Summerfest announced today that the 2011 event will be split in two with the festival taking a day off on Monday, July 4.
Milwaukee World Festival, Inc., which runs the 11-day music festival, said in a statement the change is in response to "customer feedback and the premise that, in general, if given the choice, people prefer to attend entertainment events, like Summerfest, on a Wednesday versus a Monday."
The 2011 festival -- which organizers call a test of the new configuration -- will open Wednesday, June 29 -- the event has started on Thursdays for most of its 30-plus life-span -- and run through Sunday, July 3. It will close for July 4 and reopen Tuesday, July 5 and wrap up Sunday, July 10.
"As stewards of Summerfest and Henry Maier Festival Park, we respond to customer preferences and suggestions," said Don Smiley, Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. president and CEO, "which periodically entails making adjustments to the event and its operations so the event and all of its partners and stakeholders have the strongest opportunity and probability for success in delivering the event experience that festival-goers' desire."
Organizers say they will watch closely how this year's festival is affected by the alteration in the schedule and may decide to stick with the new idea. That suggests they may also consider scrapping it or trying something else, too.
The move is an unexpected and unusual one -- especially considering many people are off on July 4 -- for the festival which rarely makes such a big scheduling move. But it will be interesting to see customer response and how the festival responds in 2012.
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In related news, Summerfest announced the popular Children's Fest Day is set for Tuesday, July 5. The festival offers free admission to all that day until 3 p.m.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in an episode of TV's "Party of Five," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.