Our Staff Picks for Who to See at Summerfest this Year

More than 800 acts come to Summerfest each year. So, unless you’ve got a Time-Turner and don’t intend to sleep between June 27 and July 8, you’re going to have to pick and choose which ones you’ll see. Here are some recommendations from the MilMag staff.

Carole Nicksin, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief: “This year’s lineup looks great! I definitely want to see The Flaming Lips, for the spectacle as well as the music. And I look forward to rapping along with The Sugarhill Gang, old-school style.”

Karisa Langlo, Digital Editor: “I’m pumped for Janelle Monáe. Her music proves that ‘politically relevant’ and ‘catchy as hell’ aren’t mutually exclusive. She’ll make you think and tap your foot to the beat.”

Lindsey Anderson, Culture Editor: “I’ve probably listened to Benjamin Booker’s bluesy ballad ‘Witness’ 50 times since it came out last year – I’d love to hear it live. And I never get tired of Phantogram’s spacey, atmospheric brand of electropop.”

Tom Tolan, Managing Editor: “Arcade Fire. A young fellow I used to sit across from at the Journal Sentinel turned me on to The Suburbs when I was looking for a present for one of my nieces, and I actually liked it and listened to it a lot. And Bonnie Raitt, who is so damn soulful and is opening for James Taylor.”

Brock Kaplan, Graphic Designer: “With names like J. Cole, Spoon and The Weeknd, Summerfest has me frantically calculating my vacation time. Sprinkle in queens like Kesha, Janelle Monáe and Halsey, and I’m wondering how many ‘sick days’ one can take before it’s not believable.”

Chris Drosner, Executive Editor:Pixies. Kim Deal’s long gone from my first favorite band, and Black Francis’ squawks are a little less feral these days, but Joey Santiago’s guitar still writhes and squeals, and the seminal alt-rockers still spin sweet power-pop melodies.”

Matt Hrodey, Senior Editor: The Pixies are definitely worth seeing in their current form. I saw them at The Rave a few years ago, after bassist Paz Lenchantin joined, and probably will again. And Sunflower Bean has a new album and sounds very good.”
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BONUS: Summer Sausages

The day after Klement’s lost its sponsorship of the Milwaukee Brewers Racing Sausages, company CEO Tom Danneker met with Summerfest CEO Don Smiley. Not long after, we learned that Klement’s has signed on to sponsor a new Summerfest stage, spotlighting local talent, for 10 years. Klement’s is also constructing a beer and sausage garden, where hungry concertgoers can buy local brews and brats grilled on site. Other vendors new for 2018? BelAir Cantina and Cedar Crest Frozen Custard. — Lindsey Anderson[/alert]


“Best of the Fest” appears in the June 2018 issue of Milwaukee Magazine.

Find it on newsstands beginning April 285h, or buy a copy at milwaukeemag.com/shop.

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