Which is the best day to head down to the Big Gig? We ranked the 11 days of Summerfest from worst to best using our special scientific formula.

“So, uh, what’s a good day to go to Summerfest?” is a question I seem to field every June.

Even though I scan and dissect the schedule immediately after it’s announced, it’s still a tough one to answer. There are often different factors that fluctuate depending on the person. Age and music preferences certainly alter a response—are you over 50? Then probably stay away from Passion Pit (June 30) and instead see Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson (June 29). Do you like jazz ensembles? Then see Preservation Hall Jazz Band (July 7).

But even with those criteria, picking a day to go to Summerfest can still be challenging. That’s why I’ve taken all effort out of figuring out which day was actually best and compiled a metric to determine which day is scientifically the best.

I choose six bands from each day (the Marcus Amphitheater headliner, the three highest rated Ground Stage headliners, the highest rated opening act, and the two highest rated local bands). Each group is graded on a metric* of Relevance (release an album recently and/or considered in prime form?), Rareness (play out seldomly?) and Performance (good live band?). All the points the bands accumulate form a total score for that day—the higher the score, the better the day.

So, let’s get started. Here are your (second annual!) Summerfest Power Rankings:

*Rating system: 1-10; 10 being the highest score (Relevance + Rareness + Performance = Overall Score.)

  1. Wednesday, July 6

It could be much worse than this. While it’s frankly embarrassing (and all too Summerfest-y) that festival-circuit-mainstays Def Leppard headline the amphitheater, the second Wednesday offers some solid ‘90s throwbacks at the ground stages, like Madison alt-rockers Garbage, bootyphile Sir Mix-A-Lot and a DJ set from Mike D of the Beastie Boys. No need to skip work early for the openers, although rapper Ray Nitti performs at 1:45 p.m., if you can take a late lunch.

Marcus Amphitheater Headliner: Def Leppard (4-3-5: 12), 7:30 p.m.

Ground Stage Headliners:

  • Garbage (7-6-7: 20) at Harley Davidson Roadhouse, 9:30 p.m.
  • Sir Mix-A-Lot (4-8-5: 17) at Johnson Controls World Sound Stage, 10 p.m.
  • Mike D (DJ set) (5-7-5: 17) at Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard, 10 p.m.

Notable Opener: Lawrence Taylor (4-5-4: 13) at U.S. Cellular Connection Stage, 8 p.m.

Local Options:

  • Jaill (7-2-8: 17) at Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard, 8 p.m.
  • Ray Nitti (6-5-6: 17) at Johnson Controls World Sound Stage, 1:45 p.m.

Total score: 113

  1. Saturday, July 2

This rating suffers from virtually no quality openers (hence Blue Oyster Cult making the cut). The ground stage headliners are quite good—there’s the retro soul stylings of Mayer Hawthorne, the hard rocker Billy Idol, and the shimmy-shimmy-cocoa-what superstar Nelly. (Plus, Peter Bjorn and John also play the Johnson Controls World Sound Stage at 10 p.m.) Weekends usually have some good depth, but the schedule is very top heavy on the first Saturday. There’s no need to spend the afternoon here (unless, of course, you need more cowbell); rather spend it at Burnhearts’ Pabst Street Party.

Marcus Amphitheater Headliner: Chris Stapleton & Alabama Shakes (8-7-8: 23), 7:30 p.m.

Ground Stage Headliners:

  • Mayer Hawthorne (6-7-7: 20) at Uline Warehouse, 10 p.m.
  • Billy Idol (5-7-6: 18) at BMO Harris Pavilion, 9:45 p.m.
  • Nelly (5-8-5: 18) at Harley Davidson Roadhouse, 9:45 p.m.

Notable Opener: Blue Oyster Cult (4-2-4: 12) at BMO Harris Pavilion, 4 p.m.

Local Options:

  • The Living Statues (7-2-7: 16) at Uline Warehouse, 8 p.m.
  • The Rhythm Kings (6-2-6: 14) at JoJo’s Martini Lounge, 8 p.m.

Total score: 121

  1. Friday, July 8

If you weren’t lucky enough to snag Paul McCartney tickets, there’s little reason to go on this day.

Marcus Amphitheater Headliner: Paul McCartney (6-9-9: 24), 7:30 p.m.

Ground Stage Headliners:

  • The Fray (5-6-5: 16) at BMO Harris Pavilion, 9:45 p.m.
  • Common (6-7-6: 19) at Miller Lite Oasis, 10 p.m.
  • Young The Giant (6-5-5: 16) at Uline Warehouse, 10 p.m.
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Notable Opener: The Wombats (6-7-5: 18) at Uline Warehouse, 8 p.m.

Local Options:

  • Hugh Masterson (5-5-6: 16) at Harley Davidson Roadhouse, 6 p.m.
  • 5 Card Studs (5-3-6: 14) at BMO Harris Pavilion, 6 p.m.

Total score: 123

  1. (tied) Tuesday, July 5

While former guitarist/singer Tom DeLonge is off chasing a UFO obsession, Blink 182 soldiers on with Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba in his place. They’re touring behind a new album, California, due out July 1. If you haven’t had the chance to see Space Raft since the release of their sophomore album, Rubicon, make a point to check them out at the Johnson Controls World Sound Stage at 6:45 p.m.

Marcus Amphitheater Headliner: Blink 182 (6-7-6: 19), 7:30 p.m.

Ground Stage Headliners:

  • Jason Derulo at Miller Lite Oasis (7-7-7: 21), 10 p.m.;
  • Gin Blossoms at Uline Warehouse (5-6-7: 18), 10 p.m.
  • Buckwheat Zydeco (5-6-7: 18) at Johnson Controls World Sound Stage, 10 p.m

Notable Opener: Fast Romantics (6-4-6: 16) at Johnson Controls World Sound Stage, 5:30 p.m.

Local Options:

  • Space Raft (8-1-8: 17) at Johnson Controls World Sound Stage, 6:45 p.m.
  • The Cavewives (7-3-6: 16) at Uline Warehouse, 6:30 p.m.

Total score: 125

  1. (tied) Saturday, July 9

Make sure to see Reyna (formerly Vic and Gab) at 7 p.m. Then head over to the Miller Lite Oasis to check singer-songwriter Julien Baker. Then either call it an early night or catch a set from Death Cab For Cutie, Ben Folds or Chris Isaak.

Marcus Amphitheater Headliner: Weezer and Panic! at the Disco (6-7-6: 19), 7:30 p.m.

Ground Stage Headliners:

  • Death Cab For Cutie (6-6-7: 19) at Miller Lite Oasis, 10:15 p.m.
  • Ben Folds (5-7-6: 18) at Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard, 10 p.m.
  • Chris Isaak (4-6-7: 17) at Uline Warehouse, 10 p.m.

Notable Opener: Julien Baker (8-4-8: 20) at Miller Lite Oasis, 8:30 p.m.

Local Options:

  • Reyna at Miller Lite Oasis, 7 p.m. (7-4-8: 19)
  • De La Buena (4-2-7: 13) at Johnson Controls World Sound Stage, 8 p.m.

Total score: 125

  1. Thursday, June 30

A day of pits—Pitbull and Passion Pit, that is. If you’re into classic blues rock, The Record Company should be up your alley. Black Violin, a hip hop duo of violin, sounds intriguing and is worth a passing glance.

Marcus Amphitheater Headliner: Pitbull (8-6-5: 19), 7:30 p.m.

Ground Stage Headliners:

  • Passion Pit (7-6-8: 21) at Miller Lite Oasis, 10 p.m.
  • The Record Company (8-5-7: 20) at Johnson Controls World Sound Stage, 10 p.m.
  • Michael Franti & Spearhead (5-8-5: 18) at U.S. Cellular Connection Stage, 10 p.m.

Notable Opener: Black Violin (5-6-5: 16) at Johnson Controls World Sound Stage, 8 p.m.

Local Options:

  • GGOOLLDD (7-2-8: 17) at Miller Lite Oasis, 7:15 p.m.
  • Greatest Lakes (5-3-7: 15) at Miller Lite Oasis, 6 p.m.

Total score: 126 

  1. Friday, July 1

It’s always disappointing when all the notable bands are pushed back to the 10 p.m. slots and you’re force to make some tough choices. The first Friday of the festival features a musician that probably could be headlining a group stage, but instead plays at 6:45 p.m. Diane Coffee is the solo project of Shaun Fleming, the drummer for pysch-rock group Foxygen. His own aesthetic is similarly kaleidoscopic.

Marcus Amphitheater Headliner: Blake Shelton (6-6-4: 16), 7:30 p.m.

Ground Stage Headliners:

  • Ray Lamontagne at Harley Davidson Roadhouse (8-6-7: 21), 10 p.m.
  • KT Tunstall at U.S. Cellular Connection Stage (6-7-6: 19), 10 p.m.
  • O.A.R. at Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard (5-4-6: 15), 10 p.m.

Notable Opener: Diane Coffee (6-7-7: 20) at Johnson Controls World Sound Stage, 6:45 p.m.

Local Options:

  • Tigernite (8-1-9: 18) at Miller Lite Oasis, 7:30 p.m.
  • Trapper Schoepp (8-2-8: 18) at Harley Davidson Roadhouse, 8 p.m.

Total score: 128

  1. Sunday, July 10

Fresh off 2015’s track-by-track cover album of Taylor Swift’s 1989, Ryan Adams headlines the Harley-Davidson Roadhouse on the final day of Summerfest. The veteran Americana singer-songwriter also released one of his finest records in 2014; the self-titled album earned Adams his first No. 1 on the Billboard Top Rock Album charts of illustrious his career.

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Marcus Amphitheater Headliner: Sting and Peter Gabriel (6-8-8: 22), 7:30 p.m.

Ground Stage Headliners:

  • Ryan Adams and The Shining (7-8-8: 23) at Harley-Davidson Roadhouse, 10 p.m.
  • Femi Kuti & The Positive Force (5-7-8: 20) at Johnson Controls World Sound Stage, 10 p.m.
  • Matisyahu (4-6-5: 16) at Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard, 9:45 p.m.

Notable Opener: On An On (6-6-5: 15) at Johnson Controls World Sound Stage, 6:45 p.m.

Local Options:

  • Paul Cebar Tomorrow Sound (5-4-8: 17) at Johnson Controls World Sound Stage, 8 p.m.
  • The Whiskeybelles (6-3-7: 16) at U.S. Cellular Connection Stage, 8 p.m.

Total score: 129

  1. Thursday, July 7

This is a good day to walk around and get a taste of everything that’s offered. But you should get there early for nomadic troubadour Brett Newski’s 7:15 performance and definitely catch Midwest Death Rattle’s following set. The band’s new album Post-Apocalypso is one of the year’s best.

Marcus Amphitheater Headliner: Luke Bryan (7-5-6: 18), 7:30 p.m.

Ground Stage Headliners:

  • The Decemberists (7-6-8: 21) at Miller Lite Oasis, 10 p.m.
  • Preservation Hall Jazz Band (5-8-8: 21) at Johnson Controls World Sound Stage, 10 p.m.
  • Violent Femmes (5-6-8: 19) at Harley Davidson Roadhouse, 9:45 p.m.

Notable Opener: Cory Chisel And The Wandering Sons (6-5-7: 18) at Miller Lite Oasis, 8 p.m.

Local Options:

  • Midwest Death Rattle (8-2-7: 17) at Harley Davidson Roadhouse, 8 p.m.
  • Brett Newski (6-4-7: 17) at Harley Davidson Roadhouse, 7:15 p.m.

Total score: 131

  1. Sunday, July 3

The Roots, the house band for Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, is one of the shows you can’t miss at Summerfest. While the outfit has been too busy scoring the talk show to record a new album, their latest effort, 2011’s Undun, was highly underrated at the time—largely due to a mid-December release. Milwaukee’s hip hop scene took a big step forward last year, mostly thanks to the collective New Age Narcissism. See where the scene is going during their opening performance before the Roots at the Miller Lite Oasis.

Marcus Amphitheater Headliner: Tim McGraw (6-7-6: 18), 7:30 p.m.

Ground Stage Headliners:

  • The Roots (8-8-8: 24) at Miller Lite Oasis, 9:45 p.m.
  • Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers (5-8-7: 20) at Uline Warehouse, 10 p.m.
  • Rise Against (6-6-6: 18) at Harley Davidson Roadhouse, 10:15 p.m.

Notable Opener: Indigo Girls (5-6-6: 17) at BMO Harris Pavilion, 7:30 p.m.

Local Options:

  • Bodeans (6-4-8: 18) at BMO Harris Pavilion, 9:45 p.m.
  • New Age Narcissism (8-3-6: 17) at Miller Lite Oasis, 8 p.m.

Total score: 132

  1. Wednesday, June 29

If there’s one day that provides the most choices, it’s the opening Wednesday. You could see a big over-the-top show from one of pop music rising stars Selena Gomez, a theatrical musical comedy performance from Weird Al Yankovic, who’s latest record Mandatory Fun stands up well with anything in his discography, a double bill of legendary folk singer-songwriters, Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson, the still effervescent punk group Joan Jett and the Blackhearts and a couple great local acts, electro-soul producers Kiings and the eclectic indie-rockers Fatty Acids. Plus, there’s a fireworks display at 9:30 p.m.

Marcus Amphitheater Headliner: Selena Gomez (8-7-8: 23), 7:30 p.m.

Ground Stage Headliners:

  • Weird Al Yankovic (7-6-9: 22) at Uline Warehouse, 10 p.m.
  • Willie Nelson (6-6-8: 20) at BMO Harris Pavilion, 10 p.m.
  • Joan Jett and the Blackhearts (5-5-8:18) at Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard, 10 p.m.

Notable Opener: Kris Kristofferson (6-7-7: 20) at BMO Harris Pavilion, 8 p.m.

Local Options:

  • Kiings (6-2-7: 15) at Miller Lite Oasis, 8 p.m.
  • Fatty Acids (2-5-9: 15) at Uline Warehouse, 8 p.m.

Total score: 133

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