By Matt Mueller Culture Editor Published Jun 23, 2022 at 1:56 PM Photography: Summerfest

It's hard to pick the number one thing that rules about Summerfest, this year taking place across three weekends this summer – June 23-25, June 30 through July 2 and July 7-9. But the price is annually a top-five contender – somehow made even better with the help of the Big Gig's daily admission promos, making this affordable summer spectacle even more affordable and even more spectacular. 

And 2022 will be no different, with a newly announced batch of ways to not only score discounts but also help out the Milwaukee community and those in need in the process. Here's how to get into the world's largest music festival at some of the smallest possible prices. 

Thursday, June 23 – Stomp Out Hunger Day

The first Summerfest admission promo offers guests a way to score a good deal while also doing good, as all attendees who arrive at any of the three gates between noon and 3 p.m. with at least two jars of peanut butter to donate to Hunter Task Force will receive a free admission ticket, valid for that day and time.

Friday, June 24 – Children's Fest Day

No matter your age, the first Friday of the Big Gig is a winner as all attendees who go through the gates between noon and 3 p.m. will get in for free. And as an added bonus, select vendors will also serve up discounted food, drinks and snacks during the day.

Saturday, June 25 – Mary Lou's Closet Supply Drive

With the help of Mary Lou's Closet – a program dedicated to providing hygiene supplies for kids in local public schools – the first 1,500 fans who arrive at the Summerfest mid-gate between noon and 3 p.m. with at least $10 worth of new deodorant, feminine hygiene products or socks to donate will receive a free Big Gig admission. All donated items will go toward the United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County’s community schools.

Thursday, June 30 – Throwback Thursday

The Big Gig isn't just throwing it back on stage with retro-themed acts; they'll also throw back the prices with $5 admission and half-off beverages (not including frozen drinks, specialty coffee drinks, and smoothies) from noon until 6 p.m. That's a blast from the past we can certainly get behind.

Friday, July 1 – Military Appreciation Day

As a tribute to those who serve our country, Summerfest will give free admission to all active-duty military members and vets who show a valid Military ID, copy or photo of a DD-214 form, or driver’s license with Veteran classification at the gates' designated turnstile from noon until 6 p.m. The deal is also good for free admission up to four family members. 

Friday, July 1 – Kinship Community Food Day

Another way to score a great deal while helping a great cause, the first 2,000 patrons who donate three non-perishable food items – cooking oil and fruit snack packs, such as low-sugar applesauce or mandarin oranges, are preferred – at the Summerfest mid-gate between noon and 3 p.m. will receive free Big Gig admission. All the donations go toward Kinship Community Food Center, formerly caled the Riverwest Food Pantry.

Saturday, July 2 – Make a Child Smile Day

Support reading, score savings – a good arrangement, right? That's the deal on July 2, as the first 2,500 fans who donate $10 worth of new or gently used childrens books (preferrably picture books or early readers targeted at kids up to 10 years old) at the mid-gate between noon and 3 p.m. will get free Summerfest admission.

Thursday, July 7 – Silgan Community Food Drive

Help feed your community while feeding your need for live music with the Silgan Community Food Drive. Between noon and 3 p.m., the first 2,000 attendees at the mid-gate promotions booth with three non-perishable food items to donate will receive free Big Gig admission. All donations (canned fruits and veggies are particularly appreciated) go toward the Hunger Task Force. 

Thursday, July 7 – Seniorfest Day

Summerfest becomes Seniorfest during the final Friday of the music festival, giving all patrons 60 years old and above free admission between noon and 4 p.m. when they present their ID at the gates' designated turnstile. And in case that wasn't enough, they'll also nab a voucher for $2 off any food or beverage purchase over $10. 

Friday, July 8 – Show Your College Pride Day

If it's free, it's for me. It's the college motto – and it lives on during this final Friday of Summerfest with this promo deal, sponsored by OnMilwaukee. Those repping one of the participating schools with a shirt or hat will snag free Big Gig admission at the mid-gate promotions booth between noon and 3 p.m. This year's participating colleges and universities include Cardinal Stritch, Carthage College, Marquette, MATC, UWM, UW-Platteville and UW-Whitewater. In addition, those who present a high school ID at the mid-gate promo booth or complete their FAFSA by July 8 will also score a free admission ticket. 

Saturday, July 9 – Fan Appreciation Day

One final day of Summerfest means one final way to get into the Big Gig for cheap. How cheap? Free – that's how cheap. Attendees who go arrive this day between noon and 3 p.m. will get in for free. And as an added bonus, the first 30,000 fans through the gates will also score a free admission ticket for next year's fest. That's right: The Summerfest savings have already begun for 2023!

And somehow that's not all the ways you can save on Summerfest admission. For instance, downloading the Big Gig app doesn't just give you daily schedules, maps and information at your fingertips – it can also score you a free weekday (Thursday and Friday) admission ticket

For more information on Summerfest's ticket promos and beyond, visit the Big Gig's website. And for more updates on the world's largest music festival, stay tuned to OnMilwaukee. 

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.