Summerfest has been steadily announcing this year's lineup over the past couple of months, revealing some exciting headliners as well as a few familiar stand-bys. But not everyone has been announced just yet.
Break in to the Big Gig, a local battle of the bands event organized by Up and Under bartender / promotions director Roy Henning, is approaching finals, the outcome of which determines who will be gearing up to play to the masses from a Summerfest stage this year.
Part of what makes Summerfest a large-scale success is the number of national acts it attracts on a yearly basis, but with so many stages (and 11 full days to fill), there's no reason Milwaukee shouldn't show off its own musical talent to the thousands of visitors who pass through the gates.
The Break in to the Big Gig achieves just that, giving four local bands a time slot in the lineup, plus a $500 gift card from Cream City Music and 10 hours of recording time from Trax 52 Recording Studio.
What began with 48 bands back in March has battled on for two months, leaving only the top 15 bands competing at four locations, The Up and Under Pub, Club Garibaldi, The BBC and Kelly's Bleachers II.
Club Garibaldi's finals on Thursday, May 13 are especially exciting. Steve LaBate and Scott Sloan, an indie filmmaker and a writer for Paste magazine have embarked on a major summer project called 40 Nights of Rock and Roll. As the name suggests, the two music lovers are road tripping across the country for 40 straight days to watch 40 concerts, interview 40 bands, and come up with the answer to one question: What is the current state of rock and roll in America?
As fate would have it, they'll be in Milwaukee Thursday to interview Henning and document one band's break in to the Big Gig.
The finals are are as follows:
Club Garibaldi, 2501 S. Superior St.
Thursday, May 13, 8:30 p.m.
A Line Between
Halo of Dionysus
The Up and Under Pub, 1216 E. Brady St.
Friday, May 14, 9 p.m
Once the Sun
Kelly's Bleachers II, 7805 S. Loomis Rd., Wind Lake
Friday, May 14, 8:30 p.m
BBC, 2022 E. North Ave.
Saturday, May 15, 8:30 p.m.
The Hellion- A Tribute to Judas Priest
So Few Lions
OnMilwaukee.com staff writer Julie Lawrence grew up in Wauwatosa and has lived her whole life in the Milwaukee area.
As any “word nerd” can attest, you never know when inspiration will strike, so from a very early age Julie has rarely been seen sans pen and little notebook. At the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee it seemed only natural that she major in journalism. When OnMilwaukee.com offered her an avenue to combine her writing and the city she knows and loves in late 2004, she knew it was meant to be. Around the office, she answers to a plethora of nicknames, including “Lar,” (short for “Larry,” which is short for “Lawrence”) as well as the mysteriously-sourced “Bill Murray.”