Summerfest! Like the last three installments, the Big Gig is staking out three Thursday-Friday-Saturday blocks instead of the old 11-day run. In an effort to help you make some potentially difficult decisions, Milwaukee Record is offering Record Recommendations for all three weekends of Summerfest: a suggested headliner, a reason to show up early, a can’t-miss local act, and a tip for a way to have a cheaper and/or better experience. Here are our Record Recommendations for Summerfest’s third weekend.

Thursday, July 4


Say She She — 7 p.m. @ Aurora Pavilion
“Discodelic soul band” Say She She has earned oodles of praise for good reason. The buzzworthy Brooklyn-based act will bring its genre-jumping, era-hopping sound to the Summerfest grounds for a 7 p.m. performance that, though not technically of the headlining variety, is probably your best bet in terms of Thursday night grounds stage entertainment.

Also: Mt. Joy — 9:30 p.m. @ BMO Pavilion


Zach Pietrini Band — 12:45 p.m. @ UScellular Connection Stage
Can a local act also double as an Early Bird recommendation? When we’re talking about Zach Pietrini, the answer is a resounding yes. Show up early this July 4 to catch the veteran Milwaukee-based Americana purveyor and his backing band at the UScellular Connection Stage.

Also: Mt. Joy — 4 p.m. @ American Family Insurance House


Wave Chapelle — 5 p.m. @ Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard
Since moving back from Memphis a few years back, Milwaukee-born rapper Wave Chapelle has kept busy with a steady diet of live outings, song releases, memorable features on other people’s tracks, and podcast episodes. Watch him do his hometown proud yet again when he takes the Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard stage at 5 o’clock on Thursday.

Also: The Stephen Hull Experience — 12:45 p.m. @ Aurora Pavilion


FREE admission sounds pretty sweet! All patrons arriving between 12:00p.m. – 6:00 p.m. will be admitted FREE, courtesy of M&M’S®, the Official Chocolate Candy sponsor of Summerfest. Plus, stop by the M&M’S® activation just inside the Mid Gate to kick off your 4th with a sweet treat – free samples!

Friday, July 5


The Wallflowers — 9:30 p.m. @ Uline Warehouse Stage
Did you ever really stop and think about the lyric that goes, “It’s cold. It feels like Independence Day” in the song “One Headlight” by The Wallflowers? Weird, right!? Like, isn’t early July firmly in the summer? Regardless of that nonsensical line, the song—and much of the material in the expansive 30-plus-year catalog of Jakob Dylan’s alternative rock project—still rules. You can watch The Wallflowers play the hits the night after Independence Day (when it may or not be cold outside).

Also: Local Natives — 9:30 p.m. @ Generac Power Stage


Nikki Lane — 4:30 p.m. @ Miller Lite Oasis
While she’s based in Nashville, Nikki Lane is no stranger to performing in Milwaukee. The accomplished country artist and her backing band will come to her home away from home for yet another live outing, which will take place at 4:30 p.m. at the Miller Lite Oasis on Friday.

Also: The Baseball Project — 3:30 p.m. @ Uline Warehouse Stage


Vincent Van Great — 5:30 p.m. @ BMO Pavilion
Milwaukee singer, rapper, and producer Vincent Van Great can do it all. We have just one complaint about this multi-talented local musician: he doesn’t play out enough! However, that lack of live shows only further cements his all-too-rare public outings—such as Friday night’s 5:30 p.m. set at Summerfest’s BMO Pavilion—as “can’t-miss” events. So don’t miss it…because it’ll probably be months before the next VVG show rolls around.

Also: Ladybird — 1 p.m. @ Miller Lite Oasis


The first 2,000 patrons who arrive between 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. and donate three shelf-stable food items will receive one free admission ticket, valid for the day and time of the promotion only. Donations will be accepted at the Mid Gate Promotions Booth. All donations benefit Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin.

Saturday, July 6


Lil Uzi Vert (and many more) — 7:30 p.m. @ American Family Insurance Amphitheater
While up-and-coming rapper Lil Uzi Vert is reason enough to get out to the AmFam Amphitheater, this Summerfest finale’s real appeal is being a sum of all its parts. Lil Uzi Vert will be preceded by the likes of Lil Yachty, JID, Rico Nasty & LIHTZ, as well as an appearance by two rising Milwaukee rappers in the form of J.P. and 414BigFrank.

Also: Cold War Kids — 10 p.m. @ Miller Lite Oasis


Me Like Bees — 2 p.m. @ Generac Power Stage
Formed in Joplin, Missouri 15 years ago, Me Like Bees are—please forgive the pollination pun—finally starting to get their flowers with impressive tour support slots, a growing listenership, and acclaimed albums. The ascending indie rock outfit will come to the Generac Power Stage for a 2 p.m. performance that could eventually give you “I was there”-type bragging rights down the road. Eventual mainstream breakout or not, Me Like Bees is still a nice early afternoon booking for Summerfest.

Also: Quad City DJs — 4:30 p.m. @ Aurora Pavilion


Sad Boy Saturday — 9 p.m. @ Aurora Pavilion
While Sad Boy Saturday plays songs by bands from all over, the long-running emo night is a homegrown event. After building a devoted audience at its recurring genre-specific dance parties hosted at X-Ray Arcade and a variety of other places around town, Sad Boy Saturday will close out the new Aurora Pavilion’s first Big Gig with a headlining DJ set on Summerfest’s last night. Don’t cry because Summerfest is over, smile because it happened.

Also: Joe Richter Band — 12 p.m. @ Uline Warehouse Stage


All patrons arriving between 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. will be admitted FREE, compliments of Potawatomi CASINO | HOTEL and Summerfest. Plus, the first 30,000 patrons arriving through the gates will receive an admission ticket for Summerfest 2025 AND a BIG WIN entry ticket. To participate in the BIG WIN drawing, simply drop the perforated BIG WIN Entry ticket in a specially marked bin inside the Summerfest Mid Gate between the hours of 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. on July 6, 2024.

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.