Summerfest is in full swing in Milwaukee, offering loads of music, food, shopping and deep-fried foods.
It can be overwhelming, however, so it helps to have a plan before you get to the admission gate. Check out our “Summerfest Cheat Sheet”on Page 11 for basic information.
And here’s your day-by-day guide to the Big Gig:
Headliner: The Outlaw Music Festival, featuring Willie Nelson, Phil Lesh & Friends, The Avett Brothers, Counting Crows and Alison Krauss.
Also performing: To celebrate “Throwback Thursday,” Summerfest brought in classic rock performers, including Foghat (4 p.m. at the BMO Harris Pavilion), 10,000 Maniacs (4 p.m. at the Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard) and Steve Earle & The Dukes (4 p.m. at the Harley-Davidson Roadhouse). Also performing: singer/rapper Lizzo, fresh off her electrifying performance at Sunday night’s BET Awards (10 p.m. at the Harley-Davidson Roadhouse) and country/blues singer Elle King (9:45 p.m. at the BMO Harris Pavilion).
Promotion: From noon to 6 p.m, enjoy 50 percent off beverages (excluding ice cream drinks, specialty coffee drinks and smoothies). Also, get in free until 6 p.m. by showing a Pick ’n Save receipt for $50 (good for four free admissions), from May 1-28.
Headliner: Country singers Jason Aldean, along with Kane Brown, Carly Pearce and Dee Jay Silver.
Also performing: country singer Brandi Carlile (9:45 p.m., BMO Harris Pavilion), the comedy music trio The Lonely Island, made up of Akiva Schaffer, Andy Samberg and Jorma Taccone (10:15 p.m., Miller Lite Oasis), rapper T-Pain (9:45 p.m., Harley-Davidson Roadhouse), classic rock group Styx (10 p.m., U.S. Cellular Connection stage) and the Milwaukee-based Celtic/country/bluegrass group Frogwater (6 p.m., Klement’s Sausage and Beer Garden Stage).
Promotion: From noon to 3 p.m., celebrate “Show Your College Pride Day.” Everyone who wears a shirt or hat representing one of the participating colleges or universities will get in free. The schools include locals Carthage College, Gateway Technical College and Herzing University. Plus, high school students who present a verified high school ID will also get in free.
Also: The first 400 patrons at the Mid Gate Promotions Tent will get in free.
Headliner: Wisconsin native Bon Iver
Also performing: classic group Chicago (9:45 p.m., BMO Harris Pavilion), rockers Third Eye Blind (10 p.m., Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard), rockers Jimmy Eat World (10 p.m., Uline Warehouse) and regional favorite Cold Sweat & The Brew City Horns (8 p.m., JoJo’s Martini Bar).
Promotion: From noon to 3 p.m., the first 1,200 people will get in free when presenting an original, specially marked receipt showing a minimum purchase of $15 made at a Goodwill Store & Donation Center between June 1 and June 29, 2019. (Hint: Get there early; this is a popular promotion.)
Headliner: Popular touring act the Zac Brown Band
Also performing: There are a lot of veteran performers appearing today at Summerfest, including, Reverend Hoton Heat (4 p.m.) and 3 Doors Down (9:45 p.m.) at the Harley-Davidson Roadhouse) and Los Lonely Boys (10 p.m., World Stage). If you like the music of the ’70s supergroup The Eagles, check out Hotel California: A Salute to The Eagles (3:15 p.m., Uline Warehouse).
Promotions: From noon to 3 p.m., the first 2,500 people who donate three non-perishable food items for kids will get in free. (Suggested items include canned chicken or tuna, fruits canned in 100 percent juice and low sodium vegetables. Donations benefit the Hunger Task Force.) Also from noon to 3 p.m., all active-duty military personnel and veterans, along with up to four family members, who present their Military ID at the designated turnstile at any gate will be admitted free.
Headliner: music industry veterans Lionel Richie and Michael McDonald
Also performing: Two veteran women artists: Liz Phair (9:45 p.m., Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard) and Chaka Khan (9:45 p.m., BMO Harris Pavilion). The jazzy/soulful Christopher’s Project, which played Wednesday night here in Lincoln Park, performs 4 p.m. at the U.S. Cellular Connection Stage. And because it’s Children’s Fest Day, try to find the time to check out Wayne & Wingnut: The Red Hit Chilli Puppets (12:45 p.m., Children’s Stage). That’s our favorite group name at Summerfest!
Promotions: From noon to 3 p.m., EVERYONE gets in free. Also, enjoy special Children’s Fest activities including a Map of Fun and the Family Ticket Package drawing. Select food vendors will offer discounts on food and beverage items.
Headliner: Jennifer Lopez and World of Dance
Also performing: “The Tonight Show” house band The Roots (9:45 p.m., BMO Harris Pavilion), classic rockers Loverboy (10 p.m., Uline Warehouse), ’60s band The Association (3 p.m., Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard), regional favorite the Eddie Butts Band (8 p.m., JoJo’s Martini Bar), our favorite accordion rockers — fresh off their gig at the Petrifying Spring Parks Biergarten — The Squeezettes (6 p.m., Beer Garden Stage) and the Beatles tribute band The Britins, playing back-to-back sets starting at noon at the Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard).
Promotion: From noon to 4 p.m., everyone age 60 and older gets in free. And from noon to 3 p.m., everyone with a Harley Owners Group card gets in free. (One admission per card.) Also, H.O.G. members have exclusive access to the Hospitality Deck at the Harley-Davidson Roadhouse stage from noon to 5 p.m.
Headliner: No headliner, due to the Megadeth health-related cancellation
Also performing: Summerfest goes a little bit country with Chris Janson (9:45 p.m., U.S. Cellular Connection Stage) and Chase Rice (10 p.m., Miller Lite Oasis). Robert Randoph and the Family Band (10 p.m., Johnson Controls World Sound Stage) is performing what they call “a celebration of African-American music over the past 100 years.” Milwaukee “party band” 76 Juliet plays at 8 p.m. at JoJo’s Martini Bar.
Promotion: Download the Summerfest App to get in free by claiming one of 15,000 free digital admission tickets (while supplies last). Limit one free admission per device.
Headliner: A double bill of The Killers and Death Cab for Cutie
Also performing: rockers the Chris Robinson Brotherhood (3 p.m., Uline Warehouse), country singer Cole Swindell (9:45 p.m., Harley-Davidson Roadhouse), singer/songwriter Daya (10 p.m., Uline Warehouse) and ’80s rockers Big Head Todd & the Monsters (4 p.m., Big Backyard).
Promotion: Sorry, nothing today; you pay full retail to get into Summerfest.
Headliner: Indie electro-pop singer/songwriter Billie Eilish
Also performing: country teen sensation Tegan Marie (8 p.m., Uline Warehouse) and two Milwaukee faves: The Love Monkeys (8 p.m., JoJo’s Martini Bar) and Paul Cebar Tomorrow Sound (8 p.m., World Stage). Pleasant Prairie-based Christian hard rockers Skillet — made up of John Cooper (lead vocals/bass), Korey Cooper (guitar/keyboards), Jen Ledger (drums/vocals) and Seth Morrison (lead guitar) — performs at 10 p.m. at the Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard Stage.
Promotion: From noon to 3 p.m., the first 1,500 people who donate new or gently used children’s books (preferably picture books and early readers for children, birth through age 10) with a $10 minimum value will receive one admission ticket.
Headliner: Rappers Lil Wayne, Snoop Dogg and Schoolby Q close out this year’s Summerfest.
Also performing: Mellow singer/songwriter Jason Mraz (9:45 p.m., BMO Harris Pavilion), Milwaukee’s own Willy Porter (8 p.m., Uline Warehouse) and Mexican acoustic rock guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela (9:45 p.m., Uline Warehouse). The World Stage goes classy with the Florentine Opera Company performing at 2 p.m., and Steely Dane — a Madison-based Steely Dan tribute band featuring former Kenoshans Al Falaschi and Courtney Larsen — performs at 6 p.m. at the BMO Harris Pavilion.
Promotion: Celebrate the final day of this year’s Big Gig with Summerfest Fan Appreciation Day. Everyone gets in free ... from (you guessed it!) noon to 3 p.m.