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Phox, Field Report breaking out at summer fests nationwide

Psst. It’s almost summer music festival season.

Time for sun. Beer. Dancing on picnic tables (if you must). Funny smelling smoke.

Oh…and Wisconsin bands on the rise.

All over the country this summer, Wisconsin musicians will be taking the stages at some of the top fests.


Leading the pack is Phox from Baraboo. The band already has played Coachella in California and the Middle of the Map Fest in Kansas City, MO. They’re booked to play the Sasquatch Music Festival in the state of Washington, Bonnaroo in Tennessee, Firefly Music Festival in Delaware, plus “locals” Eaux Claires and Summerfest.

So… is playing summer festivals really a sign of success?

“I would say that playing a festival means that an act is working hard to have their music heard,” said Scott Ziel, associated booking director at Summerfest. “From our perspective, we choose artists that are writing and performing great songs that catch our ear. They can be relatively new, unknown acts or a very large act with a huge audience.”  

Phox, which also performed on Conan and NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts in the past six months, is booked to play more major summer fests than any other Wisconsin band.


Field Report

But Milwaukee’s own Field Report will be busy, too. In addition to the upcoming Eaux Claires and Summerfest, Field Report performed at Shaky Knees in Atlanta, and will play at  XPoNential Music Festival in New Jersey and the Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island.

“To see the national and international success of Phox and Field Report, among others, is very exciting,” said Ziel. “We booked these artists based on their creativity and their appeal to a larger audience. I’m excited to see them be exposed to some new fresh faces that haven’t seen them before on the Summerfest grounds.”



While Phox and Field Report are playing some of the bigger fests, Milwaukee’s GGOOLLDD is picking up momentum this summer. GGOOLLDD is booked to play the Summer Set Music & Camping Festival in Somerset, WI and Mamby on the Beach in Chicago. Locally, they’ll play Pridefest and the Summer Solstice Music Festival, among other gigs.

Kinda Wisconsin

Then there’s the “ties to Milwaukee” group, Sylvan Esso. They’re now based in Durham, North Carolina but electronic producer Nick Sanborn lived here. He met lead singer Amelia Meath at the Cactus Club and hasn’t forgotten Milwaukee. “I’ll never give up my 414 number,” he told the Journal Sentinel last year.

Sylvan Esso already played Coachella. Coming up for them: Sasquatch, Firefly, Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, Summerfest, Eaux Claires and the Hangout Festival in Alabama.

Oh, and him

Finally, there’s that Wisconsin guy Justin Vernon who’s handling the summer a little differently – playing his own festival. 


This is not a complete list, just highlights. What other Wisconsin bands that you follow are playing big festivals this summer?


Director of Digital | Radio Milwaukee