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Here are all the ways to get free admission to Summerfest in 2024

A few weeks ago, one of those studies came out from a semi-dubious source that said Summerfest is the best deal among the major music festivals in the country. Do we blindly trust a “free to play social casino” when it comes to this sort of thing? Not really, no. But it does reinforce the anecdotal feeling that Summerfest is good value for the money — and that’s assuming you actually pay for a ticket.

As any past attendee knows, the World’s Largest Music Festival offers at least one promotion every day that’ll get you through the gates without paying for admission. Most of these daily deals involve donating much-needed items for the community — food, children’s books, hygiene products — while others aim at somewhat-narrow sections of the population like seniors and the military/first responders.

The great news is that even if you don’t qualify for those handful of daily promotions, Summerfest has three other ways to get in free.

  1. Download the Summerfest app (Apple and Android). Through a slightly convoluted process, the first 15,000 people can claim a free ticket that’s valid from noon to 4 p.m. the first three days of the festival (June 20-22).
  2. Summerfeast at Pick ‘n Save. This one’s a little more involved. You need to shop at any Pick ‘n Save, Metro Market or Mariano’s store AND use your Fresh Perks Card at checkout while buying at least $25 in participating items from brands like Pepsi, Johnsonville, Sargento and Screamin’ Sicilian Pizza. You’ll see an offer at the bottom of your receipt, which you can then bring to any ticket window on any day of the festival.
  3. Versiti Summerfest Blood Drives. Donate at a Versiti Blood Center location (except Marshfield and Manitowoc) from June 1-7, and you get one free Summerfest ticket. Also, the first 500 people who show a completed donation in the Versiti app at the Mid Gate box office will get a free ticket.

So there’s three right off the bat. The other daily promotions are below, and you can always get more information on the Summerfest website.

Thursday, June 20

Bush’s Beans Stomp Out Hunger Day with FOX6 Milwaukee
Noon to 3 p.m.

All patrons who donate three shelf-stable food items will receive one free admission ticket, valid for the day and time of the promotion only. Food donations will be accepted at all three gates. Limit one ticket per person. All donations benefit Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin.

Friday, June 21

Shorewest Realtors Children’s Fest Day with TMJ4 and 99.1 The Mix
Noon to 3 p.m.

All patrons will be admitted for free. Spend a fun-filled day with the family enjoying Children’s Fest activities, including the Shorewest Realtors Map of Fun. Select food vendors will offer discounts on food-and-beverage items.

Saturday, June 22

Briggs & Stratton Mary Lou’s Closet Supply Drive
Noon to 3 p.m.

Help support United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County's Mary Lou’s Closet, a program providing needed hygiene supplies for youth in area public schools. The first 1,500 patrons who donate NEW socks, deodorant and/or oral hygiene items (toothbrush and toothpaste) with a total minimum value of $10 will receive one free admission ticket valid for the day and time of the promotion only. All donations will benefit the Milwaukee Community Schools Partnership.

Thursday, June 27

Throwback Thursday presented by Pick ‘n Save
Noon to 6 p.m.

For the $5 admission, you can enjoy a collection of music through the decades from Tiffany, Nappy Roots, Eve 6 and more. Plus, all beer, seltzer, Cherry Vodka Lemonade, Aquafina Water, and soda will be half off.

In addition, Pick ‘n Save shoppers can earn four free Summerfest tickets for every qualifying $50 spent at Pick ‘n Save and Metro Market locations from April 24 to May 14. Visit for details. The offer is printed at the bottom of the receipt. To redeem the offer, bring the complete original receipt to the Summerfest ticket windows at the entry gates between noon and 6 p.m. Tickets are only valid for the day and time of the promotion. Limit three offers or 12 tickets per transaction.

Friday, June 28

Show Your College Pride Day with OnMilwaukee and CW18/MY24
Noon to 3 p.m.

All patrons wearing a shirt or hat representing a participating college or university, or students presenting a valid High School ID, will receive one free admission ticket. Tickets are only valid for the day and time of the promotion. Stop by the Mid Gate Promotions Booth to receive your ticket, then head over to your school’s booth to say hello and show your support.

Only shirts or hats from the following colleges or universities will be accepted: Herzing University, Marquette University, Milwaukee Area Technical College, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, University of Wisconsin-Parkside and University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

All High School students who begin their FAFSA before July 6 will receive a code redeemable for a FREE General Admission Summerfest Ticket, brought to you by Milwaukee Education Partnership. For more information on how to request your ticket code, visit

Saturday, June 29

Summerfest Military and First Responder Appreciation Day with Generac
Noon to 6 p.m.

All active-duty military personnel and veterans, police, fire and EMT (along with up to four family members) who present a valid Military ID, copy or photo of a DD-214 form, driver’s license with Veteran classification, law enforcement or fire department agency-issued credentials at the designated turnstile at any gate will be admitted free. Police and fire union ID cards will also be accepted with a photo ID.

Saturday, June 29

Northwestern Mutual Make a Child Smile Day
Noon to 3 p.m.

The first 2,500 patrons who donate new or gently used children’s books with a $10 minimum value will receive one free admission ticket valid for the day and time of the promotion only. Picture books and early readers for children ages birth through 10 are preferred. All books collected at the Mid Gate Promotions Booth will be donated to Next Door.

Thursday, July 4

Celebrate the Fourth of July at Summerfest with M&M’s
Noon to 6 p.m.

All patrons arriving during the designated time will be admitted free, courtesy of M&M’s, the Official Chocolate Candy sponsor of Summerfest. Plus, stop by the M&M’s activation just inside the Mid Gate to kick off your Fourth with free samples.

Friday, July 5

Direct Supply Seniorfest Day
Noon to 4 p.m.

All patrons ages 60+ will be admitted free when they present their ID at the designated turnstile at any gate. Admitted seniors will also receive a voucher for $2 off a food or non-alcoholic beverage purchase over $10.

Spend the day enjoying music spanning a range of genres, including music from The Box Tops, the Direct Supply Golden Idols and more. Also, just inside the South Gate, check out various Direct Supply partners offering senior-focused information and services. All wheelchairs will be provided free of charge to seniors between noon and 4 p.m., while supplies last.

Friday, July 5

Silgan Community Food Drive
Noon to 3 p.m.

The first 2,000 patrons who donate three shelf-stable food items will receive one free admission ticket valid for the day and time of the promotion only. Donations will be accepted at the Mid Gate Promotions Booth. All donations benefit Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin.

Saturday, July 6

Summerfest Fan Appreciation Day presented by Potawatomi Casino | Hotel
Noon to 3 p.m.

All patrons will be admitted free during the designated time, plus the first 30,000 people through the gates will receive an admission ticket for Summerfest 2025 and a BIG WIN entry ticket. To participate in the BIG WIN drawing, simply drop the perforated entry ticket in a specially marked bin inside the Summerfest Mid Gate.