Milwaukee’s 2021 summer festival calendar will start very late this year

Milwaukee’s 2021 summer festival calendar will start very late this year

640 427

Every Thursday on Radio Milwaukee we — the Journal Sentinel’s Piet Levy and 88Nine’s Evan Rytlewski — talk about the music coming into Milwaukee and the music coming out of Milwaukee on Tap’d In.

Concerts and live performances are coming back to Milwaukee, albeit at a trickle. The Cactus Club is about to have its first concert in 13 months on Friday, an outdoor performance from Johanna Rose. The Pabst Theater just had a social-distance show with John McGivern. And Washington Park Wednesday has announced its 2021 season, which will hopefully mark the first of many shows in the parks this season.

On the festival front, though, the news remains decidedly more mixed. Many of the city’s big festivals and street parties — including PrideFest, German Fest, Locust Street Festival and the Burnhearts PBR Street Party — have announced they won’t be back this year.

The Summerfest grounds | Photo courtesy Summerfest

And the festivals that are still planning on happening this year are all scheduled for fairly late in the season, August or later. Summerfest is still on for September, for instance. And Wisconsin State Fair just confirmed that it intends to come back on Aug. 5. And Irish Fest and Mexican Fiesta are still hopeful they can return, but what those returns might look like is still anybody’s guess.

On this week’s episode of Tap’d In, Piet updates us on some of the bigger recent announcements — and cancellations — and we ask “is this going to be a lost summer for Milwaukee festival lovers?”

Stream it below.

Like what you hear? Subscribe!

Get all of 88Nine’s podcasts delivered right to you weekly at We’ve got podcasts about music, food and film, with fresh episodes dropping every week! And don’t forget to check out our new podcast “By Every Measure,” a six-part examination of systemic racism in Milwaukee.

Support from our community makes stories like the one you just read possible. Make a gift to support the team behind the programming you use and enjoy!

88Nine Radio Milwaukee