Daily Summerfest Guide: Day Three, June 28

Daily Summerfest Guide: Day Three, June 28

Here’s everything you wanted to know about day three (and more!).

How to Get in Free Today

Even if you’re not a sports fan, school spirit pays off. Do you own a t-shirt or hat representing Alverno College, Bryant & Stratton College, Cardinal Stritch University, Carthage University, Carroll University, Concordia University, Gateway Technical College, Herzing University, Marquette University, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee Area Technical College, Milwaukee School of Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee or University of Wisconsin-Platteville? Wear it to Summerfest before 3 p.m. to get in free for the day.

Thanks to the Association of Equipment Manufacturing, the first 400 guests arriving between 3 and 4 p.m. will be admitted free of charge. This promotion is celebrating AEM’s 125th anniversary.

Weather Forecast

High: 74°
Low: 63°
Precipitation: 40% 
Sunset: 8:35 p.m.

Friday afternoon brings more potential thunderstorms, but the rain should taper off in the evening, so stick around for the late shows!

Playing at the American Family Insurance Amphitheater

Jason Aldean

In April of this year, the cowboy-hat-wearing, guitar-strumming country musician Jason Aldean released his eighth studio album. Aldean set his sights high while recording the record, Rearview Town, saying “I didn’t want a lay-up. I wanted a slam dunk.” Let’s hope he scores a three-pointer with his Summerfest set.

Staff Music Picks by Generation


Brandi Carlile
9:45 p.m., BMO Harris Pavilion

“I know nothing about this person, but people seem to love her. Maybe I’ll check it out.” – Carole Nicksin


Lonely Island
10:15 p.m., Miller Lite Oasis Stage

“If you haven’t seen The Lonely Island’s Netflix musical The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience sending up the Oakland A’s Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire days, stop reading this and go enjoy your next 20 minutes. Reports from previous cities suggest Andy Samberg’s band of comedic pop-rappers are meeting the high bar set by their on-screen performances.”  – Chris Drosner


Lonely Island
10:15 p.m., Miller Lite Oasis Stage

“Let’s return for a minute to 2006. Saturday Night Live showrunner Lorne Michaels asks up-and-coming comedian Andy Samberg to write a song showcasing Justin Timberlake’s vocal talents. Struck by some divine bolt of inspiration, Samberg and his Lonely Island collaborators manage to record it in a single night. And thus “D*** in a Box” is born. It’s a great song, and I want to see it performed live.”  – Lindsey Anderson

Brandi Carlile
9:45 p.m., BMO Harris Pavilion

“Her new stuff is really enjoyable and easy to listen to.” – Katie Williams


Jason Aldean
7:30 p.m., American Family Insurance Ampitheater

“Jason Aldean is a prolific country artist, but my favorite of his is probably his 2014 song, “Burnin’ It Down.” He just released a new album last year, so hopefully his performance is a combination of songs new and old.” – Hannah Hoffmeister

Brandi Carlile
9:45 p.m., BMO Harris Pavilion

“My sister got me hooked on Brandi Carlile a few months ago, and I haven’t looked back; her 2012 Bear Creek album is a personal favorite.” – Liz Johnson

Daily To-Dos

Summerfest Parade

Looking to stretch your legs? The parade starts at the American Family Insurance Amphitheater Forecourt and will circumnavigate the entirety of Summerfest grounds. This one is fun for the whole family, so wear some comfortable shoes and go marching at 3 p.m.

Manufacturing Day

Coming to Summerfest for some heavy metal? How about some heavy machinery? The Association of Equipment Managers will be displaying full-size construction and agriculture equipment from noon to 6 p.m. Instead of thrashing, try threshing for the day.

We Tried Boating on Lake Michigan

by Elizabeth Johnson

Photo by Elizabeth Johnson

What better way to break up a day of back-to-back concerts than a quick spin on Lake Michigan? 

For the second consecutive year, Mercury Marine is offering Summerfest guests free boat rides on the lake. The boats go out every half hour, and guests can take their pick from two speedboats and a pontoon boat. Be sure to drop by the Mercury Marine Go Boldly tent (near the Uline Warehouse Stage) to sign up in advance.  

I checked out the rides yesterday with Hannah Hoffmeister, a fellow intern, and trust me; you don’t want to miss them.

We signed up for a ride on the Hey Day, a glittering green speedboat that took us just over 40 mph. Since we arrived pretty early in the afternoon, we had the boat to ourselves, stretching our legs out on the front seats. 

As the boat gathered speed, the crest of each wave felt a bit like the moment before a roller coaster drops. 40 mph might seem pretty slow when you’re running late to work, but with all of Lake Michigan before you, it’s more like flying. You’ll get the most out of the ride at the front of the boat; you might also get a little wet, but it’s definitely worth it.

We went out again later in the afternoon, this time on the other speedboat, called the Sea Ray (reportedly faster than Hey Day). This time, every seat was filled. Less leg room, but it was worth it to see the reactions of the kids who sat at the prow. 

Their giddy anticipation as the boat slowly left the cove reminded me of family beach trips when I was little, my siblings and I scrambling to stick our faces out the window as we got close, seeking the exhilarating first scent of the ocean. 

The speedboat conjured a similar kind of thrill. “I smell the sea!” One of the kids crowed into the wind. “I smell the scent of the sea!” (I don’t know if I’d go quite that far, but Lake Michigan certainly looks a lot like the ocean.)

Whether you’re looking for a break from the zealous Summerfest crowds or just waiting for your favorite artist to come on, the Mercury boat rides are a great afternoon activity, weather providing. If you’re looking for something a little calmer than the speedboat, the pontoon is a more leisurely trip, still providing the same great views. 

Photo by Elizabeth Johnson