debbie Gibson who emerged victorious in the Great Mall-Pop Wars of the mid-1980s? No disrespect to Tiffany (read about our encounter with her in a rural Wisconsin bar HERE), but Debbie Gibson is the undisputed queen in our book/Trapper Keeper. “Only In My Dreams”! “Lost In Your Eyes”! “Electric Youth”! “SHAKE YOUR LOVE”!


Chicken Wire Empire — 6 p.m. @ Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard
Milwaukee bluegrass outfit Chicken Wire Empire is a band built for Summerfest: high-energy, vibe-positive, and ridiculously talented. Back in 2020, the five-piece released a pair of live albums, Live From Deutschland Vol. 1 and 2. Earlier this year, Chicken Wire released a Grateful Dead tribute EP, Verry Garcia.


Yep, it’s Throwback Thursday! From Summerfest: “$5.00 admission and 50% off beverages. Enjoy a collection of music through the decades from Hotel California, Shiny Ribs, Debbie Gibson, and more. From 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. all beverages will be 50% off (excluding frozen drinks, specialty coffee drinks, and smoothies). In addition, Pick ‘n Save shoppers can earn four FREE Summerfest tickets for every qualifying $50 spent at Pick ‘n Save and Metro Market locations, April 26, 2023 – May 16, 2023. The offer is printed at the bottom of the receipt. To redeem the offer, bring the completed original receipt to the Summerfest ticket windows at the entry gates on June 29, 2023, from 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Tickets are only valid for the day and time of the promotion. Limit three offers / 12 tickets per transaction.”

Also: Maybe wear a mask because of the smoke?



ODESZA + Bonobo, Drama, QRTR & OLAN — 7:30 p.m. @ American Family Insurance Amphitheater
Summerfest’s new Sound Waves Stage (formerly the Johnson Controls World Sound Stage) is an all-day/night dance party loaded with local DJs. But if you’re looking for a world-famous, wildly popular EDM fix, check out electronic music duo ODESZA at the AmFam Amphitheater. ODESZA released its fourth studio album, The Last Goodbye, last summer.


John Waite — 5:30 p.m. @ Uline Warehouse Stage
“Missing You” is still a jam.


Something To Do — 2:30 p.m. @ Miller Lite Oasis Stage
Milwaukee ska outfit Something To Do bills itself as not only long-running, but “great-smelling.” True or false? Find out for yourself when the band takes to the Miller Lite Oasis Stage for a sure-to-be-sweaty Friday afternoon set. Even if things get a little ripe, Something To Do always puts on a fun and crowd-pleasing show.


It’s Show Your College Pride Day! From Summerfest: “All patrons who arrive between 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. wearing a shirt or hat representing a participating college or university, or presenting their High School ID, will receive one FREE admission ticket. Tickets are only valid for the day and time of the promotion. Stop by the Mid Gate Promotions Booth to receive your ticket, then head over to your school’s booth to say hello and show your support! Only shirts or hats from the following colleges or universities will be accepted: Carroll University, Herzing University, Marquette University, Milwaukee Area Technical College, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. All High School students who start their FAFSA by July 6 will receive one FREE General Admission Summerfest Ticket, brought to you by Milwaukee Education Partnership.”



A Flock Of Seagulls — 10 p.m. @ USCellular Connection Stage
Run, run to the USCellular Connection Stage on Saturday for a night of New-Wave goodness! A Depeche Mode tribute band at 5 p.m.! Wang Chung (the real Wang Chung) at 6 p.m.! Information Society at 8:15 p.m.! And A Flock Of Seagulls at 10 p.m.! It’s like ’80s retro night at Mad Planet, but at Summerfest!


Spin Doctors — 4 p.m. @ Uline Warehouse Stage
Back in 2021, ’90s stars Spin Doctors just went ahead now and played not one, but two Summerfest sets in a singe day. Yeah, it was due to a last-minute COVID cancelation, but whatever. Couple that with oodles of Big Gig appearances over the years and the group is now the Official Band of Summerfest! We’re calling it! See them again, today at 4 p.m.!


Gego y Nony — 8 p.m. @ Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard
“We’ve got that East Side grit, and then that South Side music in us.” That’s Nony of Milwaukee reggaeton outfit Gego y Nony, summing up the duo’s all-inclusive, city-spanning sound. As for Gego y Nony’s Big Gig set on the city’s lakefront, come for the local talent at 8 p.m. and stay for the headlining performance by Sean Paul at 10 p.m.


It’s Military And First Responder Appreciation Day! From Summerfest: “All active-duty military personnel and veterans, police, fire and EMT (along with up to four family members) arriving between 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. who present a valid Military ID, copy or photo of a DD-214 form, driver’s license with Veteran classification, or law enforcement or fire department agency-issued credentials at the designated turnstile at any gate will be admitted for FREE. Police and fire union cards will also be accepted with a photo ID.”

It’s also Make A Child Smile Day! From Summerfest: “The first 2,500 patrons who donate new or gently used children’s books with a $10 minimum value will receive one FREE admission ticket, valid for the day and time of the promotion only. Picture books and early readers for children ages birth through ten are preferred. All books collected at the Mid Gate Promotions Booth will be donated to Next Door.”

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