Milwaukee had one of its busiest summer concert seasons ever, and more are on the way

Milwaukee had one of its busiest summer concert seasons ever, and more are on the way

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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’re looking back at one of the biggest summers ever for concerts in Milwaukee. We haven’t seen this many major shows in the market in at least a decade, Piet says. Pollstar compiles a list of the top-grossing venues in the world, and Fiserv Forum landed at #38. When you limit that list to just venues in the United States, it shoots up to #20. That’s a huge leap from Bradley Center, which never made these rankings.

A rendering for Summerfest’s new American Family Insurance Amphitheater, set to open in 2020 | Courtesy Summerfest

Alpine Valley, meanwhile, celebrated its busiest season in 15 years. It’s a huge bounce back from 2017, when Alpine didn’t host a single concert. It seemed like the writing was on the wall, and many expected the venue would close. But according to Pollstar’s ranking, it landed at #29 for the top amphitheaters in the country this summer. Fortunes can change.

There’s more big summer concerts to come. Last month it was announced that the Madison-based promoter FPC Live is going to be producing more concerts at the Summerfest grounds outside of Summerfest. FPC Live has already been promoting a lot of shows at Fiserv Forum, but now it’s been brought in to make sure that Summerfest gets its money worth out of its new American Family Insurance Amphitheater, as well as the 5,000-seat BMO Harris Pavilion.

Though it’s based out of Madison, FPC Live has become a juggernaut in the field. The company was ranked as the #12 promoter in the world. This summer it sold approximately 1.1 million tickets.

Piet explains why the new means Milwaukeeans could be seeing some big shows that previously might have skipped the market and stayed in Chicago.

Stream the episode to hear us break it all down below.

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