Summerfest 50

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Summerfest 50: The 2010s

Published July 6, 2017

As soon as he arrived as Summerfest's new executive director in 2004, Don Smiley set about improving the grounds and facilities as a means for enhancing the guest experience at the Big Gig. That work continued, full steam ahead, in the second decade of the new millennium.

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Ludacris brings a wild time to the Miller Lite Oasis

Published July 3, 2017

Although his set seemed to be cut short - and he disappeared for long periods of time - the audience had a good time at the Miller Lite Oasis stage, jamming out to the rapper and "Fast and Furious" star's tunes.

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Bleachers makes its grand return and doesn't disappoint

Published July 2, 2017

Bleachers have come a long way since their Summerfest performance three years ago, and judging by their Miller Lite Oasis show Saturday night, Milwaukee should excitedly await yet another grand return in the near future.

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Hanson terrifically tops off Throwback Thursday at Summerfest

Published June 30, 2017

It might have been Throwback Thursday, but Hanson's - yes, that Hanson - relentless, 90-minute, roots-infused pop rock performance at the U.S. Cellular Connection Stage would've deserved its headliner slot any night of the week.

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Young rockers The Regrettes bring an old sound into a new era

Published June 29, 2017

No one in the The Regrettes is even legally old enough to drink, but you wouldn't know you were listening to a band of high school-aged performers based on their music, which is a smart and catchy combination of old and new.

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Summerfest 50: The 2000s

Published June 29, 2017

If Bo Black was a big part of the story of Summerfest in the 1980s and `90s, her departure was one of the early landmarks of the first decade of the new millennium. The other was the arrival of new director Don Smiley and his dedication to improving the Big Gig's home.

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Summerfest picks: Robin Reese

Published June 28, 2017

Beer, food, people, live music galore on the shore of Lake Michigan! I mean, come on, what's better than Summerfest? I won't wait for your answer; instead, I'll let you know my plans for the next 10 days and maybe I'll run into some of you at Henry Maier Festival Park.

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Opening day rain doesn't dampen spirits for Summerfest 50

Published June 28, 2017

In ponchos, under umbrellas, clutching Miller Lites and still smiling, the opening-day Summerfest crowd Wednesday was a little sparser and a little damper than usual, due to the rain, but still no less happy to be at the Henry Maier Festival Park for the festival's 50th anniversary.

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Historical Society exhibit celebrates 50 years of Summerfest

Published June 28, 2017

With five decades of stories to tell, Summerfest can't do it all in a single exhibition. So, there will be three. One of them - "Summerfest 50 Exhibit" - is on view at Milwaukee County Historical Society, 930 N. Old World 3rd St.

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Summerfest picks: Jimmy Carlton

Published June 28, 2017

Summerfest annually attracts world-class acts to Milwaukee and has made great strides in broadening and diversifying its shows, trying to appeal to everyone, through almost every genre, during the world's largest music festival. Here are Jimmy Carlton's picks for the 50th anniversary.

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Rebel Stage turns 10 as Summerfest celebrates 50

Published June 26, 2017

While Summerfest celebrates its 50th festival, the most unique stage at the Big Gig - the Rebel Stage - is preparing for its 10th year. And it all began in true rebel style.