Summerfest’s 55th Anniversary Delivers Big Results 2023 festival celebrates sold-out performances new sponsors and community impact

Posted: Jul 11, 2023

MILWAUKEE, WI (July 11, 2023) – Summerfest presented by American Family Insurance hosted over 600 artists and reported 624,407 fans during Summerfest 2023.  Driven by the 55th anniversary of the festival, as well as the strength of its reputation as a world-class music experience for an incredible value, attendance increased by 40% over 2022.  In fulfillment of Milwaukee World Festival, Inc.’s non-profit mission, 17% of those patrons gained access to the festival via a free admission promotion.

Featuring one of the most musically diverse headlining line-ups available in the world, the American Family Insurance Amphitheater hosted capacity crowds for Zac Brown Band, Zach Bryan, and Imagine Dragons, while featuring unique, curated shows such as James Taylor with Sheryl Crow as well as A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, Trippie Redd, City Girls, and Milwaukee’s own Kia Rap Princess.  Highlights across the festival stages included performances by Noah Kahan, Earth, Wind & Fire, Santa Fe Klan, Lord Huron, Yellowcard, Lauren Daigle, Japanese Breakfast, Smokey Robinson, Styx, and many more.

Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. also celebrated a record number of sponsorships in 2023, with 15 new sponsors joining Summerfest and 17 new sponsors becoming part of Summerfest Tech.  Ticket sales increased year-over-year in several categories, with double the amount of UScellular™ Nine-Day Power Passes sold for Summerfest 2023.

“These are fantastic results for Summerfest’s 55th anniversary.  We are thrilled our fans turned out to enjoy Summerfest’s unique brand of music, food, and fun,” said Don Smiley, Chief Executive Officer of Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. “As I look back on my 20 years of leading Summerfest, this year’s festival is a highlight, as our team continued to deliver a world-class experience in a world-class setting.”

“Summerfest’s 2023 results allow our organization to continue to position the festival for future success. The Summerfest experience remains one of the best in the business and our team looks forward to enhancing that experience in the years to come,” said Sarah Pancheri, President of Milwaukee World Festival, Inc.

Adding to the overall festival experience, Summerfest featured several additional programming elements including the new Sound Waves Stage, enhanced performances at the American Family Insurance House, American Cornhole League (ACL) Pro Shootout and Superhole Cornhole Competitions sponsored by Johnsonville, which were broadcast live on ESPN2, the Alumni Charity Challenge Shoot-out, Latin Music Day with Aurora Health Care, and the Summerfest BIG WIN presented by Potawatomi Casino | Hotel.

Aligned with Summerfest’s non-profit mission, the festival also continued to make significant contributions to the community, providing over 50,000 free tickets across Milwaukee. In addition, as part of admission promotions, patrons provided over 27,000 pounds of food donations for Hunger Task Force, over $18,000 worth of hygiene products, which will be donated to Milwaukee and Waukesha County schools through the United Way, and over 3,500 books for Next Door’s community literacy initiatives. The festival also integrated over 70 local community organizations into the festival through performances and events such as Direct Supply Seniorfest Day and Children’s Fest Day presented by Shorewest, Realtors©.

Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. also announced dates for Summerfest 2024, which are June 20-22, June 27-29, and July 4-6.

For more information visit See the 2023 Summerfest recap video across social media channels @Summerfest.

About Summerfest presented by American Family Insurance
Summerfest presented by American Family Insurance is one of the most iconic celebrations of music in America, hosting the industry’s biggest acts for an unforgettable live music experience.  Since its inception in 1968, Summerfest has developed an unrivaled reputation, consistently featuring hundreds of performances across 12 stages, throughout the 75-acre festival grounds along Lake Michigan. Summerfest takes place in downtown Milwaukee, WI, which was recently named as one of the top 25 Best Places to Visit in 2023 by National Geographic.  Milwaukee World Festival, Inc., producer of Summerfest, continues to fulfill its nonprofit mission of bringing the community together and providing a showcase for performing arts, activities, and recreation to the public, through music and special events.

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