Summerfest Releases 2017 Results

MILWAUKEE, WI (July 13, 2017) – Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. officials announced results of Summerfest’s 50th edition presented by American Family Insurance, reporting attendance of 831,769, despite heavy rain on opening day, June 28th.  This total is 3.4% above 2016 attendance figures.

During the 2017 festival, nearly 2,099 seasonal workers were hired, 350 volunteers provided over 3,400 hours of support for festival services, and 115,935 patrons – or 13.9% of all attendees – took advantage of FREE daily admission promotion offers.

Summerfest celebrated this historic milestone locally and internationally.  Here are some of the highlights of the 50th edition:

  • For the first time in fest history, Summerfest announced its ground stage lineup on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!. In addition, com streamed musical performances and festival highlights to viewers worldwide throughout the 11-day run of Summerfest.
  • 50 Days of Summerfest – Summerfest made the most of the 50 days leading up to the festival with various activities throughout the community, including Picnics in the Park hosted by American Family Insurance, NEWaukee Night Market, Milwaukee Art Museum After Dark, and more.
  • Fan For Life – wrapping up the 2017 festival on July 9h, Summerfest awarded lifetime Summerfest tickets, as well as hundreds of other prizes, to thank the community and fans for their loyalty and support. 30,000 general admission tickets to Summerfest 2018 were also distributed.
  • Summerfest 50 – a retrospective exhibit, sponsored by Pick ‘n Save, showcased five decades of the festival and was developed in partnership with Milwaukee County Historical Society. A traveling Summerfest historical exhibit was also on display at various Pick ‘n Save locations and libraries, and a large exhibit was installed on the grounds during Summerfest. 
  • Summerfest 50 Commemorative Book – “50 Years of Smiles” - featuring photos of renowned artists that appeared over the past 50 years and the evolution of the festival. 

“As our 50th edition comes to a close, we want to thank all of our fans, sponsors, volunteers, vendors and staff who celebrated with us” said Don Smiley, Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. President and CEO. “Looking ahead, we will continue to make significant improvements ensuring a world-class fan experience for all visiting Summerfest, the ethnic festivals, and all events at Henry Maier Festival Park,” he added.

There were several musical highlights during the festival, including a blockbuster line-up in the American Family Insurance Amphitheater - Red Hot Chili Peppers, Luke Bryan, Paul Simon, Zac Brown Band, P!NK, The Chainsmokers, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers with Chris Stapleton for two nights, Dierks Bentley, co-headliners Future, Big Sean and Migos, and wrapping up with Outlaw Music Festival.  On the grounds stages, Summerfest welcomed first time headliners like T-Pain, Flume, Frankie Ballard, Steve Aoki, Jon Bellion, Joss Stone, Car Seat Headrest, Alessia Cara, DNCE and IshDARR. 

Enhancing the traditional evening headlining performances, Throwback Thursday on June 29th was a blast from the past featuring bands throughout the decades that headlined during the early evening, including Tommy Tutone Band, Foghat, Slaughter, Berlin featuring Terri Nunn and more. 

Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. announced new sponsors for 2017:

  • American Family Insurance, first presenting sponsor of festival, naming of American Family Insurance Amphitheater
  • Aurora Health Care – Exclusive Health Care Provider
  • Pick ‘n Save – 50th Exhibit and Throwback Thursday
  • Converged Technology Professionals – Wheel in the Sky
  • Robert Haack Diamonds – Summerfest Bobblehead Day
  • Southwest Airlines
  • Noodles & Company
  • Red Bull

Fest-goers also enjoyed a variety of fun activities during Summerfest 50:

  • 98,180 trips on the Skyglider presented by Uber.
  • 3,714 Badger Meter Paddleboat Water Experience rides.
  • Though no one was lucky enough to sink a hole-in-one, 19,170 swings were taken at the Meijer Hole-In-One with CBS 58 and 540 ESPN.

For more details, visit, or Twitter: @Summerfest.