Did I hear somebody say "Free?"
It’s no secret that Summerfest is one of the least expensive (if not the cheapest) music festivals out there. And it’s crazy to think that it’s also the biggest. Either way, there are always options to make it even more inexpensive. Here, we’ve compiled every way we could find to get into Summerfest without paying a nickel. Nonperishable food items not included.
Unless otherwise noted, it’d be smart to enter at the Mid Gate Promotions Booth where most of the coupons and receipts can be redeemed.
Get a free Summerfest ticket (and a beer from MKE Brewing Co.) with a one-year subscription to Milwaukee Magazine!
Wednesday, June 27
Food Donations: For Stomp Out Hunger Day, bring 3 nonperishable food items for the Hunger Task Force to get in fo’ free. The tickets’ cost is covered courtesy of Johnson Controls and Fox 6 Milwaukee. You can enter at the north gate, south gate, or Mid Gate Promotions Booth.
Thursday, June 28
Pick ‘n Save (money): If you shopped at Pick ‘n Save between May 9 and June 12, the receipt would have printed with a coupon for four free tickets for every $50 spent, maximum of 12 tickets per transaction. It pays to save… your receipts.
Friday, June 29
College tuition may finally be paying off if you went to Alverno College, Bryant & Stratton College, Cardinal Stritch University, Carroll University, Concordia University, Lawrence University, Marquette University, MATC, Medical College of Wisconsin, UW-Green Bay or UW-Milwaukee. Or, at least, if you have some of their apparel. Show up with a shirt or hat repping one of those twelve schools, and you’ll get in free before 3 p.m. Inside, there will also be a college fair, for those looking for a new school or wishing to reconnect with “the good ol’ days.”
Saturday, June 30
Good will for Goodwill: If you spent $10 at a Goodwill store during the month of June, you should have received a free admission pass with your purchase. It’s only good today, however, and only for the first 1,500 patrons who show their receipt before 3 p.m.
Sunday, July 1
Food Donations, Round 2: The first 2,500 people who bring at least three nonperishable, kid-friendly food items will receive one free admission ticket before 3 p.m. The donations will go to the Hunger Task Force, courtesy of Kohl’s on Kohl’s Family Day.
Military Appreciation Day: All active military members and veterans get in free, along with four family members, if they show their military ID at the gate.
Tuesday, July 3
AARP, plus 10: Old age pays today. If you’re at least 60 years old, then you get in free, plus a $2 discount voucher for any food/non-alcoholic beverage purchase of $10 or more.
Card-carrying members only: Bikers can see Steven Tyler or Trace Adkins completely free if they present their H.O.G. (Harley Owners Group) at the gate. The card also provides access to the Harley-Davidson Hospitality Deck until 9 p.m. Hang around to see Louis the Child perform at 10.
Wednesday, July 4
There’s an app for that: For the most patriotic day of Summerfest, all you need to celebrate is a smartphone and Wi-Fi. The first 15,000 people to download the Summerfest App get free general admission on Independence Day.
Thursday, July 5
Friday, July 6
While it’s fresh: One of the new promotions this year, free admission will be given to the first 750 people who present a Red Lobster restaurant receipt dated May 28-July 6 before 3 p.m.
Saturday, July 7
Peek-a-boo: On “Make a Child Smile” Day, bring at least one new or gently used children’s book before 3 p.m. — minimum $10 value. They will be donated to young readers through the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum.
Sunday, July 8
The new grocer on the block: Meijer is looking to win over the hearts of Wisconsinites by providing free admission to everyone who comes to Henry Meier Festival Park before 3 p.m. Summerfest is co-sponsoring the fee as part of the all-important “Fan Appreciation Day.”
Summerfest with a chance of Disney: Listen to 95.9 KISS FM weekdays at 7:40 a.m., 11:40 a.m., 3:40 p.m. and 7:40 p.m. and call in for a chance at a free, one-day pass. Better yet, winning the Summerfest tix includes a chance to win a trip to Disney World in Orlando.
21 songs, 11 tickets: Every weekday until the gates open on June 27, 102.1 FM is offering free tickets to every day of Summerfest. But this one takes a little more work. You need to listen to the station’s 21 Song Nonstop Blocks — which happen four times a day — and call in only if they don’t play all 21 songs, and then also know how many songs they DID play.
On us: With a subscription to Milwaukee Magazine, we’ll give you a free ticket AND a free beer from MKE Brewing Co. You’re welcome.