How to Get in Free Today The first 15,000 people who download the Summerfest App will receive a free ticket, limited to one per device. The app is fueled by Pepsi (major points in the soda rivalry). Weather Forecast High: 76° Low: 66° Precipitation: 40% Sunset: 8:34 p.m. Don’t let today’s rain keep you from celebrating 4th […]

How to Get in Free Today

The first 15,000 people who download the Summerfest App will receive a free ticket, limited to one per device. The app is fueled by Pepsi (major points in the soda rivalry).

Weather Forecast

High: 76°
Low: 66°
Precipitation: 40%
Sunset: 8:34 p.m.

Don’t let today’s rain keep you from celebrating 4th of July in Summerfest style! 

Playing at the American Family Insurance Amphitheater


This show has been canceled. According to a press release put out by Summerfest, “The lead singer of Megadeth, Dave Mustaine, was recently diagnosed with throat cancer. ‘It’s clearly something to be respected and faced head on – but I’ve faced obstacles before. I’m working closely with my doctors, and we’ve mapped out a treatment plan which they feel has a 90% success rate. Treatment has already begun, said Mustaine.’” Refunds are available for tickets already purchased.

Staff Music Picks by Generation


Courtney Barnett
10 p.m., Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard

 “My fireworks are going to come from the funk and soul of Robert Randolph and the Family Band. Randolph absolutely rocks his pedal steel guitar – an instrument he learned in church, where it’s referred to as ‘sacred steel.’ These guys have toured as a supporting act to Eric Clapton, so you know they’re good.” – Tom Tolan


Lex Allen
8:30 p.m., Uline Warehouse Stage

“I have not been able to get the preening cadence of “Struck Gold” by Lex Allen out of my head since it entered my brain courtesy of 88Nine’s airwaves. Which is not at all a complaint.” – Chris Drosner

Courtney Barnett
10 p.m., Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard
Vic Mensa
10 p.m., Uline Warehouse Stage

“Austrailian rock or Chicago rap? Looks like I’m wearing running shoes that night.” – Paul Higgins


Courtney Barnett
10 p.m., Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard

“Courtney Barnett might just be Australia’s coolest export (though the country’s hottest export is definitely Chris Hemsworth). Her lyrics are poetic and genuinely funny. And I still smile every time I watch the music video for ‘Elevator Operator,’ which features some great Sleater-Kinney cameos.” – Lindsey Anderson

Robert Randolph and The Family Band
10 p.m., Johnson Controls World Stage

“Weak lineup this day leaves me wandering the grounds looking for something easy to listen to. Sounds like Robert Randolph would be fun.” – Katie Williams

X Ambassadors
9:45 p.m., BMO Harris Pavilion

“I have a friend coming in to town and he wants to see them.” – Libby Lang

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Vic Mensa
10 p.m., Uline Warehouse Stage

“Some songs for vibing, some songs for bumping. Vic Mensa’s got melody, he’s got flow and his beats slap. And I do mean slap.” – Matt Martinez

Daily To-Dos

Harley-Davidson Motor Company’s New LIVEWIRE

Who better to declare your independence with than the folks at Harley-Davidson? They’ll be exhibiting their brand new electric motorcycle, LIVEWIRE. Patrons can admire and fire it up within the display, affording them a rare preview of the precipice of motorcycle evolution. There’s also going to be a lot of merch and painted gas tanks there, too. They’ll be revving up every day of Summerfest from noon to 7:00 p.m.

Speedkore Performance Group

Prefer vehicles with 4 wheels? Custom cars will be on display from Speedkore Performance Group, a company that’s pushing the envelope of what cars can do. Aerospace-grade carbon fiber and a never-quenched thirst for horsepower will be propelling this display daily at Summerfest.

We Tie-Dyed a Patriotic Tee at Summerfest

by Matt Martinez

Photo by Hannah Hoffmeister

Fireworks and tie-dye shirts are not so different. Consider the exuberance and poly-chromatic expression the two share. Both utilize chemistry for proper execution. Most importantly, both can put a smile on your face whether you’re young or old.

It’s in this spirit I decided to try making a tie-dye shirt at Summerfest’s tie-dye station, located in the Northwestern Mutual Children’s Theater and Playzone. In desperate need of a shirt to wear while grilling on the Fourth, I decided to make a red, white and blue tie-dye to the best of my ability … I’ve never tried my hand at tie-dying before. 

I might have chosen an inopportune time to go as there were several customers waiting to go through the tie-dye line; on the other hand, if I had just gone to the tie-dye station when it was near desertion and simply dyed the shirt, I would have missed the elation of kids and adults alike as they took the first steps toward a wearable masterpiece. At least, that’s what I told myself while I stood in line for 40 odd minutes.

The experience is downright fun. You start off by picking out what article of clothing you want to dye, at variable prices (nothing’s above 20 dollars). My shirt rang in at $10. Your options are pretty extensive, including but not limited to: baseball caps, bandannas, cheer shorts, tank tops and classic tees. After that, you strap on an apron and choose from 5 patterns displayed behind the counter.

Your item of choice is then dropped in a chemical bath and rubber-banded to fit the design you chose. From there, the merchandise is ready to be colored, and this is where things get interesting. Now you get to start dyeing; after an expert shows you the technique, you select your colors and start meticulously filling in the blank spaces on the shirt. Fill all the sections; flip the shirt over; rinse and repeat. They bag it up and send you on your way, most likely with a smile on your face.

The aftermath, on the other hand, can be arduous. The most important ingredient for making at tie-dye shirt is time. I say this as a man who was quite literally elbow’s deep in runoff dye for at least half an hour. Consider yourself fore-warned. 

The experts at the tie-dye station give you a small, pink piece of paper that outlines specific washing instructions. Step one: run the shirt under cold water until the runoff is reasonably clear. I was under the impression when I read the punchy bullet points, this would take no more than five minutes. 

I elected to use my shower rather than my sink, which has more dishes in it at the moment than I’d care to clean. I spent a solid thirty minutes wringing the shirt out, and I watched as the white spots I intentionally left for the holiday color scheme slowly turn from white to pale pink. Then I rinsed it with hot water in the shower, as per the instructions. Needless to say, my bathtub was pretty colorful after that, so if you’re looking for a cheap bath bomb alternative, this may just do the trick. 

I proceeded to put it in the washing machine, which is rigamarole for me, a college student who has to pay $1.25 every time he washes something, but I digress. I let it air-dry, strategically laying it adjacent to a box fan. Within five hours, it was ready to wear. 

Photo by Hannah Hoffmeister

My first tie-dying experience was enjoyable, and the journey makes the destination all the more satisfying. Not to blow it out of proportion, but it is a bit of a commitment and I would consider the aforementioned logistics carefully before you go for it.