Know Before You Go: Your Guide to Summerfest

We are answering all of the frequently asked questions about Summerfest.


Located right on Lake Michigan in downtown Milwaukee, Summerfest is only a 10-minute drive from Mitchell International Airport and about an hour drive from O’Hare International Airport. That being said, there are many ways to travel to the grounds:

  • Rideshare to the Fest: Rideshare pickups and drop-offs will be located directly in front of the Mid Gate at East Chicago Street & North Jackson Street and also outside the North Gate at Michigan Street near Art Museum Drive. Fares will always be accessible before the ride. To ensure safety, verify the license plate and driver’s name is the same as what is listed on the confirmation. And if you’re traveling with a large party, be sure to book a larger vehicle.
  • Summerfest Shuttle: This convenient service will only run during the nine days of Summerfest – not on the Wednesday Weekends leading up to each event. Buses will begin operation at 11 a.m. and run approximately every 30 minutes throughout the day.
    • The three park and ride lot locations that will be utilized to provide this service are College Avenue (at 1-94), State Fair Park (I-94 at South 76th Street and West Kearney) and Brown Deer (East Brown Deer Road, west of I-43)
    • The Summerfest drop off/pick up is located just west of the Summerfest Mid-Gate.
    • A round-trip fare is $12. Riders are encouraged to pre-purchase round-trip ride tickets online, when exiting the bus or upon arrival to festival grounds. Cash is not accepted.
    • All passengers will receive a wristband upon payment which is mandatory for getting back on the bus to the park and ride lot.
    • Riders are encouraged to wear masks while riding the shuttle.



  • Train Service to Milwaukee: If you are traveling from Chicago to Milwaukee, consider taking the train to beat traffic. The Amtrak Hiawatha Service offers easy transportation from Chicago Union Station, Glenview and Sturtevant to the Milwaukee Intermodal Station.
  • The Hop Streetcar: If you are already based in Milwaukee, you can use The Hop and take it to either Historic Third Ward stop. From there, it will only be about a 10-minute walk to festival grounds.
  • Bublr Bikes: Check out bikes from one of Milwaukee’s 30 stations and drop them off at the Bublr bike stop.

In addition to public transportation, the Summerfest ground offers a wide variety of parking for various vehicles:

  • Car: Summerfest parking lots open at 9 a.m. everyday. Lots fill up quickly and all parking is done on a first-come, first-serve basis. Preferred parking costs $25 and Premier is $40.
  • Bicycle: Bikes can be parked outside of the Mid, North and South Gates.

Hours and Dates

In light of the pandemic, Summerfest will span across three weekends: September 2-4, 9-11 and 16-18, 2021 from noon to midnight. There will also be Wednesday Weekend Kick-Off concerts at the American Family Insurance Amphitheater prior to each weekend’s festivities.

Vaccine and COVID-19 Requirements

In light of the pandemic and in order to keep all attendees safe, Summerfest requires that all individuals show proof of a COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours of attendance.

Original vaccine cards, a printed copy of vaccine cards and negative test results will be accepted. Documentation may be a paper copy or presented in a digital form. If presenting documentation, the entirety of the vaccine card or test result must be visible.

Attendees are encouraged to get tested before arriving at the Summerfest grounds in hopes of speeding up festival entry. Results must be obtained within 72 hours of attendance and PCR, Rapid and Antigen tests are not acceptable.

On-site testing will be available at the North and South entrance gates of Summerfest. The test costs $25 and tickets for testing can be purchased at the ticket windows at the North and South gates. Individuals getting tested are encouraged to pre-register, and those under 18 -years-old must have a parent or guardian sign a form which allows them to receive a test as a minor. The wait time is approximately 15-20 minutes, and everyone who tests positive will be asked to leave festival grounds immediately.

Summerfest will host a COVID-19 vaccine clinic on Saturday, Sept. 11 from noon-10 p.m. at the Mid-Gate. All individuals getting vaccines will also receive two free admission tickets.

The festival grounds have implemented new and improved safety measures including but not limited to frequent cleaning of high touch areas, overnight deep cleaning and sanitization and hand sanitizer stations on site.
To follow in line with CDC recommendations, masks are recommended in indoor spaces. All children ages 2-11 are required to wear a mask.

Ticket Promotions

Johnson Controls “Stomp Out Hunger” Day with Fox 6 Milwaukee


There are two ways to participate in this promotional event: Summerfest attendees who arrive to the grounds between noon-3 p.m. and donate three healthy non-perishable food items will receive one free admissions ticket, and individuals who donates a $10 minimum to Hunger Task Force ( between July 15 and Aug. 15 will receive a code to redeem one free admission. All tickets are only valid during the time of promotion, and all donations benefit Hunger Task Force.

Download the Summerfest App Fueled by Pepsi


Download the Summerfest app to stay updated with festival happenings and claim a free ticket into fair grounds. 10,000 free digital admissions tickets will be given away, and they will only be available during the time of promotion.

Northwestern Mutual “Make a Child Smile” Day


The first 2500 individuals to donate children’s books equaling a $10 minimum value will receive one free admission ticket. Tickets are only valid for time of promotion. Picture books and reads for children 10-years-old and under are preferred.

Lou Malnati’s Children’s Fest Day with TMJ4


All individuals who arrive to Summerfest between noon and 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 4 will be admitted for free thanks to Lou Malnati’s. Additionally, certain food vendors will discount food and beverages during this time.

Throwback Thursday presented by Pick ‘N Save


Artists from various decades will perform at Summerfest this day. Additionally, all beverages – with the exception of frozen drinks, specialty coffees and smoothies – will be 50% off. Also, Pick ‘n Save shoppers can earn 4 free admission tickets for every $50 they spend at Pick ‘n Save and Metro Market by using a Fresh Perks Card from June 30-Aug. 10. The offer is at the bottom of the receipt and can only be redeemed in-person at the Summerfest ticket windows during the time of promotion. There is a three-offer, 12-ticket limit per transaction.

Briggs & Stratton Mary Lou’s Closet Supply Drive


The first 1,500 individuals to donate new and unused hygiene products equaling a minimum value of $10 during the time of promotion will receive one free admission ticket. Hygiene items include but are not limited to deodorant, shampoo, body wash, wipes, tampons, feminine pads, toothpaste, toothbrushes, socks and underwear. All donations support Mary Lou’s Closet

Summerfest Military Appreciation Day with Generac


Active-duty military personnel and veterans will receive free admission during the time of promotion for themselves and up to four family members when they present their Military ID. Veterans can show proof of service with either a DD-214 Form or a Veteran classification on Driver’s License. A military appreciation ceremony will take place at 3:15 p.m. at the Generac Power Stage.

Direct Supply Seniorfest Day


Individuals 60-years-old and older will receive free admission during time of promotion. They will also be given a voucher for $2 off a food or non-alcoholic beverage purchase of over $10.

Show Your College Pride Day with ONMilwaukee


Attendees who arrive to Summerfest during the time of promotion and wear a shirt or hat representing one of the following colleges or universities will be admitted for free: Alverno College, Carroll University, Concordia University, Herzing University, Milwaukee Area Technical College, Milwaukee School Of Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and University of Wisconsin-Parkside. 

All students, staff and faculty from participating schools will also receive a code from their institutions that is valid for admission to Summerfest on Sept. 17.

Additionally, high school students who complete their FAFSA by Sept. 16 will receive a code valid for free Summerfest admission during the time of promotion. FAFSA must be completed at an MPS College Access Center.

Summerfest Fan Appreciation Day


All individuals arriving during time of promotion will be admitted for free, compliments of Summerfest.


First Weekend

  • Wednesday, Sept. 1 at 5:30 p.m.: Green Day, Fall Out Boy and Weezer
  • Thursday, Sept. 2 at 7:30 p.m.: Luke Bryan
  • Friday, Sept. 3 at 7:30 p.m.: Chance the Rapper
  • Saturday, Sept. 4 at 7:30 p.m.: Twenty One Pilots

Second Weekend

  • Wednesday, Sept. 8 at 7 p.m.: Jonas Brothers
  • Thursday, Sept. 9 at 7:30 p.m.: Chris Stapleton
  • Friday, Sept. 10 at 7:30 p.m.: Zac Brown Band
  • Saturday, Sept. 11 at 7:30 p.m.: Dave Chappelle

Third Weekend

  • Wednesday, Sept. 15 at 7:30 p.m.: Dave Matthews Band
  • Thursday, Sept. 16 at 7:30 p.m.: Megan Thee Stallion
  • Friday, Sept. 17 at 7:30 p.m.: Miley Cyrus
  • Saturday, Sept. 18 at 6 p.m.: Guns N’ Roses