By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Sep 24, 2018 at 8:35 AM

Bright and early Tuesday morning, construction crews will begin demolition of the American Family Insurance Amphitheater on the Henry Maier Festival Park.

The venue opened as the Marcus Amphitheater in 1987.

Last week, Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. (MWF) Board of Directors
officially approved a budget of $50,000,000 to build a new American Family Insurance Amphitheater, which will be ready in time for Summerfest 2019.

However, construction is now scheduled to occur in two phases. The first phase, already underway and set to be complete by next summer, includes lifting part of the existing roof and reconfiguring the stage to allow for larger state productions to take place at Summerfest. In addition, the backstage area will be rebuilt with new amenities for artists.

Phase two kicks off at the end of Summerfest 2019 and will add new amenities for concertgoers, including new concourses, new restrooms, new seats, more hospitality areas, and increased food and beverage operations.

The fully complete new American Family Insurance Amphitheater is scheduled to be ready for day one of the Big Gig 2020.

In February, MWF hired Milwaukee's Eppstein Uhen Architects to design the new amphitheater, which will rise in the same location occupied by the current one.

Demolition will begin with the dressing room building and support areas behind the stage.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

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 episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," 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 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 has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.