Summerfest amphitheater renovation begins with demolition of artist dressing rooms

Bill Glauber
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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It was demolition day at Summerfest Tuesday as work began on the renovation of the American Family Insurance Amphitheater.

Demolition work began Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018, at the  American Family Insurance Amphitheater on the Summerfest grounds in Milwaukee.

An excavator was used to begin taking down the dressing rooms and support area building behind the stage, the first step in a project that is budgeted up to $50 million. 

Milwaukee World Festival Inc., which oversees the festival, approved funding for the project last week.

The renovation will be done in two phases.

In the first phase, due to be completed in time for Summerfest 2019, the backstage building will be rebuilt. The Amphitheater roof will also be sandblasted, painted and raised, with the lowest structural beam going from 39 feet to 65 feet above the stage.

Demolition at the American Family Insurance Amphitheater is part of a two-year, $50 million project rebuilding the venue.

With the raised roof, Summerfest will be able to book acts that use more video and production features.

The second phase will begin after next year's Summerfest and will include new concourses, restrooms, seats and additional hospitality areas.

The aim is for the project to be completed by 2020.

RELATED:Summerfest approves up to $50 million for amphitheater remodeling project

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