Milwaukee is the largest city in Wisconsin and one of the largest metropolitan areas in the Midwest. The city has been growing since the start of the 21st century and is an exciting place for music and culture. Live music fans are sure to find a range of options for concerts and festivals.
Riverside Theatre is a 2460-seat concert hall along the Milwaukee River. It opened in 1928 and has been renovated extensively since then. It’s known today as one of the most opulent theatres in the city, and has hosted artists like Aretha Franklin, The Avett Brothers, and CHVRCHES. Fans of the venue praise its acoustics, decor, and reasonably priced drink options. Milwaukee also has options for classical music: the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra performs at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts.
Milwaukee is well-known as the home of Summerfest, which Guinness World Records named “The World’s Largest Music Festival” in 1999. Summerfest happens every year at Henry Maier Festival Park, along the lakefront. The first Summerfest was held in 1968, and the festival has been going strong ever since. Close to 900,000 people attend Summerfest every year. The festival features hundreds of acts and over a thousand performances, including an Emerging Artist Series. Festivities last for 11 days (beginning at the end of June and going into July), and the artists perform on 11 different stages. Some of Summerfest’s opening headliners over the years include Imagine Dragons, Bruno Mars, Lady Gaga, Bon Jovi, Prince, Cher, and Britney Spears. The rest of the lineup is always full of great artists, too. Tom Petty, Def Leppard, Logic, and Rise Against are among the many, many artists who have played on Summerfest’s stages.
Miller Park, home to Major League Baseball’s Milwaukee Brewers, also serves as a concert venue from time to time. The ballpark hosts one to two concerts in most years. Paul McCartney attracted 43,700 to a sold-out show at Miller Park in 2013, and other performers in the park’s history include Ed Sheeran, Kenny Chesney, and One Direction.
Milwaukee Concert Venues
Beautiful Riverside Theatre is located just off of Wisconsin Avenue, on the Milwaukee River. The venue is right across the bridge from East Town.
Summerfest, the city’s popular music festival, takes place at Henry Maier Festival Park. The park is located in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward, on the coast of Lake Michigan. There are 11 different Summerfest venues, including Miller Lite Oasis, Uline Warehouse, BMO Harris Pavilion, and the Rebel Stage. The concerts last from noon to midnight. Summerfest’s biggest non-musical attraction is its opening fireworks show, “The Big Bang.”
Summerfest’s largest venue is American Family Insurance Amphitheater. The theater has room for 25,000 people in pavilion, lawn, and general admission sections. Headline artists perform at the amphitheater, and these shows require their own ticket.
How much do Milwaukee concert tickets cost?
The average resale ticket price for a concert in Milwaukee is $132. Keep in mind that this price is an average, and fans will find tickets both below and above this price.
Milwaukee Music Festivals
Milwaukee is known nationwide as the host of Summerfest, the city’s popular music festival, which takes place over 11 days every summer. But Milwaukee offers other festivals to enjoy as well. City Limits Music Festival is a country music festival based in nearby Cudahy, Wisconsin — just 10 minutes from Downtown Milwaukee.
Milwaukee Concert Tips and Tricks
There are many affordable options for getting to Summerfest. Milwaukee County Transit System offers a Freeway Flyer bus and a Downtown Shuttle. Many local restaurants and bars also run shuttles to Summerfest.