How Summerfest Can Bounce Back in 2021
Summerfest is canceled. For the first time in its 53-year history, The Big Gig will not be happening in the City of Milwaukee. Regardless of how you feel about Summerfest, this is a massive blow to the City of Milwaukee. A summer that had the chance to be the best ever for the city is regulated to only a watered-down version of the DNC in August. Summerfest originally moved their shows back to September, but with the unknowns around large gatherings plus booking artists, they decided to cancel. Summerfest can rebound in a big way in 2021. There is a pathway to making two festivals happen in one summer.
The first one is obvious. They will put on Summerfest like they do almost every other year. They’ll likely begin on July 1st, 2021. Dave Matthews Band is set to play that night already. My question is how will the ground stages be? Will Summerfest pony up more money to get better acts to drive people to Summerfest on a nightly basis? Or due to the pandemic, will the shows be worse? Summerfest appears to be committed to having all the acts that previously announced they were coming to return to the newly renovated American Family Insurance Amphitheater.
The second one is stealing an idea from 2020. Why not have a festival around Labor Day for two or three weeks? Go from Thursday to Sunday each week in September with different shows. Call it ‘The End of Summer Festival.’ Summerfest could only open up stages like the Miller Lite Oasis, U.S. Cellular Connection, Harley Davidson-Roadhouse plus the American Family Insurance Amphitheater. Are there enough artists where they could make a September spot that isn’t the same that visited in July? It’s possible. This allows Summerfest to recoup what they lost this year in 2020.
One thing that none of the notes on the Summerfest cancelation pointed out was an insurance policy. Maybe that news comes out later, but there are no notes on if Summerfest had protection. If they did, they’re probably alright with obviously taking some losses too. Even if they did not have insurance, all of the artists’ payments aren’t processing either. That is the part of this equation I’m curious to learn about.
See ya next year, Big Gig.