MILWAUKEE (July 13, 2018) – Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. announced today that during the 11 days of Summerfest, the organization hired over 2,144 seasonal workers. In addition, 380 volunteers provided 3,500 hours of support for festival services, and 106,294 fest-goers took advantage of daily admission promotion offers. For the second year in a row, nearly 14% of all attendees entered through an admission promotion.

“In 2018, Summerfest delivered on its promise to offer one of the most diverse line-ups in the industry which appealed to our entire community. I want to thank our fans, sponsors, volunteers, Milwaukee Police Department, Milwaukee County Transit System, vendors and staff who persevered through five challenging weather days. Despite the rain and heat, our organization provided 11 great days of music, food and fun and contributed significantly to our local economy,” said Don Smiley, President and CEO of Milwaukee World Festival, Inc.

Smiley continued, “Beyond Summerfest, Henry Maier Festival Park will host a variety of events including concerts, ethnic festivals and special events. We have a spectacular Labor Day Weekend planned with the Darius Rucker and Lady Antebellum concert on Saturday, September 1 and the third annual Big Gig BBQ on Sunday, September 2. We invite the community to visit the lakefront and enjoy all the activities held at this world-class facility.”

Despite three days of excessive heat warnings over 100 degrees and two days with rain, attendance was reported at 766,192.

Here are some highlights from Summerfest 2018:

  • The U.S. Cellular Connection Stage, North Gate & Community Plaza with support from American Family Insurance and the Klement’s Sausage & Beer Garden were unveiled to the general public and proved to be popular with festival fans.
  • To thank the community for their support, Summerfest created the BIG WIN promotion, which awarded 12 fans with various prize packages on the last day of the festival. In addition, Summerfest offered fans 30,000 FREE general admission tickets to Summerfest 2019.
  • The inaugural Summerfest Tech roundtable discussion and start-up spotlight was hosted in partnership with the Milwaukee Business Journal.  This new programming initiative represents an effort to bring Wisconsin’s best and brightest technology companies to the Big Gig in 2018 and beyond. 

This year, there were several artists who took the Summerfest stage for the first time including:  The Weeknd, Janelle Monae, Kesha, Shawn Mendes, Arcade Fire, Marshmello, J. Cole, and more.  In addition, some fan favorites returned including:  Imagine Dragons, James Taylor, Bonnie Raitt, Phil Vassar, Nelly, Greta Van Fleet, and others. 

New sponsors were added to the 2018 Summerfest line-up including:

  • Arnold Palmer Spiked: Hole-in-One sponsor
  • Cousins Subs: Big Gig Giveaway
  • JVC Kenwood and Ten 2 Communications: Summerfest Lost and Found
  • Klement’s Sausage Company: Official Sausage, Klement’s Sausage and Beer Garden
  • L.L.Bean: L.L.Bean Lawn at the American Family Insurance Amphitheater
  • Mercury Marine: Official Outboard Engine of Summerfest
  • Pepper Construction: Pepper Construction Picnic Plaza
  • Red Lobster: Red Lobster Day admission promotion
  • Taiwan Excellence: Summerfest Skyglider Powered by Taiwan Excellence

Show Your College Pride Day Sponsors:

  • Alverno College
  • Bryant & Stratton College
  • Cardinal Stritch University
  • Carroll University
  • Concordia University
  • Herzing University
  • Lawrence University
  • Marquette University
  • Medical College of Wisconsin
  • Milwaukee Area Technical College
  • Milwaukee School of Engineering
  • University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
  • University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • Upper Iowa University

Summerfest by the numbers:

  • A total of 56,480 lbs. of food were collected for Hunger Task Force during Johnson Controls Stomp Out Hunger Day with FOX6 Milwaukee and Kohl’s Family Day admission promotions
  • 98,000 one-way Sky-glider Powered by Taiwan Excellence rides
  • 2,881 Paddleboat Water Experience rides
  • 17,151 rides on Summerfest’s Wheel In the Sky presented by Converged Technology Professionals
  • While there was no winner, there were 15,999 attempts at the Hole-In-One Contest with Arnold Palmer Spiked and 540 ESPN Milwaukee

About Summerfest presented by American Family Insurance

Following its 1968 debut, Summerfest presented by American Family Insurance has evolved into what is now recognized as “The World’s Largest Music Festival” and Milwaukee’s cornerstone summer celebration, bringing the music industry’s hottest stars, emerging talent and local favorites along with approximately 800,000 people from Milwaukee and around the world together each year for an unforgettable live music experience.  During the festival, the spotlight shines on over 800 acts, over 1,000 performances, 12 stages, delectable food and beverages and interactive activities, all in a world-class festival setting.  For more details, visit, or Twitter: @Summerfest or download the 2018 Summerfest App.