By Matt Mueller Culture Editor Published Jun 13, 2024 at 7:01 AM Photography: Meg Strobel

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PrideFest indeed has a lot to be proud of, as the state's largest LBGTQ+ event lived up that billing in historic fashion this past weekend, announcing that the festival broke its three-day attendance record for the third consecutive year. 

From Thursday to Saturday last weekend at Henry Maier Festival Park, PrideFest brought in a total of 43,964 attendees, getting over the bar set by last year's edition at 42,603. Technically, 2019's Pride celebration still holds the overall attendance record with almost 46,000 supporters through the gates – that year's festival, however, included a fourth day as opposed to the three-day format adopted since its return from the pandemic in 2022.

With 200 vendors on the grounds and a record amount of performers hosted throughout the weekend – more than 500, including the notable likes of David Archuleta, Mya, Icona Pop, Cupcakke, Dixon Dallas, DJ Shawna, several beloved "RuPaul's Drag Race" performers and many, many more – yet another new PrideFest attendance record comes as little surprise. 

“It’s hard producing events that break records and benchmarks year after year – if not for the sole fact that no two festival seasons are alike and there will always be external factors impacting attendance,” said Milwaukee Pride president and CEO Wes Shaver, in a release. "You cannot rinse and repeat in this business. Coming off the heels of successful 2022 and 2023 festivals, our team was very intentional about how we’d build an all-star lineup of diverse, world class entertainment while doubling down on local representation and inclusion. The hope is you’ll offer an attractive event to those here in Milwaukee, but also to those beyond city limits. And this year’s results prove our strategy was effective."

In addition to breaking its overall three-day attendance mark and performers total, PrideFest also reported breaking its record for presale tickets sold via its online box office – bringing in more than two times last year's advance admission numbers. 

“I couldn’t be more pleased with the outcomes of the 2024 festival, and that’s truly because of the people that own their respective duties and bring their talent, ideas and passion to the table,” said VP of Festival Production Luke Olson, in PrideFest's press release.

PrideFest may be all wrapped for 2024 – but Pride Month overall is still partying proud. So for more local Pride updates, events, initiatives and information, check out Milwaukee Pride's Facebook or Instagram. And while this festival's done, that leaves only about a hyperbalillion more to celebrate in yet another Great Milwaukee Summer – so for more festival and summer fun info, check out OnMilwaukee's summer festival guide and free summer music guide

Matt Mueller Culture Editor

As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.

When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.