Bo Black’s leadership made Summerfest what it is today

Bo Black’s leadership made Summerfest what it is today

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Each Thursday morning on Radio Milwaukee we — the Journal Sentinel’s Piet Levy and 88Nine’s Jordan Lee — talk about the music coming into and the music coming out of Milwaukee on Tap’d In

This week we wanted to take a moment to remember a woman who is responsible for many of our fond memories at Summerfest: Bo Black, the executive director of Milwaukee World Festivals from 1983-2003. She passed away last Friday at her home in Arizona. To say her legacy is deep is an understatement.

Bo Black | Courtesy photo

It was her leadership that helped build the festival into what it is today; it was under her watch that the Guinness Book of World Records proclaimed the music festival the largest in the world in 1999.

And she was an extremely public figure, visible in TV interviews and commercials. She used her incredible marketing skills to help promote the festival and to brand Summerfest as a people’s festival. She was adamant about keeping the price of the festival down so that anybody could attend, and she did that through the huge sponsorships that she was able to land.

Hear us remember her on this week’s episode below.

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