MILWAUKEE (October 18, 2017) Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. officials are proud to announce that Summerfest presented by American Family Insurance has been named 2017 Festival of the Year at the 47th Annual IEBA (International Entertainment Buyers Association) Conference held in Nashville, TN. 

In the category of “Festival of the Year,” Summerfest competed against some of America’s largest festivals including:  BottleRock Napa Valley – Napa Valley, CA, Country Thunder USA – Twin Lakes, WI, The Governors Ball Music Festival - New York, NY, The Hangout Music Festival - Gulf Shores, AL, Newport Folk Festival – Newport, RI, Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival – San Francisco, CA, and Stagecoach – Indio, CA.  Last year, Coachella in Indio, CA won Festival of the Year.

“Recognition as IEBA’s 2017 Festival of the Year is even more meaningful considering Summerfest celebrated its 50th edition this summer,” said Don Smiley, President and CEO of Milwaukee World Festival, Inc.  “Our model of offering a diverse line-up of world-class entertainment on permanent festival grounds at an accessible price for 11 days makes Summerfest truly unique.  It’s an honor to be named Festival of the Year and a testament to our fans for their loyalty and support over the years,” he added.

Summerfest’s recognition at IEBA is due to the efforts of the dedicated Summerfest staff, particularly the entertainment department led by Bob Babisch, Vice President of Entertainment.  In 2016, Babisch was named IEBA’s 2016 Festival Buyer of the Year.

IEBA is a not-for-profit trade organization for live entertainment industry professionals.  Founded in 1970, IEBA and its annual Conference stand alone in the entertainment industry by showcasing the most current and diverse entertainment options for buyers, and providing unparalleled networking and informational opportunities to its members.  Representing billions of dollars in buying power, IEBA is an intimate organization that makes a huge impact. The 2017 conference took place October 14-17, 2017 and welcomed prominent talent buyers from all over the world.

About Summerfest presented by American Family Insurance

Following its 1968 debut, Summerfest has evolved into what is now recognized as “The World’s Largest Music Festival” and Milwaukee’s cornerstone summer celebration, hosting the music industry’s hottest stars, emerging talent and local favorites along with approximately 850,000 people from Milwaukee and around the world each year for an unforgettable live music experience. During the festival, the spotlight shines on over 800 acts, over 1,000 performances, 11 stages, delectable food and beverages and interactive activities, all in a world-class festival setting. For more details, visit, or Twitter: @Summerfest.