Today’s Summerfest picks: Sunday, July 7

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Every day during Summerfest, we’re rounding up the festival’s highlights and hidden gems and sharing Radio Milwaukee staff picks. Here’s everything you need to know about today’s lineup, which features Lil Wayne, Snoop Dogg, Schoolboy Q, Strumbellas, Jason Mraz, Dispatch, Rodrigo y Gabriela and more, as well as today’s incredible promotions and giveaways and the full lineup. (You can find Summerfest’s complete daily schedule here).

At the amphitheater: Lil Wayne, Snoop Dogg and Schoolboy Q, 7:30 p.m.

Lil Wayne

This is a bill you won’t see anywhere else. Later this year Lil Wayne will be on tour with Blink-182, but this is his only bill with rap legend Snoop Dogg and Schoolboy Q, a custom lineup created just for Summerfest. And if you haven’t seen Lil Wayne in a while, this is probably the time. Last year he finally released his long-delayed album “Tha Carter V,” and it’s surprisingly great, an unexpectedly personal and moving record that features several of his biggest club bangers in years, including the immortal “Uproar.” The American Family Insurance Amphitheater is going to go nuts when that beat drops.

Marcus Doucette recommends: Rodrigo y Gabriela @ Uline Warehouse, 9:45 p.m.

Rodrigo y Gabriela |

I’d say that this pair has chemistry but I really think their connection is as close being symbiotic as two humans can get. People talk about the power of music and their synergy is absolutely mesmerizing. Given the landscape of Summerfest acts I’d take a chance on this one. It’s as cool as it is different.

Amelinda Burich recommends: Sego @ Johnson Controls World Stage, 6:45 p.m.


After seeing their Studio Milwaukee session, the grungy fun of Sego was addictive enough to want another helping. The L.A. quartet have a high energy stage presence and a familiar ’90s/early ’00s vibe ensuring you’ll have blast even if you don’t know their songs.

At Miller Lite Oasis: Strumbellas, 10 p.m.

Nobody else sounds quite like the Canadian indie band Strumbellas, which blends roots music with emo and “gothic folk,” creating an unusual, quirky fusion.

At BMO Harris Pavilion: Jason Mraz, 9:45 p.m.

Jason Mraz makes every song sound like summer.

At Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard: Dispatch, 9:30 p.m.

The Vermont band Dispatch creates a jammy fusion of indie, roots and pop music, even touching on ska and hip-hop sometimes.

How to get in free today: Summerfest Fan Appreciation Day

To close out the city’s biggest festival, today is Summerfest Fan Appreciation Day. Thanks to Meijer, all you have to do is show up between noon and 3 p.m. to get in for free on the final day of Summerfest.

Also between noon and three, Summerfest will distribute nearly $700,000 worth of FREE tickets, when 30,000 general admission tickets to Summerfest 2020 are handed out (while supplies last) at the North, South and Mid Gate entrances. The 2020 admission ticket that fans receive will also include the opportunity to win prizes from various Summerfest sponsors as well as the chance for one fan to win $20,000.

Here’s today’s complete schedule

All performers, dates and times are subject to change. For the most up-to-date schedule visit And remember to check each day of the festival for more Summerfest coverage.

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Today’s Summerfest picks: Saturday, July 6 (Billie Eilish Day)

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Every day during Summerfest, we’re rounding up the festival’s highlights and hidden gems and sharing Radio Milwaukee staff picks. Here’s everything you need to know about Saturday, July 6’s lineup, which features perhaps the most anticipated headliner of the entire festival, Billie Eilish, as well as Atmosphere, Brother Ali, Dark Star Orchestra, Bleachers, Skillet, Semisonic, Dumpstaphunk and more. We also have the scoop on the today’s promotions and the day’s full schedule. (You can find Summerfest’s complete daily schedule here).

At the amphitheater: Billie Eilish w/ Finneas, 7:30 p.m.

Billie Eilish

Of all the artists Summerfest landed for the American Family Insurance Amphitheater this year, none have garnered more buzz than Billie Eilish, the intensely creative 17-year-old pop star who released her debut album “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” earlier this year to instant acclaim. Make no mistake about it: She’s not just a flash in the pan; she’s a huge artist who’s likely to be part of the pop landscape for a very, very long time, and that Summerfest was able to book her is a major feather in the festival’s cap.

If you have tickets, consider yourself lucky: The show sold out quickly, and given her newfound stature, it could be a while before she plays Milwaukee again. Eilish’s brother Finneas, who produced her debut album, will open this show.

Justin Barney recommends: Atmosphere and the Rhymesayers Takeover at the Miller Lite Oasis

Atmosphere | Courtesy of the artist

Rhymesayers is the independent hip-hop record label out of Minneapolis, Minnesota founded by Atmosphere. And once a year, Summerfest just kind of gives them a stage to have all day. It’s actually an incredible thing. Rhymesayers has carte blanche with an entire stage all day at Summerfest. So they are bringing the party. They will have deM atlaS, Brother Ali, Nikki Jean, and Atmosphere. Rhymesayers DJs will be spinning between sets. All day on the 3rd it’s Minneapolis in Milwaukee. Stop by whenever and it will be a great time.

Another highlight: Brother Ali, who plays at 8:45 p.m., before Atmosphere’s 10 p.m. headlining set.

Stephanie Baghai recommends: Shle Berry @ Klement’s Sausage & Beer Garden, 5:45 p.m. …

Samer Ghani Shle Berry

Fresh from her PrideFest performance, and releasing her new single Tampons, Shle knows how to get a crowd going. Her vivacious style and integrated approach has audiences on their feet, ready to move, jump, dance, and sweat with her as she performs. A blood-pumping performance is a sure way to make your day at the Big Gig a little better.

… and Ruth B8r Ginsburg @ Klement’s Sausage & Beer Garden, 2 p.m.

The seven-piece neo-soul-folk group doesn’t play nearly as much as I’d personally like, so when there’s an opportunity to catch them, I do everything in my power to do so. The compelling group exudes empowerment and a sense of restored faith while giving an absolutely heart-wrenching voice back to the people. Using their inspiring platform, incredible talent and captivating harmonies, the group gives a one-of-a-kind performance every time.

At Harley-Davidson Roadhouse: Bleachers, 9:45 p.m.

The synth-heavy New York indie-pop band Bleachers released its infectious sophomore album “Gone Now” in 2017. We’re still charmed by their Tiny Desk Concert from that year.

At the BMO Harris Pavilion: Dark Star Orchestra, 8 p.m.

It’s a night of jam covers at the BMO Harris Pavilion. Famed for covering Grateful Dead shows in their entirety, Dark Star Orchestra headlines at 8 p.m. (we’re guessing they play a long time). But if you get to the stage early, at 6 p.m. you can catch PHUN – A Tribute to Phish, too. That’s a lot of second-hand jam music!

Today’s promotion: Make a Child Smile Day

It’s Northwestern Mutual’s Make a Child Smile Day. The first 1,500 patrons who donate new or gently used children’s books with a $10 minimum value will receive one free admission ticket. Picture books and early readers for children ranging from newborn babies through age 10 are preferred. All books collected at the Mid-Gate Promotions Booth will be donated to Next Door.

Here’s the complete Saturday, July 6 schedule

All performers, dates and times are subject to change. For the most up-to-date schedule visit And remember to check each day of the festival for more Summerfest coverage.

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Today’s Summerfest picks: Friday, July 5

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Every day during Summerfest, we’re rounding up festival highlights and hidden gems and sharing Radio Milwaukee staff picks. Here’s everything you need to know about the festival’s Friday, July 5, schedule (featuring The Killers, The Head and the Heart, Dashboard Confessional, Cole Swindell, 38 Special, T.I., Daya, Matisyahu and more) as well as promotions and the full lineup. (You can find Summerfest’s complete daily schedule here).

At the American Family Insurance Amphitheater: The Killers w/ Death Cab For Cutie, 7:30 p.m.

The Killers | Photo credit: Exit Festival

The Killers stormed alternative radio in the ’00s with hits like “Mr. Brightside” and “When You Were Young.” But unlike so many of their peers from that era, they never stopped delivering. Every album has been glamorously infectious, including their most recent effort, 2017’s “Wonderful Wonderful,” which featured a cameo from Dire Straits’ Mark Knopfler. After becoming the first band to headline Milwaukee’s new Fiserv Forum last year, the band returns to Milwaukee for more, joined by the always-reliable Death Cab For Cutie, a group similarly incapable of releasing a bad record. Let’s see if this show can live up to The Killers’ star-studded set at Glastonbury.

Tarik Moody picks: T.I. @ U.S. Cellular Connection Stage, 10 p.m.

T.I. /

My pick for Summerfest is T.I. For me, T.I. gives me a little taste of my hometown of Atlanta. But more importantly, T.I. represents the true spirit of hip-hop. He evolved from a drug dealer to a major artist that help defined the sound of trap music to becoming an entrepreneur and investing in his community. That is probably, one of the reasons I really want to see him perform.He has become more than music. He has become an inspiration.

In a world of gentrification and wage gap disparities, T.I. is using is wealth and influence and give back to the community that gave him a chance to shine. In 2017, he started the real estate venture, Buy Back the Block. He has spent over $2 million dollars buy buildings and lots in his old neighborhood of Central Hill. He has plans to transform the neighborhood into affordable mixed housing, green spaces and places that provide healthy food options.

He is also investing in tech where African-Americans make up 7% of the U.S. tech workforce according to data collected from Bloomberg News. At the beginning of 2019, T.I. launched Tech Cypha, a new investment syndicate focused on early, growth, and late-stage startups. If that isn’t enough, T.I. is working with an Atlanta church to end mass incarceration. Any artist that shows this much love for their community, deserves my support whether it is enjoying their show at Summerfest or being inspired to help my community.

Amelinda Burich recommends: Immortal Girlfriend @ Johnson Controls World Sound Stage, 6:45 p.m.

One of my favorite local acts, this duo of brothers somehow craft a well-balanced mix of darkness and light. Dark goth vibes meets sunny ’80s synth with a relaxed pop sensibility and smooth vocals. The group performs many of the synth parts live, sometimes with guitar and it’s amazing to hear the amount of sound coming out of just two people.

At the Miller Lite Oasis: The Head and the Heart, 10 p.m

The Head and the Heart

As World Cafe’s Talia Schlanger writes, “The Head and the Heart’s latest album, ‘Living Mirage,’ is warm, open and definitely leans hard on the “heart” part of the band’s name. The band went to Joshua Tree in the desert to create the music. The trip was bassist Chris Zasche’s idea — he thought the wide-open landscape would give the member’s all a chance to start fresh and maybe see themselves differently.” We’re guessing those songs sound incredible live.

Today’s afternoon sleeper pick: The Spinners @ BMO Harris Pavilion, 4 p.m.

One of the greatest soul acts from Philly, a city that produced its share of them, The Spinners absolutely owned the ’70s with hits like “Could It Be I’m Falling in Love?” and “I’ll Be Around,” songs that sound as fantastic today as they did back then.

Also this afternoon: Jesus Jones, Berlin, Big Head Todd & the Monsters and Chris Robinson Brotherhood

Though it isn’t officially branded “Throwback Friday” or anything like that, Summerfest is featuring an unusual amount of name headliners in afternoon spots today, and we’re here for it. Highlights including Jesus Jones at 4 p.m. at the Miller Lite Oasis, Berlin ft. Terri Nunn at the Harley-Davidson Roadhouse and Big Head Todd & the Monsters at the Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard at the same time, and for Black Crowes fans, Chris Robinson Brotherhood at 3 p.m. at the Uline Warehouse. Nice.

At Johnson Controls World Sound Stage: Matisyahu, 10 p.m.

Johnson Controls World Sound Stage hosts the uplifting reggae star Matisyahu tonight. If you missed it, you can revisit his Studio Milwaukee session.

Today’s admission promotion: There isn’t one

Most days of the festival Summerfest offers a way to get in for free. Today is one of the rare exceptions.

Here’s today’s complete schedule

All performers, dates and times are subject to change. For the most up-to-date schedule visit And remember to check each day of the festival for more Summerfest coverage.

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Today’s Summerfest picks: Thursday, July 4

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Every day during Summerfest, we’re rounding up festival highlights and hidden gems and sharing Radio Milwaukee staff picks. Here’s everything you need to know about Summerfest’s Thursday, July 4, lineup (featuring Courtney Barnett, Vic Mensa, Robert Randolph, Chase Rice, X Ambassadors, Sublime With Rome and more) as well as today’s promotions and full schedule.

(You can find Summerfest’s complete daily schedule here).

Courtney Barnett @ Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard, 10 p.m.

Last year we caught up with Australian indie-rocker Courtney Barnett to talk about her frothy latest album “Tell Me How You Really Feel.” She’s been a station favorite for years, thanks to her wayward lyrics and gift for buzzy guitar riffs — she’s the rare songwriter who can crack you up and break your heart with the same lyric. Her headlining set tonight should be nothing short of an absolute joy. You can revisit our “88 Seconds” feature with her below.

Kenny Perez recommends: Vic Mensa @ Uline Warehouse, 10 p.m.

VIc Mensa |

Vic Mensa will be performing during Summerfest July 4 at the Uline Warehouse Stage. He just announced a co-headlining tour with his new rock, rap and punk inspired group 93PUNX and Jesse Rutherford of (The Neighbourhood) called “Heads & Tails.” They are literally going to toss a coin to see who headlines the evening for each scheduled show. The 15 date tour kicks off in Pomona, Calif., on Aug. 22. This adds so much intrigue to the Summerfest show. Will he perform new music from the group alongside hits like “U Mad” and “Liquor Locker?” I guess I have to go now!! Check out the new song that’s been raising eyebrows from 93PUNX, “Camp America”

Stephanie Baghai recommends: Amanda Huff @ Johnson Controls World Sound Stage, 6:45 p.m.

Amanda Huff performance on 414 Live

With a one-of-a-kind, chilling-to-the-bone, powerhouse voice, Amanda Huff’s ethereal talent is sure not to miss. From the moment the Milwaukee musician’s voice fills the room, she cultivates an energy that is reflective of her sincerity and transparency, all while enticing you for more.

At the Uline Warehouse: Lex Allen, 8:30 p.m.

Lex Allen

Few artists relish the stage quite like Backline alum Lex Allen, so we’re excited to see what he has in store during this prime Summerfest spot. Smart money says he dazzles, as always.

At the BMO Harris Pavilion: X Ambassadors, 9:45 p.m.

Fresh off the release of their sophomore album, X Ambassadors are expected to bring their A-game to Summerfest. They are dominant players in the wave of post-Imagine Dragons alternative, with radio hits, a tight discography and the smooth and sultry voice of lead singer Sam Harris. Their sound is distinct, and they are sure to put on a show that will be exciting and entertaining for both fans and new listeners.

At the Harley-Davidson Roadhouse: Sublime With Rome, 9:30 p.m.

Since Sublime drummer Bud Gaugh quit the group in 2011, the more accurate name for this touring trio would probably be “One Of The Guys From Sublime With Rome,” but we won’t quibble. With Bradley Nowell soundalike filling in for the late Sublime frontman, this group plays to big crowds of fans who grew up knowing every word to “40oz. To Freedom.” This spring they released their third album of new material, “Blessings.”

A day without an amphitheater headliner

Who’s headlining the American Family Insurance Amphitheater today? Nobody. In what must be a first for the festival, two amphitheater acts canceled the same date due to health issues: Ozzy Osbourne was originally scheduled to perform before he canceled his tour to recover from pneumonia, then his replacement, Megadeth, also canceled their tour after Dave Mustaine’s cancer diagnosis. We’re wishing all involved a speedy recovery.

How to get in free today

Summerfest is offering free digital admission tickets to the first 15,000 users who download the Summerfest App and claim their ticket. This ticket is valid only for July 4 and there is a limit of one ticket per device.

Here’s the complete schedule for Thursday, July 4

All performers, dates and times are subject to change. For the most up-to-date schedule visit And remember to check each day of the festival for more Summerfest coverage.

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Today’s Summerfest picks: Wednesday, July 3

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Every day during Summerfest, we’re rounding up festival highlights and hidden gems and sharing Radio Milwaukee staff picks. Here’s everything you need to know about Summerfest’s Wednesday, July 3, lineup (featuring Taking Back Sunday, The Roots, Switchfoot, Matoma and more) as well as the full schedule and how to get in free today. We’ve also got the scoop on tonight’s lakefront fireworks.

(You can find Summerfest’s complete daily schedule here).

The Roots @ BMO Harris Pavilion, 9:45 p.m.

The Roots |

We’ll be honest: Great as they are, The Roots can be a hard act to get excited about seeing live. After all, they’ve been regulars at Summerfest for years now, so if you’re a Milwaukee hip-hop fan chances are you’ve seen them before. Plus they’re on TV five nights a week as the house band for Jimmy Fallon, a gig that’s robbed them of some of their luster and prestige. But despite their overexposure, their contributions to hip-hop are undeniable: They raised the bar for what a rap concert could be, and it’s no wonder they were one of the first hip-hop groups ever to release a live album. And they still have some vital music in them. Their most recent album, 2014’s intense ” …And Then You Shoot Your Cousin,” was absolutely uncompromising, the last thing you’d expect from the band that backs the guy who writes thank you notes on NBC every night. Are they the band you’ve been looking forward to seeing all summer? Probably not. Will you be glad you made the effort to see them anyway? Almost certainly.

At the American Family Insurance Amphitheater: Jennifer Lopez, 7:30 p.m.

Jennifer Lopez | Wikimedia Commons

Summerfest filled its American Family Insurance Amphitheater lineup with first-time performers this year, and one of the bigger ones is Jennifer Lopez, the Latin pop star who will be making her first appearance at the Big Gig on a tour commemorating her 50th birthday. “Fans can anticipate a signature Jennifer Lopez show each night,” according to the press release for the tour. “The It’s My Party Tour will feature a nonstop party mix of Jennifer’s new and classic anthems, showstopping choreography and dancers, dazzling wardrobe, jaw-dropping technology and set design, and all of the glamour and wow-factor fans have come to expect of Jenny from the Block.”

At the Miller Lite Oasis: Taking Back Sunday, 10 p.m.

Loud, emo and proud after 20 years, Taking Back Sunday is including Summerfest in their anniversary celebration. Though their members have rotated in and out over the past two decades, they continue to produce solid new music, and perform at festivals internationally. Likely to attract devout fans and curious pop-punk heads, their set is sure to feature lyrics you can chant and guitars that trigger satisfying emotional release. 

At Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard: Switchfoot, 10 p.m.

Grammy winning gospel-rockers Switchfoot have been known for their uplifting lyrics and quintessential San Diego, rock sound since the 90’s. Their latest record, “Native Tongues” explores the love and joy brought on by the birth of lead Jon Foreman’s son. On the album, they experiment with a poppier edge, with the help of OneRepublic bassist Brent Kurtzle, and Kaela Sinclair’s refreshing vocals on “The Hardest Art.” Their show is sure to be a mix of hard rock and pure, faithful fun for all ages.

We recommend one of our own: DJ Kenny Perez @ Harley-Davidson Roadhouse, 7 p.m.

Each week DJ Kenny Perez spotlights the best in electronic, house and dance music on In The Mix. As amazing as the guest mixes always are, though, more often than not the star attraction of each show is Kenny’s own mixes — he’s got a gift for keeping the energy up, no matter what he’s mixing. If you’ve never seen him in action, tonight is you chance. He’ll spin a set at the Harley-Davidson Roadhouse ahead of Two Friends at 8 p.m. and Matoma at 10 p.m.

About tonight’s fireworks

Although they aren’t officially part of Summerfest, the festival grounds provide a great view of tonight’s other huge lakefront attraction: Milwaukee’s annual July 3 fireworks display. The fireworks begin at 9:30 p.m. and will last a whooping 45 minutes. As always, you may want to reconsider driving tonight, because traffic will be intense. The Journal Sentinel has rounded up everything you need to know about tonight’s fireworks.

How to get in free today

Today’s promotion is Direct Supply Seniorfest Day, so visitors ages 60+ will be admitted for free when they present their ID at the designated turnstile, at any gate. Admitted seniors will also receive a voucher for $2 off a food or non-alcoholic beverage purchase over $10.

And for those of you who aren’t 60 yet, you don’t have to pretend to be older just to get into Summerfest for free. Today is also H.O.G. (Harley Owners Group) Members Day, where anyone can receive one free admission ticket when presenting a valid H.O.G. card.

Here’s today’s complete schedule

All performers, dates and times are subject to change. For the most up-to-date schedule visit And remember to check each day of the festival for more Summerfest coverage.

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Today’s Summerfest picks: Tuesday, July 2

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Every day during Summerfest, we’re rounding up the festival’s highlights and hidden gems and sharing Radio Milwaukee staff picks. Here’s everything you need to know about Summerfest’s Tuesday, July 2, lineup (featuring Liz Phair, CHVRCHES, Chaka Khan, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, Young the Giant, MT Twins and more) as well as the full schedule and how to get in free today.

(If you’re looking for the Wednesday, July 3, lineup, you can find it here. You can also find Summerfest’s complete daily schedule here.)

Doris Wessels recommends: Liz Phair @ Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard, 10 p.m.

I’ve seen Liz Phair at various points throughout her career, and I can remember at least one show that was disappointing — she’s been known for her struggles with stage fright. Last October when I saw her at Turner Hall Ballroom, though, she was in great voice and seemed to be having a blast. It was fun to hear my favorites from college live. So I’ll be back for more tonight.

Marcus Doucette recommends: Chaka Khan @ BMO Harris Pavilion, 9:45 p.m.

Every year a legend comes to Summerfest and I’m amazed by the lack of fanfare. This year it’s Chaka Khan. On the heels of a new release that brings some of the freshest funk to come out in years, I wouldn’t miss this show for anything.

Elle Davidson recommends: CHVRCHES @ Miller Lite Oasis, 10 p.m.

Chvrches |

Dance in the dreamscape of Scottish indie-pop darlings, CHVRCHES. Their most recent record, “Love is Dead,” offers energizing melodies and consistent, delicious drops. Their live shows combine lead Lauren Marberry’s enchanting vocals and charming personality with the energy and spectacle of a rave.  They have been hitting major festivals this past year, and their set tonight is sure to be one of the most fun and current performances at Summerfest.

Evan Rytlewski recommends: MT Twins @ U.S. Cellular Connection Stage, 7 p.m.

MT Twins | Photo Credit: Aidan Routhe (

A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie is one of Summerfest’s big rap booking this year, a New York rapper with a hugely devoted fanbase and some newfound commercial success under his belt (his most recent album “Hoodie SZN” debuted at number one on the charts this winter). So that’s nice; it’s always good seeing Summerfest book rap acts outside its usual pool of The Roots/Talib Kweli/Atmosphere/etc.

But as is usually the case with so many of Summerfest’s rap bookings, the best thing about this bill is the local openers the promoters have stacked it with. Ahead of A Boogie’s 10 p.m. set, the audience will be treated to one of the city’s most undeniable rap acts: MT Twins, a group working with a higher ceiling than quite possibly any other in the local rap scene right now.

Don’t mistake the duo’s sugary hooks and slick pop instincts for superficiality: Brothers Dexxx and Donno Sanders are two of the city’s most soulful, devastatingly candid songwriters, seemingly incapable of writing a verse that doesn’t cut like a box opener. They pack every song with tales of ambition, trauma, relationship woes and conflicted loyalties. It isn’t always pretty, but it’s always from the heart. This is music that bleeds.

Tyrone Miller recommends: Grace Weber’s Music Lab @ Johnson Controls World Sound Stage, noon

The GWML showcase highlights just a few of the talented youth that have performed at the monthly event throughout the school year. The lineup includes MCs J-Hud and El Bangerz, bands K-Stamp, The Golden Grenades and The Fresh Coast Kooks, a solo performance by drummer K.J. and DJ Enzo on the 1’s and 2’s. It’s been great to see them perform at 88Nine, so I can’t wait to what they have in store for an even bigger stage like Summerfest.

At the American Family Insurance Amphitheater: Lionel Richie w/ Michael McDonald, 7:30 p.m.

A lineup made in soul and soft-rock heaven, featuring two of the smoothest voices of the ’80s. Amazingly, this concert will be Richie’s first time ever playing Summerfest as a solo artist, and his first time performing at the festival since 1982, when he performed as a member of The Commodores.

How to get in free today (it’s even easier than usual)

It’s Sentry Foods Children’s Fest Day. For this promotion, all you have to do is show up (between noon and 3 p.m.), and you will be admitted for free. Select food vendors will also offer discounts on food and beverage items today.

Here’s today’s complete schedule

Please note that First Aid Kit is no longer playing Summerfest tonight; they canceled their tour due to “unforeseen medical circumstances.” First Aid Kit have been replaced on the bill by Liz Phair.

All performers, dates and times are subject to change. For the most up-to-date schedule visit And remember to check each day of the festival for more Summerfest coverage.

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Today’s Summerfest picks: Sunday, June 30

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Each day during Summerfest, we’re rounding up the festival’s highlights and hidden gems and sharing Radio Milwaukee staff picks. Here’s everything you need to know about Summerfest’s Sunday lineup, featuring one of indie-rock’s greatest live acts: The National. We’ve also got the full lineup for you, as well as the scoop on how to get in free. (You can find Summerfest’s complete daily schedule here).

Peter Adams recommends: The National @ Miller Lite Oasis, 10 p.m.

Ah, The National! Hands down, one of my favorite bands to see live. I’ve seen them in theater settings as well as festivals and there is no wrong way to see them. I’m always a bit leery of seeing my favorite bands on side stages there due to the inevitable circus that will surround the performance. With The National, I’m not too worried. We may even get a chance to see lead man Matt Berninger screaming the lyrics to “Mr. November” atop one of Summerfests famous picnic tables!

Don’t miss Justin Barney’s Bryce Dessner interview

And speaking of The National, you can read Justin Barney’s new interview with guitarist/composer Bryce Dessner, where he discusses some of the “simple ideas” behind some of the band’s most beloved songs, including “Fake Empire.”

Amelinda Burich recommends: Guided by Voices @ Miller Lite Oasis, 4 p.m.

Guided by Voices have been around since the ’80s, but I’ve never caught them on a bill. Enough people have told me to see them live that I probably should, and maybe you should, too. They have influenced many bands I love to this day. Just singing along to “Glad Girls” would be worth making it down to the fest to see these power-pop mainstays.

Stephanie Baghai recommends: Platinum Boys @ Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard, 8 p.m.

Milwaukee’s best boys always bring an undeniable party to the stage – personifying good ol’ classic rock ‘n’ roll like no one else quite can. Wrapping up the first week of Summerfest on Sunday, their palpable and contagious high-energy is the perfect mid-point invigorator for the Big Gig.

At the American Family Insurance Amphitheater: Zac Brown Band, 8 p.m.

Summerfest continues its country-heavy opening stretch of American Family Insurance Amphitheater headliners with Zac Brown Band, the affable Atlanta group that’s been bringing a little roots-rock flair to country radio for more than a decade now. Love it or hate it, their hit “Chicken Fried” has a way of working its way into your head. Total ear worm.

Two ways to get in free today

Today presents more than one opportunity to get free admission into the festival. Kohl’s Family Day allows the first 2,500 patrons who donate three nutritious, non-perishable food items for kids to receive one free admission ticket. Suggested items include canned chicken or tuna, fruits canned in 100% juice and low sodium vegetables. All donations will again benefit Hunger Task Force.

Also today all active-duty military personnel and veterans who present their Military ID at the designated turnstile at any gate, along with up to four family members, will be admitted for free. These military personnel are also encouraged to attend the Military Appreciation Ceremony, featuring representatives from each branch of the military, at 3:15 p.m. at the U.S. Cellular Connection Stage, produced in partnership with the War Memorial Center.

Here’s today’s complete lineup

All performers, dates and times are subject to change. For the most up-to-date schedule visit And remember to check each day of the festival for more Summerfest coverage.

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Today’s Summerfest picks: Saturday, June 29 (Bon Iver Edition)

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Every day during Summerfest, we’re rounding up the festival’s highlights and hidden gems and sharing Radio Milwaukee staff picks. Here’s everything you need to know about today’s lineup, which features Bon Iver, Cory Wong, Third Eye Blind, Chicago and more, as well as today’s promotions and the full lineup. (You can find Summerfest’s complete daily schedule here).

Bon Iver brings Lord Huron and Julien Baker to the American Family Insurance Amphitheater

Eau Claire’s loss is Milwaukee’s gain. Bon Iver turned heads this year when they announced that they’ll headline Summerfest for the first time ever this summer and that, since founder Justin Vernon’s Eaux Claires festival is on hiatus this year, the date will be the band’s only Wisconsin show of the summer.

Bon Iver’s Milwaukee shows are always something special. This will likely be listeners’ first chance to hear some of the band’s new material live (including two great new songs they shared earlier this month). And the openers can’t be beat: Bon Iver will be joined by special guests Lord Huron and Julien Baker.

If you’ve never seen Julien Baker before, be prepared to be blown away. She is incapable of giving a performance that is anything less than an enormous emotional eruption.

Peter Adams recommends: Cory Wong @ Johnson Controls World Sound Stage, 10 p.m.

Cory Wong may be one of the funkiest and under-the-radar guitar players out there today. On his own, people might not be too familiar, but alongside his main bandmates, Vulfpeck, he stands out! It doesn’t get much funkier than Vulfpeck and Cory Wong is a key player in that funk formula. His current band blends funk and jazz and some witty stage banter that will make the crowd get on the dancefloor!

At the Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard: Ra Ra Riot, 8 p.m.

Ra Ra Riot

Combining indie rock, danceable beats and chamber pop flourishes (courtesy of a small string section), Ra Ra Riot created an eclectic sound that has had them touring the world with Death Cab For Cutie, Vampire Weekend, Young The Giant, The Postal Service and others, along with performing at Coachella, Lollapalooza, ACL, Treasure Island, Outside Lands and other major festivals.

Throughout their career, they have released four albums, most recently “Need Your Light,” whose single “Water” (produced by Vampire Weekend’s Rostam Batmanglij) has over 75 million worldwide streams. Their next album, “Superbloom,” is due in June.

You can revisit our You Should Know feature on the band.

…and they’re opening for Third Eye Blind @ Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard, 10 p.m.

It’s easy to take them for granted, because Summerfest books them all the time, but Third Eye Blind consistently put on a great, passionate show — after all these years they still perform like a band with something to prove. And their 1997 self-titled album remains one of the most lively alt-rock records of the late ’90s, a spirited fusion of punk, pop and grunge executed with a level of creativity few of their peers mustered. Call them a guilty pleasure if you’d like, but they always deliver.

Classic-rock watch: Chicago @ BMO Harris Pavilion, 6:45 p.m.

This is an odd thing to say about a band that’s been around for literally more than a half century, but after all these years Chicago still sound fresh. That’s thanks in no small part to that unmistakable brass section. It’s no wonder they remain one of the top touring draws of their era.

Today’s promotion: Goodwill Day

Today is Goodwill Day at Summerfest. The first 1,200 patrons who arrive between noon and 3 p.m. and present an original, specially marked receipt showing a minimum purchase of $15 made at a Goodwill Store & Donation Center between June 1 and June 29 will receive one free admission ticket, valid for today only. No copies or handwritten receipts will be accepted. Those interested are advised to arrive early for this popular promotion.

Here’s today’s complete schedule

All performers, dates and times are subject to change. For the most up-to-date schedule visit And remember to check each day of the festival for more Summerfest coverage.

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Lizzo brought the juice at her unforgettable Summerfest performance

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[Editor’s note: This review was written before reports of Lizzo’s allegations of an attack involving a Summerfest security guard after her concert emerged. You can find our coverage of that incident, including Summerfest’s response, here.]

The magic of Summerfest lies in its sheer diversity of acts. Not just of genres, but of generations and career stages. Out of the 800-plus artists who will perform at Summerfest this year, no one is riding a wave quite like Lizzo, a powerhouse rapper/singer/flautist from Minneapolis by way of Detroit and Houston. 

Hot off her show stopping performance of “Truth Hurts” at the B.E.T. Awards and earning a platinum plaque for the same track, Lizzo ignited the Harley-Davidson Roadhouse stage on Thursday night in front of an adoring crowd of well over the 10,000 she was told were in attendance.

Lizzo | Photo courtesy Summerfest

The first time I saw Lizzo — at a late night set during the inaugural Eaux Claires Festival in 2015 — I was blown away by her energy and showmanship. The next time I saw her, at the Soundset Festival in 2016, it was her inspiring message of body positivity and self-love that stuck with not only me, but also my four-year-old stepdaughter. 

“She’s good. I like her. But she has a naughty mouth,” is specifically what the kid said. I laughed, I couldn’t disagree and I thought to myself about how much the rest of the world needs to hear that mouth. 

With the growing success of her new album “Cuz I Love You” — which Rolling Stone recently named the best record of the year thus far — Lizzo is being heard now more than ever. It’s safe to say that after Thursday night’s Summerfest performance, Lizzo’s local fanbase has expanded. 

Diehard fans who arrived early to secure front row seats had to endure a severe thunderstorm that stopped music for about an hour. Once things dried up, the Vermont hip-hop group 99 Neighbors and Milwaukee’s own DJ Shawna had the honor of opening for Lizzo. At one point, Shawna brought out local singer Lex Allen to hype up the crowd.

Lizzo walked out alone in a sexy red leather and metallic outfit. Her hair blew dramatically in the wind as “Cuz I Love You’s” emphatic opening title track banged through the speakers, its album art serving as the stage backdrop. After hitting the final high note (those pipes!) of “Cuz I Love You” Lizzo flashed a million dollar smile and we were officially under her spell. 

All told, the set was a power hour featuring nine tracks off “Cuz I Love You,” four from her major label debut — 2016’s “Coconut Oil” EP — and the non-album single “Fitness.” Those hoping for deep cuts (“Bus Passes and Happy Meals” anyone?) may have left a bit empty-handed, but who am I kidding? Considering how good the new material is and how much of a well-oiled machine Lizzo, DJ Sophia and her dancers the Big Grrrls are, disappointment was never on the menu. 

While many performers, particularly rappers, will ask a crowd to wave their hands from side-to-side, Lizzo made the same request in a way that only Lizzo can, which led to the most enthusiastic crowd wave I’ve ever seen. 

“I want you to take all the love you have for yourself and sing it out to the sky with your fingertips.”

The tight set didn’t include any actual covers, but “Worship” was treated with a “Respect” tag, “Fitness” was followed by a “Le Freak” dance break, and “Jerome” was preceded by a “No Scrubs” sing-along. Before “Jerome” Lizzo also mentioned how grateful she was to be back in the Midwest, giving a shout out to mayonnaise and hot dish. 

The most entertaining local pandering came during the acapella encore of “Truth Hurts.” Instead of sticking with the lyric “new player on the Minnesota Vikings” Lizzo paused and after the crowd filled in the line, she dropped a register and cheekily sang “Green Bay Packers,” following it with an animated “It’s good!” field goal arm motion. 

Lizzo closed her Summerfest set with “Juice,” one of the most perfect pop songs to arrive in years, and added a flute solo for good measure. It was a triumphant outing, yet I couldn’t help but think of how much further she can go. I’d love to see her add a full band and an elaborate stage production. But no matter the setup and stage, Lizzo’s irresistible charm, irrepressible talent, uplifting gospel and naughty mouth will surely win the day.   

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Lizzo alleges racist attack after her concert; Summerfest promises investigation

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By all accounts Lizzo’s heavily anticipated concert at Summerfest last night delivered. The singer herself called it “the best show ever,” but the performance itself was upstaged by an alleged racist attack after the concert involving a Summerfest guard.


“That was the best show ever but I feel like I can’t even celebrate cuz RACISM don’t matter if you a headliner…. SMH @Summerfest please send footage” she added.

Lizzo |

Summerfest was quick to respond, and in a pair of tweet promised to investigate the incident. “Lizzo gave an incredible performance which she now feels is tarnished by events which occurred during the performance. We do not tolerate racism in any form. We will conduct a thorough investigation,” the organization wrote.

“We have an experienced crowd management staff who strive to protect performers & fans,” it added in a second tweet. “While there may be challenges during a performance, we expect those challenges to be handled professionally & respectfully. If those standards were not met, we will take appropriate action.”

Lizzo responded to that statement with an appreciative tweet.

No video of the incident appears to be online. We will update this post with more information as it become available.

88Nine Radio Milwaukee