Summerfest gears up for 55th anniversary in 2023

MILWAUKEE — Festivity planning is already underway for the 2023 Summerfest, which will celebrate its 55th anniversary.

The Big Gig unveiled a new 55th anniversary logo and some promotions at the festival, which is set to begin June 22.

Milwaukee’s iconic music festival, produced by Milwaukee World Festival, Inc., started in 1968.

“55 years of music, food, fun, and unforgettable memories will bring us together as we celebrate Summerfest’s 55th anniversary next year,” said Don Smiley, CEO of Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. “Mayor Henry Maier’s vision of Summerfest has now grown into one of the largest and most diverse music festivals anywhere. We are proud to continue that legacy and look forward to celebrating with our fans, sponsors and artists in 2023.”

The new 55th anniversary Summerfest logo. (Courtesy of Milwaukee World Festival, Inc.)

To commemorate the 55th anniversary, Miller products will be $5.50 from 4 to 5 p.m. every day of the festival. Additionally, on the opening day, the first 10,000 fans will receive a commemorative Summerfest 55 item, which will not be sold in stores.

Business group tickets will be 55% off through Oct. 31, which includes enrollment in the Summerfest Business Alliance program. This unlocks VIP perks, networking opportunities and more. 

Also, starting in February, fans can take part in the “Fest Fan of the Past 55” contest, in which festival-goers can share their favorite Summerfest memory over the past 55 years. Summerfest staff will select the top 10 nominations from the online submissions, which will then be reviewed by a celebrity panel of judges. The panel of judges will then vote to determine the winner.

The winner will receive two nine-day power passes, two tickets to a show of their choice at the American Family Insurance Amphitheater during the festival, a Summerfest gift card and a signed Summerfest memorabilia item. More details will be announced in early 2023.

The first concert announcement of the 55th anniversary will be made Monday.

As previously announced, the annual music festival will take place over three consecutive weekends, on June 22-24, June 29-July 1 and July 6-8. The three-weekend format was introduced in 2021, as festival officials said the new model allowed for extended booking windows for talent.