Wisconsin music festivals have completely evolved from the local concert series and hometown celebrations we know and love. While we always appreciate those traditional summer events, now there are more options than ever when planning a trip to a top-notch summer music festival. With plenty of big-name artists, wide-ranging food options, and unprecedented amenities, there is a festival to fit everybody’s desires.
Every music festival is different, so you’ll want to figure out what one is perfect for you. Make the most of your festival experience with these top tips on some of Wisconsin’s biggest summer music festivals.
The World’s Largest
After fifty years, Summerfest remains Milwaukee’s flagship music festival for its sheer convenience and vast variety of performers – We’re talking more than 100 headlining acts over 11 days!
If you want a good spot for an evening headliner, be sure to explore the grounds earlier in the day. Summerfest boasts a massive range of dining options, including local restaurants such as Saz’s BBQ and Lakeside Supper Club. Even after uttering the famous last words, “I’m so full”, we guarantee you’ll find at least one Instagram-worthy dessert to change your mind. How does a deep fried Old Fashioned sound?
After perusing the vendors, start claiming your seat at least 2-3 hours before the headliner’s scheduled performance. It may sound pretty early, but time flies with good music and a refreshing beverage in tow!
Tried & True
You can’t go wrong with the classics! Country Fest and Rock Fest have been taking over Cadott, Wisconsin for 30 years, so you’d better believe they run this festival like a well-oiled machine. The festival grounds are home to five permanent stages, so be sure to check out the schedule ahead of time to be sure you don’t miss anyone.
If you’re excited about the music but would like a bit of extra space, you can purchase a spot in the reserved seating area. If you want to make sure you’re right up front where the action is, both festivals sell Pit Passes that allow you VIP access to the standing area closest to the mainstage. Talk about a memory you won’t forget!
Arts & Adventure
Attending any music festival can be a memorable experience, but Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival pulls out all the stops to make this two-day festival a truly unique, one-of-a-kind experience for its attendees. Returning in 2020, Eaux Claires boasts one of the most eclectic lineups of any festival in the Midwest. Make sure to spend plenty of time wandering the grounds, where visual art instillations and interactive exhibits await at every turn.
The element of surprise is a major component of Eaux Claires. Each year, unannounced performers take the stage to give the crowd something they haven’t heard before. Oh, and if you happen to see a crowd gathering in the woods, don’t be alarmed – you might have stumbled upon a surprise performance. Keep your eyes and ears peeled!
Do you have an awesome music festival experience to share? Let us know in the comments below! For more info on Wisconsin music festivals, check out out Music Festival Trip Ideas!