Going to Summerfest? You Have to be Vaccinated or Test Negative for COVID-19

Summerfest just revised the entry protocols to be much stricter against COVID-19.

When you enter Summerfest this year you will be asked to show a valid COVID-19 vaccination card or proof of a negative test, the music festival’s organizers announced early Tuesday morning. 

“We collaborated with national health experts and music industry executives and determined this was the best course of action for Summerfest.” said Don Smiley, President and Chief Executive Officer of Milwaukee World Festival Inc.

Acceptable proof includes an original vaccination card, a printed copy of a valid vaccination card or a negative test result within three days of the festival. Documentation can also be presented in digital form, including screenshots or photos. It’s important to note that the full vaccination card must be visible in printed copies, phone screenshots and other documentation or it will not be accepted.

Summerfest runs from Sept. 2-18 this year. The second shot of the Pfizer vaccine takes three weeks to reach full vaccination, and a Moderna vaccination takes four, so any unvaccinated person would need to get their first shot immediately in order to be fully vaccinated for the festival.

Summerfest’s announcement comes amid a surge in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths linked to the virus’ more highly transmissible Delta variant.   

“We are pleased with their proactive decision to implement these additional safety measures and ensure festivalgoers can feel comfortable attending this beloved music fest responsibly,” Milwaukee Health Commissioner Kirsten Johnson said.

As for masks, they will be recommended for indoor spaces such as the Summerfest Store, first aid stations and restrooms. Children under 12 will be required to wear a mask at all times, and unvaccinated festival goers are recommended to wear a mask during large gatherings. 

Summerfest leaders are strongly encouraging anyone showing signs of COVID-like symptoms stays home. 

These protocols will also be in effect for some other concerts on the Summerfest grounds, including this Friday’s Little Big Town/BoDeans concert at the American Family Insurance Amphitheater. For admission protocol for concerts outside of Summerfest dates but in conjunction with Live Nation, check the venue’s website and social media for more information. 

General admission and concert tickets may be refunded pending Ticketmaster policies. 

For local COVID-19 testing information, go to milwaukee.gov/COVIDtesting. Watch summerfest.com for updates before the festival. 



Allison Garcia is the Digital Editor for Milwaukee Magazine.