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Summerfest (Wisconsin edition)

PeenPeen Registered User regular
I don't know if there are other Summerfests, it seems like there would be, but we're going to go to the first day of the big one in Wisconsin in a few weeks. I figured it wouldn't hurt to toss up a thread and see if anyone's been there that can offer pro tips, particularly around parking? Or other things to know???

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    kaidkaid Registered User regular
    Main thing to know is Drink Wisconsonably.

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    NipsNips He/Him Luxuriating in existential crisis.Registered User regular
    edited June 1
    If the main Summerfest parking is packed (which is wildly dependent on when you're arriving, and what's going on, and which day, and and and...) and don't mind a slightly longer walk, I really prefer parking in the structure on Lincoln Memorial Drive across from the Milwaukee Art Museum for lakefront events. The cost will likely not be any cheaper (if not moreso, because Paid Structure Parking), but I really prefer the getting in/out experience than the streets west of the Summerfest parking (which, again, vary in traffic depending on timing).
    https://maps.app.goo.gl/P29YMFm3iUPUMZ6J7

    Also, be really aware is that it's Construction Season around here. There's a brand new building going up proximal to the Summerfest grounds, and it's played hell with road access for the last year. Be very careful to watch for signs, and don't get freaked out if you end up turned around; if you're on the downtown streets its easy enough to circle back.

    Another Pro Tip: There's way too little sun-cover on the Summerfest grounds. If you're there on a hot sunny day be prepared with sunscreen, extra water, and be ready to take more rest breaks. The Summerfest grounds, like most event grounds like this, are basically tarmac and cement from tip to tail and just cook everything alive that stands on it.

    Nips on
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    tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    My recommendation is to find a bar in a nearish(but not immediately next to the grounds so no 3rd Ward or Walkers Point) neighbor hood that has a free shuttle and take that down. For the price of one PBR per person you will get down to the grounds and back, and since they have a specific pick up drop off area they tend to avoid some of the slog.


    Which direction from the grounds are you staying, or driving back towards if you aren't staying the night.

    Southside, I'd recommend someplace in Bay View: The Stone, The Mothership, The Highbury, Sugar Maple, The Newport, Palomino, Cactus Club, Club Garibaldi, Dale Z's On Tour, Sam's Tap, Basically look for bars and check their socials the week leading up to it.

    From the West, I'd go with places in Wauwatosa: Camp Bar, Drunken Cobra, Walter's On North, Ray's Growler Gallery, Club Tap

    North, I'd have to check. I'm not sure how far away you need to be so you aren't slogging through traffic just to get there.

    There are also park and ride lot more near the edges of the City/County that you can take down for a few bucks. Typically you need to pay exact change cash, but I haven't used them since I was a kid in the burbs.

    Are you going to see a headliner at the Amphitheater or on some other stage. Because people will start saving their spot for the 9/10pm shows are the side stages 2-3 acts early(or more if it's someone teens are crazy over and must be in the front row for).

    Also, after the show you are seeing is done, if OAR is playing that night wander over that way to catch a great 15+ minute Crazy Game of Poker jam sesh.

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    PeenPeen Registered User regular
    We're actually driving up from Chicago for the day and then going back in the evening so lodging isn't an issue. Thanks to you and Nips for the parking suggestions, I'm not sure finding a bar shuttle is a winning idea considering that I'll have my kids with me but having some alternate options to the festival parking proper sounds like a good idea. We're really just going to see the sights and catch whoever's around on the stages and drink in the corporate activations, I'm looking forward to it!

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    tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    Peen wrote: »
    We're actually driving up from Chicago for the day and then going back in the evening so lodging isn't an issue. Thanks to you and Nips for the parking suggestions, I'm not sure finding a bar shuttle is a winning idea considering that I'll have my kids with me but having some alternate options to the festival parking proper sounds like a good idea. We're really just going to see the sights and catch whoever's around on the stages and drink in the corporate activations, I'm looking forward to it!

    @Peen This is Wisconsin, you are legally allowed to buy them drinks.

    If your planning to coming early in the day and not being there late(say after 630) you could probably just get parking near by. Also since it doesn't open till noon, if you want stuff to do in the morning(idk how old your kids are), Discovery World and Betty Brinn Children's Museum are near the northern entrance to the grounds. A good plan b if the weather goes to shit on you as well.

    If you are staying till close or nearly then, for sure take the MCTS shuttle from the college ave park and ride.



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