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With the weather warming up, there’s nothing that can hit the spot quite like a cold beer and some country music – and this summer will have a bunch of both. Would it really be Wisconsin if we didn’t have that?
Here’s a list of the live country music hitting the stage throughout the summer, alongside some bars that provide the perfect place to get your cowboy on.
1216 E Brady St., (414) 246-1010
This soon-opening bar will bring a taste of Nashville right to Wisconsin. With appetizers like pulled pork cheese fries and fried chicken sandwiches, the menu could steal the spotlight – but the real star is the live stage bringing rollicking country music to Brady Street. The grand opening will take place June 15-18, kicking off with some great live acts including Bella Cain, the Jackie Brown Band, and the Blacktop Kings. Stay up-to-date on who’s playing when on their shiny new website.
Red Rock Saloon
1227 N. Water St., (414) 431-0467
Located right on Downtown's Water Street drag, Red Rock Saloon boasts a menu sporting plenty of beer and bar food to get the night going. As Milwaukee’s only rock and country fusion venue, they host live music from the genres every Friday, even featuring local artists. Check out their website to keep up with who's playing and when.
131 N Jackson St. (414) 837-5790
Just a walk away from Summerfest, this new spot in the former Campsite 131 space makes for a unique combination between the northwoods and the Wild West. Saloon features weekly live music mostly from the country genre, but also shines a light on folk and bluegrass. Local singers and songwriters are even encouraged to reach out to this new great place for Milwaukee musicians to thrive. Updates on who's taking the stage and when can be found on their Facebook page.
Conway's Smokin' Bar & Grill
2127 W. Wells St., (414) 344-1262
Known for their smoked wings and ribs, Conway’s will certainly not disappoint. The bar hosts free bluegrass acts, and every third Wednesday of the month, they have an open jam. The delicious smells of the smokehouse cannot be missed if you find yourself in the area, which happens to be a few blocks away from The Rave!
The Rave - Eagles Club
2401 W. Wisconsin Ave., (414) 342-7283
Speaking of The Rave, this iconic venue has been around for nearly a hundred years and is a beloved spot for music in the city with six different performance spaces inside. The stage hosts all kinds of acts ranging across all sorts of genres, but in recent years, The Rave's regularly aimed its lasso at country acts – with Tyler Farr and Justin Moore just a few of the more notable singers bringing their live shows there this upcoming summer. For the latest up-to-date listings, visit The Rave's website.
2305 Lance Dr., Twin Lakes
Roll your windows down and cruise into Country Thunder on July 21-24 to see headliners like Florida Georgia Line, Morgan Wallen, Chris Young and Lee Brice. Just an hour out of Milwaukee, the festival provides a great opportunity to see some country stars and have a camping trip if you’re into that kind of thing.
Gathering on the Green
11124 N. Cedarburg Rd. #290, (262) 242-6187
This non-profit Wisconsin festival is hosted by a beautiful outdoor venue and includes local food trucks for attendees to munch down on. The concerts will hit the stage on July 7-10, with some of the headliners including Bruce In the USA, Roots & Boots, and Danny Gokey. Bring a blanket and a flannel to relax on the lawn while the music plays.
Wisconsin State Fair
640 S 84th St, (414) 266-7000
The State Fair is always a summer staple if you’re looking for a good time – and as always, this year's lineup features a lot of country music. Toby Keith and Alex Miller will be at the grounds on Aug. 4 for a 7:30 Main Stage show, but don't overlook the dozens of local bands and cover acts around the State Fairgrounds playing the hits.
Country artists coming to Summerfest you can’t miss
Friday, June 24
- 10 p.m. – Dustin Lynch at the UScellular Connection Stage
Saturday, June 25
- 7:30 p.m. – Phil Vassar at the Uline Warehouse
- 10:15 p.m. – Zach Bryan at the Miller Lite Oasis
Saturday, July 2
- 2 p.m. – Boy Named Banjo at the Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard
Thursday, July 7
- 6:15 p.m. – Niko Moon at the UScellular Connection Stage
- 9:30 p.m. – John Fogerty at the BMO Harris Pavilion
Friday, July 8
- 5:30 p.m. – Jameson Rodgers at the Generac Power Stage
Saturday, July 9
- 5:30 p.m. – The Marshall Tucker Band at the Uline Warehouse
- 7:30 p.m. – Thomas Rhett w/ Ryan Hurd and Rhett Akins at the American Family Insurance Amphitheater
And that's just a few of the featured country performers headed to the Big Gig. For the full list of Summerfest shows – including even more country music – check out the schedule here.