Packers expecting big crowd for Steve Miller Band's free concert outside Lambeau

Kendra Meinert
Green Bay Press-Gazette
View Comments
Steve Miller receives the Golden Note Award and performs at ASCAP's 25th Annual Pop Music Awards in 2008.

When the Green Bay Packers were looking for a music act to fit the bill for their 100th anniversary season, who better than the space cowboy, the joker, the gangster of love?

The Steve Miller Band felt like a classic choice for a free concert outside Lambeau Field on Sept. 8, the Saturday night before the Packers take on the Chicago Bears for a “Sunday Night Football” season opener in Green Bay. The 2016 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee comes with a robust catalog of ’70s and ’80s hits and his own Wisconsin credentials.

Miller, 74, was born in Milwaukee.

“Just having those Wisconsin ties we thought was a really neat aspect,” said Kandi Goltz, manager of game presentation and live events for the Packers. “His music resonates with a lot of our fans. His fan base is close to our fan base.

"I think people are going to recognize a ton of his songs. We do feel like the music will carry over different age groups. Your 20-year-olds are going to enjoy it as much as the 50-year-olds." 

RELATED:Packers plan free outdoor movies at Ariens Hill

RELATED:Newlyweds' Lambeau photo felt like a fairy tale

Since most rock fans mastered the lyrics to “Jet Airliner,” "The Joker" and “Take the Money and Run” a couple of decades ago, all that’s left to get ready for the Celebration Weekend concert is to brush up on a few of the day-of basics.

Here's the rundown for you, Billy Joe and Bobbie Sue, and anyone else thinking about going to the show.

When is it? The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 8. There’s no opening act.

Where is it? The stage will be outside Lambeau Field near the Oneida Nation Gate steps and the players parking lot on the southeast side of the stadium. It will be similar to the setup of last season’s concert by Blues Traveler and Everclear but with a larger stage this year.

How does seating work? It’s general-admission standing but feel free to bring a portable lawn chair.

Is there any chance capacity will max out? The Packers don’t anticipate that happening, Goltz said. There’s easily room for 20,000 people, she said. The 2015 concert drew somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000, but Steve Miller is expected to draw more. 

“We are looking at more people. There is more interest. We’re hearing a lot more buzz,” Goltz said. “People are talking about it. We're excited. We do think we’re going to get a really large crowd. 

Everclear performs outside Lambeau Field in September 2018. It will be a similar setup, but with a larger stage, for the Steve Miller Band on Sept. 8.

What about parking? Parking won’t be allowed in the stage area, but the rest of the Lambeau Field parking lots will be open for free parking on a first-come, first-served basis. The lot will be open all day, so there’s no specific time at which the gates open. .

Can you tailgate? “Absolutely,” Goltz said. “We think there will be a lot of that.” 

What about food and beverage sales? The Johnsonville Tailgate Village will be open from 4:30 to 9 p.m. There will also be several portable beer stands.

Is it rain or shine? Yes — unless there are thunderstorms. If there is lightning in the area, then adjustments will need to be made, but if it is just rain, the show will go on.

What about the rest of the Lambeau Field attractions that day? The Lambeau Field Atrium will be open for its regular 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. hours. That includes the Packers Pro Shop, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Packers Hall of Fame, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; 1919 Kitchen & Tap, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Lambeau Field Stadium Tours, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

“All the fans who are here for the game for the whole weekend will have a lot to do,” Goltz said. “We’re not changing the hours inside the stadium. Everything will stay the same.”

Will Steve Miller stick around to sing the national anthem at the game? Fans may remember John Popper of Blues Traveler performed the anthem on harmonica for last year's opener, but Miller will not be doing double duty.

“We’re hoping he can at least come to the game, because we love to show off Lambeau Field," Goltz said. "We feel like him being a Wisconsin person, he might have a little allegiance to the Packers."

Any chance these free home opener weekend concerts will become an annual tradition? That’s the idea. The Packers were pleased with last year’s inaugural event and are looking to do it each year to kick off the season, Goltz said. 

“It’s just a great way to give back to the community,” she said. “You’ve got all these people in town for the game. What else can they do on Saturday night? So come on over and have a little bit of fun and then get ready for the game on Sunday.”

View Comments