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Today’s Summerfest schedule and picks: Thursday, June 22

Three side-by-side photos of two men playing electric guitar on stage, a man in sunglasses playing acoustic guitar in a large stadium, and a man in a cowboy hat playing electric guitar.
The Moss / Eric Church / Marcus King / Facebook
(From left) The Moss, Eric Church and Marcus King highlight day one of Summerfest 2023.

Every morning throughout Summerfest 2023, we’ll deliver a guide that covers the day’s entertainment and how you can get in the gate free of charge. This is where you’ll find info about the AmFam Amp headliners, eclectic picks from our knowledgeable staff and the music lineup for the day (see the full 2023 Summerfest lineup here).

Today at the AmFam Amphitheater

Eric Church, Elle King, 7:30 p.m.

A little more than a year after tearing up American Family Field, country megastar Eric Church completes the AmFam double (the first to do so, as far as I could find) by playing the amphitheater as Summerfest’s day-one headliner. The show will also serve as the first of Church’s “Outsiders Revival Tour” criss-crossing the country this summer.

The Summerfest date will mark an even quicker return for opener Elle King, who also opened for Chris Stapleton at Fiserv Forum last October. She first caught our attention with the 2009 Grammy-nominated song “Ex’s and Oh’s” but occupies a much different space these days, currently touring behind Come Get Your Wife, her first wall-to-wall country album that came out Jan. 27.

Radio Milwaukee staff pick #1

Marcus King Band @ BMO Pavilion, 10 p.m.

Brace yourselves for an unforgettable experience to start this year's Summerfest because the phenomenal Marcus King Band is hitting town! Hailing all the way from the vibrant city of Greenville, S.C., these talented rebels have mastered the art of blending blues, rock and Southern charm into one killer sound.

Here's what really gets my heart racing: There's a chance King will strum his iconic 1955 Gibson Les Paul Custom Black Beauty — a legendary guitar that once belonged to the likes of Paul Kossoff and Eric Clapton (during the epic Cream era of 1968). King and crew are stepping in to headline after Cheap Trick had to cancel, but they’re ready to deliver a night of pure, unadulterated rock 'n' roll magic. Trust me: You don't want to miss this one.

— Jen Ellis

Radio Milwaukee staff pick #2

The Moss @ Generac Power Stage, 8:30 p.m.

If you're in search of high-energy, surf-inspired music with catchy hooks, look no further than The Moss — a band I admittedly discovered just a few months ago. I was scrolling on TikTok when they popped up … interestingly enough the same week the Summerfest lineup was announced.

If you need a crash course on this Hawaii-based band, look no further than “Insomnia.” This sunny-day song about ending a relationship is filled with crisp melodies and carefree vocals, delivering a delightful blend of ’90s grunge and reggae culture. With its irresistible charm, the song quickly became one of my favorite tracks, and I can’t wait to witness The Moss perform it live on the Summerfest grounds.

— Salam Fatayer

How to get in free today

Johnson Controls Stomp Out Hunger Day with FOX6 Milwaukee

Bring a minimum of three non-perishable food items (although cans of healthy fruits or vegetables are preferred) to any Summerfest gate between noon and 3 p.m., and you’ll get a free admission ticket. All donations benefit Hunger Task Force, and tickets are limited to one per person valid for the day and time of the promotion only.

Summerfest schedule for Thursday, June 22

American Family Insurance Amphitheater

  • 7:30 p.m. — Eric Church, Elle King

AmFam House Stage

  • 4 p.m. — Declan McKenna
  • 2 p.m. — Elle King

BMO Pavilion

  • 10 p.m. — Marcus King Band
  • 7:30 p.m. — Bad Boy
  • 5:30 p.m. — Larry Fleet
  • 3:30 p.m. — Chronic Edge
  • 1:30 p.m. — Lovin’ Kind

Miller Lite Oasis

  • 10:15 p.m. — Gryffin
  • 8:30 p.m. — Lost Kings
  • 7:15 p.m. — Forester
  • 6 p.m. — Frank Walker
  • 4:30 p.m. — Sias

Generac Power Stage

  • 10 p.m. — Declan McKenna
  • 8:30 p.m. — The Moss
  • 7:30 p.m. — Rosa Linn
  • 6:30 p.m. — Friko
  • 4 p.m. — DJ Kenny Perez

Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard

  • 10 p.m. — The Wailers
  • 8 p.m. — Third World
  • 4 p.m. — Jupiter & Okwess
  • 2 p.m. — La Sra. Tomasa

UScellular Connection Stage

  • 10 p.m. — Three 6 Mafia
  • 8:15 p.m. — Haarper
  • 4:15 p.m. — Reverend Horton Heat
  • 2:30 p.m. — Ken Saydak Band
  • 12:45 p.m. — Velveetatones

Uline Warehouse

  • 10 p.m. — Buddy Guy
  • 7:30 p.m. — Mindi Abair
  • 5:30 p.m. — Chicago Blues Supersession
  • 3:30 p.m. — Chris Duarte
  • 1:45 p.m. — Tommy Odetto

Sound Waves Stage

  • 7 p.m. — DJ Shawna: Women in Music — Dance Thru the Decades

Johnsonville Summerville

  • 5:30 p.m. — Robin Pluer with The Rhythm Club

South Party Pavilion

  • 8 p.m. — The Cougars

Northwestern Mutual Community Park

  • 8:30 p.m. — David Seebach’s Wonders of Magic