Summerfest 2019: Tickets, shuttles, happy hour deals and more you'll want to know before the festival

Jordyn Noennig
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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Summerfest returns for its 52nd year beginning June 26. 

Here's what you need to know about the festival this year. 

The basics 

When: Noon to midnight, June 26-30, and July 2-7. 

Where: Maier Festival Park, 200 N. Harbor Drive, Milwaukee.

What: Over 800 bands playing 11 days on 11 stages. Use the Journal Sentinel's interactive Summerfest schedule to plan your trip. 


General admission: $23, single day. Many deals are available for discounted or free entry. 

U.S. Cellular 3-day pass: $57.

Weekday admission: $15, and the ticket is valid noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. 

American Family InsuranceAmphitheaterArtists playing at the amphitheater require an additional ticket with prices varying by demand. Acts on the amphitheater are:

  • June 26: Thomas Rhett - Very Hot Summer Tour 2019
  • June 27: Outlaw Music Festival
  • June 28: Jason Aldean 
  • June 29: Bon Iver
  • June 30: Zac Brown Band - The Owl Tour
  • July 2: Lionel Richie
  • July 3: Jennifer Lopez - It's My Party 
  • July 5: The Killers
  • July 6: Billie Eilish
  • July 7: Lil Wayne 

Exit and re-entry

Wristbands are available from noon to 6:30 p.m. daily, and will remain valid for that day. No re-entries will be allowed after 7 p.m.

On July 7, no re-entry wristbands will be issued.


Parking: Parking in the premier A-lot will cost $40 per day, and is sold out on several days. Parking in the preferred P-lot costs $25 per day, and is also sold out on several days. 

Summerfest lots open starting at 9 a.m. and are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Riding your bike? The Summerfest grounds have parking for you, too, at the Mid, North and South gates.

Buses: Milwaukee County Transit System will bring back the Freeway Flyer system, picking up from 10 different locations within the county and two locations in Ozaukee County. MCTS rides costs $7 for a round trip in cash. To save $1, download the app and pay $6 for a round trip from any of the locations listed at www.ridemcts.com, or call (414) 344-6711. 

Waukesha County transit to Summerfest will operate out of Nagawaukee Park-Ride in Delafield. Other pickups include the Meadowbrook Park-Ride lot, the Goerke’s Corners Park-Ride lot, and Eble Park Ice Arena. Round trip from Waukesha County costs $11. Call (262) 542-8861 or visit WisconsinCoach.com for more information. 

Washington County buses pick up at Washington County Fair Park and Life Church in Germantown. For more information, visit goriteway.com or call GO Riteway Transportation Group, (262) 677-3282.

Buses even travel from Madison for Summerfest, which transport from UW-Madison to the corner of East Michigan and North Jackson streets, for $25. For more information call (877) 292-8259 or email info@badgerbus.com.

The Hop: Take The Hop street car northbound from the Intermodal Station or southbound from most other stops including Burns Commons, Cathedral Square or City Hall. Get off at the Third Ward stop, which drops off a few blocks away from Summerfest. 

Uber: Uber is the official ride-share provider of Summerfest. 

Like last year, there will be an "Uber Zone" right outside the Mid Gate at East Chicago and North Jackson streets. Riders can enter the Rider Lounge at Chicago Street while waiting for their ride. 

Bag policy 

All bags are subject to inspection prior to entering the Summerfest grounds. No backpacks or bags larger than 9x10x12 will be allowed on the grounds. Those who have a backpack or bag larger than 9x10x12 will be instructed to empty the contents into a clear bag provided by Summerfest in order to be admitted. 

Summerfest is not allowing backpacks and large bags to be allowed into grounds.

What else is not allowed

  • Camelback style hydration packs
  • Picnic baskets
  • Outside food and beverages
  • Cans or glass bottles
  • Aerosol cans
  • Alcohol
  • Illegal drugs or substances
  • Firearms
  • Knives
  • Weapons or objects that could be used as weapons
  • Fireworks
  • Professional-grade cameras or video equipment
  • Recording devices
  • Pets (except service animals)
  • Selfie sticks
  • Banners or flags on poles
  • Laser pointers
  • Lawn chairs
  • Skateboards or skates
  • Wagons
  • Kites
  • Hula-hoops
  • Frisbees
  • Stadium seats
  • Other carry-ins as determined by management

What's new? 

Summerfest Landing: For the first time Summerfest will have stand-up paddleboard  and kayak rentals every day on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Last year both activities were available for two days during the Summerfest run. This year, it'll be available every day.

Happy hour: Summerfest is offering different happy hour specials nearly every day of the festival. 

The best deal is on June 27 for Throwback Thursday, when all beverage stands, except for frozen drinks, specialty coffee drinks, and smoothies, will be 50% off from noon to 6 p.m. 

Most other happy hour deals are buy one, get one free at select stands from 4 to 5 p.m. See each deal at summerfest.com/miller-brewing-happy-hour-specials/

New food: There are at least a dozen new food offerings at Summerfest that span meatball cones to popsicles by Pete's Pops. 

Milwaukee-based Pizza Man is the only new food vendor to enter Summerfest this year. The pizza restaurant will serve slices and whole pies near the American Family Insurance Amphitheater. 

Acoustic sets: For the first time, headlining artists will perform an intimate acoustic set inside the American Family Insurance House ahead of their bigger shows. Artists who will perform in the house include HANSON, Brandi Carlile, Jimmie Allen, Reyna, X Ambassadors and more. 

The performances will occur daily either at 2 p.m. or 4 p.m. except for July 7, the last day of the festival. 

Fans will have the opportunity to be in the audience for these performances by stopping at the American Family Insurance House to register. Tickets will be given on a first come, first serve basis. The house will open daily at noon. Visit  www.amfam.com/summerfest for more information. 

RELATED:22 must-see acts at Summerfest 2019 in Milwaukee, from Billie Eilish to Jennifer Lopez (subscriber exclusive)

RELATED:Not sure what to see at Summerfest 2019? Our interactive schedule offers picks and much more.

Jordyn Noennig covers pop culture and entertainment in Milwaukee.  Follow her on Instagram @JordynTaylor_n. Find her on Twitter @JordynTNoennig. Call her at 262-446-6601 or email Jordyn.Noennig@jrn.com.

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