Your day five roundup is here!
How to Get in Free Today
Thanks to Kohl’s, Summerfest attendees have yet another chance to benefit Hunger Task Force (and get free admission in the process!) Simply bring three nonperishable food items for kids. Suggested food includes canned chicken or tuna, low-sodium vegetables and canned fruit (in 100% juice). This promotion is valid until 3 p.m., but only for the first 2,500 donations, so come prepared!
For Summerfest Military Appreciation Day, all former or active-duty military personnel can show a military ID at any gate to receive free admission for themselves and up to four of their family members. In conjunction with this promotion, a Military Appreciation Ceremony will be held at 3:15 p.m. on the U.S. Cellular Connection Stage.
There’s a small chance of more storms this afternoon, but don’t let that deter you from today’s lineup. Milwaukee weather may be stubborn, but so are Milwaukee’s festival-goers!
Playing at the American Family Insurance Amphitheater
In advance of a record release later this year, the Zac Brown Band is currently crisscrossing the globe on their “Great Owl Tour” – the third tour they’ve embarked on in the span of a year. And their fans keep coming back for more. In 2018, the band performed for more than half a
Staff Music Picks by Generation
Los Lonely Boys
10 p.m., Johnson Controls World Stage
“This Texas trio would take me back to my time in El Paso 30 years ago, when I lived on a steady diet of Little Joe y La Familia and the Texas Tornadoes. (“Hey, baby, que paso? I thought I was your only vato.”) To me, that would be “Heaven.” – Tom Tolan
Guided By Voices
4 p.m., Miller Lite Oasis Stage
“With a 30-year catalog to draw from for this set, Guided by Voices’ Robert Pollard is one of the most distinctive voices of indie music – at times winsome, writhing and weird, and all intensely felt.” – Chris Drosner
8:30 p.m., Miller Lite Oasis Stage
“She sounds like Polly Jean Harvey and Cat Power had a musical baby.” – Paul Higgins
10 p.m., Miller Lite Oasis Stage
“I’ve seen the National – an indie rock quintet made up of two sets of brothers and a frontman whose brother isn’t in the band but did make a critically acclaimed documentary about the band – in concert twice now, and I’ll probably see them a third time today, because they’re just that good. I’m a little obsessed with the main singer’s husky baritone. And Boxer is one of my all-time favorite albums.” – Lindsey Anderson
Zac Brown Band
7:30 p.m., American Family Insurance Amphitheater
“A jam-band type of show that never disappoints. I’ve seen them several times and still want to go every year.” – Katie Williams
Lake Street Dive
9:30 p.m., Uline Warehouse Stage
“I have been obsessed with this band since I first heard their cover of Stand By Me. They have been running overdrive on my playlist in preparation of Summerfest.” – Libby Lang
8 p.m., Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard
“The Platinum Boys are one of those iconic Milwaukee bands that I’ve never gotten around to seeing. It’s a mistake that needs rectifying. If local garage rock is your scene, you’re in for a treat.” – Emma Fisher
10 p.m., U.S. Cellular Connection Stage
“Can you tell I like country? Brothers Osbourne’s hit “Stay A Little Longer” is my favorite from them. They go onstage at 10 p.m., too, so this one will be a late one!” – Hannah Hoffmeister
Catfish and the Bottlemen
10 p.m., Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard
“They blew the doors off the Rave when I saw them there and frankly, I’d be shocked if they didn’t do it again here. If you’re a fan of alternative and you haven’t seen these guys live yet, do yourself a favor.” – Matt Martinez
The folks at Maple Leaf Farms really want you to try duck. That’s why they’re bringing DuckMobile, a food truck on a crusade to make duck a widely regarded delicacy, to Summerfest and they’ll be slinging quack for interested patrons. This isn’t your grandmother’s czernina, either; past iterations have had pulled duck nachos and duck bacon bruschetta. Do a duck call from June 28 to 30 and catch them running. (alt: and get #hookedonquack)
• Team USA Experience
The thrills, pomp and circumstance of the 2020 Olympics are still a year away, but that doesn’t mean you can’t experience the endorphin rush of Team USA in the meantime. Stop by the Team USA Experience today and go for gold.
We Spent the Afternoon Watching a Veteran Summerfest Street Performer
by Matt Martinez
It’s easy to be a bit inured to the Big Gig when you’ve been there five days in a row (as I have) and you’re lazily wandering by the stages in the aftermath of an ill-tempered maelstrom.
But on that soggy thoroughfare, you might just see, what I consider, one of the most dumbfounding and awe-inspiring sights at the whole festival: a man on a unicycle, juggling knives and torches in front of a huge crowd.
The man in question is Chris Vogt, who’s been juggling at Summerfest for 23 years. Vogt started juggling at age 9; a talent agent at his fifth-grade talent show told him to come juggle at the festival. He started with three balls; he eventually graduated to knives and torches. Then, he added a unicycle.
“It’s sort of just been a steady progression as I got older,” Vogt says.
Vogt started juggling torches at age 13. The man who taught him was known only as “Torch.” To master the torches, Chris first did 75 rotations with them unlit, to learn their weight and movement. He learned to ride the unicycle at 15. Eventually, the skills coalesced into the spectacle I saw today.
“This put me through college,” Vogt smiles. The Purdue graduate now works at Honeywell as an aeronautical engineer; Purdue’s noteworthy alumni book features a picture of Vogt juggling in front of an airplane.
Vogt’s main strength lies in his showmanship — which might be credited to his theatre minor at Purdue. While the spectacle of knives being juggled is exciting on its own, it’s his magnetism and charisma that raise the entertainment value of his dance with fire and blades. I rarely stop in my tracks for street performers; this had me completely enamored.
While Chris Vogt generally grabs most of the attention during his shows, onlookers will also notice a man clad in a shirt reading “I’m Just The Roadie” assisting him. As it turns out, the shirt sells the Dave Vogt short a bit: rather than being “just a roadie,” Dave is Chris’ father.
“It still scares the heck outta me,” Dave says, regarding his son’s penchant for juggling knives and torches. Nevertheless, Dave and Sandy Vogt support their son just as much now as they did 23 years ago.
A native of Scottsdale, Arizona, Vogt is taking a week off his full time job to juggle at Summerfest. For me personally, the most mystifying part of the whole experience is the unicycle bit. Within reason, I could see somebody being able to juggle knives and even torches. But doing so while precariously balancing on one of the most humorous yet elegant contraptions man has ever devised? Well, frankly, that’s amazing.