Plan Your Visit to Summerfest 2012:
- Summerfest 2012 will run from June 27 - July 1, and July 3-8.
- Getting to Summerfest.
- General Admission to Summerfest will be $15 after 4 p.m. and on weekends, $7 on weekdays from noon - 4 p.m. -- or save big by checking out this list of Summerfest Free Admission Deals.
- Summerfest 2012 Marcus Headliners.
Though there are many festivals that occur each summer along Milwaukee's lakefront, none are as popular as "the Big Gig,"the enormous, eleven-day Summerfest, which is indeed touted as "the world's largest music festival."
Started in 1968 by then-mayor Henry Maier, Summerfest now garners an annual attendance of more than one million people. While the main draw is obviously the music, there are numerous other activities happening concurrently among the twelve stages, including family-friendly activities during the day. (FYI: Summerfest is not a great place to bring young children at night.)
The highlights of Summerfest are often the big-name performers who perform nightly at the Marcus Amphitheater, a 25,000 seat venue on one end of the ground. Separate admission is charged to see these acts, generally $30 - $80, but a limited number of free lawn seats are often given to die-hards who come early enough.
The variety of acts at Summerfest is amazing. In 2007, headliners at the Amphitheater ranged from Def Leppard, Foreigner and Styx on one night to Panic! At the Disco and Gym Class Heroes a few night later. The free stages were just as eclectic, ranging from Lupe Fiasco to the Old 97's, or Morris Day and the Time to Randy Travis.
Fun Fact: George Carlin was once arrested for disorderly conduct at Summerfest after performing his "Seven Words You Can't Say on Television" act.
Summerfest Travel and Lodging
If you have friends and family coming into town for Summerfest, be sure to tell them to book flights to Milwaukee and make a hotel reservation as soon as possible, as summer bookings quickly reach sell-out capacity.