Summerfest changes its reserved seat policy for its BMO Harris Pavilion shows

Summerfest changes its reserved seat policy for its BMO Harris Pavilion shows

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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

Select tickets for three Summerfest concerts at the BMO Harris Pavilion are going on sale today: Goo Goo Dolls on June 24, Barenaked Ladies on June 30 and The Psychedelic Furs on July 5. On this week’s episode, we dive a little deeper into the festival’s new ticketing policy for shows at that venue.

For those unfamiliar, the BMO Harris Pavilion has lower bowl seats, in addition to a bleacher seating area. Last year the venue reserved some of those lower bowl seats for $30 tickets. This year, however, attendees will have to pay for all of those lower bowl seats, and the prices vary depending on the show. If you’re a Summerfest general admission ticket holder, you’ll have to watch from the bleacher seats or the standing-room area.

Summerfest’s BMO Harris Pavilion | Photo via Hunzinger.com

There’s pros and cons here. For a small premium, fans are guaranteed a seat for some of these shows. The con, of course, is that Milwaukeeans may not be used to this seating system yet. Because Summerfest’s policy for these seats has changed over the years, there’s some confusion surrounding them, and bands often end up playing to a lot of empty seats — Piet recalls seeing Janelle Monae play to tons of unoccupied seats. There’s also the potential for scalpers to exploit the system.

“It leads to this weird scenario where you have people who see the show but have to see it from the back,” Piet says.

Hear us discuss the new policy in this week’s episode below.

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