2022 to be Bob Babisch’s last in Summerfest role

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. on Thursday said that the 2022 Big Gig will be the final one with Bob Babisch overseeing the festival in the role of Vice President of Entertainment. 

Summerfest said Babisch “will begin to transition his role as leader of the organization’s Entertainment Department at the end of 2022.”

Babisch has worked for Milwaukee World Festival, the corporation which produces Summerfest, for 46 years. He’s been in that current role more than four decades. 

In a news release, Summerfest said Scott Ziel, current Associate Booking Director, will become Director of Entertainment and take on additional responsibilities for the Big Gig and other events produced by MWF.

“Following the 2022 season, Babisch will take on an ongoing consulting role with MWF,” a news release said.

Congrats to these two! Bob Babisch has led our entertainment department for 46 years & will be handing it off to Scott Ziel at the end of 2022. They have booked thousands of artists & will continue to rock ‘n roll into the future. Can’t wait to share this year’s lineup soon! pic.twitter.com/xOUirX6kXE

— Summerfest (@Summerfest) March 3, 2022

During Babisch’s time in his current position, he’s overseen the booking and production for all concerts during Summerfest, and other shows held throughout the year at the American Family Insurance Amphitheater and the BMO Harris Pavilion. 

“It has truly been a dream job, I can’t believe I’ve been here for 46 years,” Babisch said in a news release. “Looking back, it’s the connection of live music and the fans that has inspired me for all these years.”

“Bob has an unmatched legacy that has helped shape not only Summerfest, but the music industry, during his illustrious career,” said Don Smiley, President and CEO of Milwaukee World Festival. “In the months to come, he will provide exceptional support for his team as we begin this transition to new leadership. On a personal note, I will miss seeing Bob on a day-to-day basis in 2023, but we both look forward to rocking and rolling in 2022.”

Milwaukee World Festival said Ziel has worked closely with Babisch on the booking and production of Summerfest for more than 25 years.