This content is in partnership with Summerfest. See you there!
After more than two years unplugged, Summerfest returned over the past two weekends with a tremendous lineup of awesome shows, food favorites fresh and familiar – oh, how I missed you, Saz's sampler platter – new memories and incredible on-stage performances courtesy of DJ Shaq, Kesha, Chris Stapleton and many more. And that was just a piece of this trio of party-filled weekends down at the lakefront, with the final night tuning up as we speak featuring the likes of Guns N' Roses, Black Pumas, The Flaming Lips and so many more.
To help you make the most of the return of the return of the return of Summerfest, here's a guide to all the shows and stages ready to get loud on the lakefront for the final round of the Big Gig – from the Miller Lite Oasis to the kids stages and the largest platform of them all, the newly revamped American Family Insurance Amphitheater. And reminder of the ultimate guideline: Bring your COVID-19 vaccination card (either the original or a photo with the entire front visible) or proof of a negative COVID-test obtained within 72 hours of your date with the Big Gig.
So now that we got that serious business out of the way, time for the fun stuff: Here's everything you should be looking forward to at the final weekend of Summerfest 2021.
Saturday, Sept. 18
Daily admission deal
Fan Appreciation Day
This deal is simple: Those who arrive on this final day of Summerfest between noon and 7 p.m. get in for free!
Bob Babisch's picks
Here are some daily picks right from Summerfest's Vice President of Entertainment:
"Wrapping up Summerfest with a great rock show: Guns N’ Roses along with Mammoth WVH. Also excited to see Black Pumas and Turkuaz featuring Jerry Harrison and Adrian Belew, formerly with King Crimson, performing the entire Talking Heads album 'Remain In Light.' When artists do a whole album like that live, it’s really special.”
Full music schedule
American Family Insurance Amphitheater
6 p.m. – Guns N' Roses with Mammoth WVH featuring Wolfgang Van Halen
My pick – The Amp will turn into Paradise City for its final night of Summerfest as Guns N' Roses will rock the newly raised roof off the Big Gig's biggest stage.
Miller Lite Oasis
Noon – In the Know
2 p.m. – De La Buena
My pick – When it comes to local bands, few are as renowned and as spectacular as De La Buena. Get ready for a vibrant and lively show that'll get your final Big Gig day started right.
4 p.m. – De La Luz
5:30 p.m. – DJ Kenny Perez
6 p.m. – Browns Crew
8 p.m. – Gego y Nony
10:15 p.m. – Lunay
BMO Harris Pavilion
2 p.m. – Rockonsin
4 p.m. – The Heavy Hours
6 p.m. – Fancy Hagood
8 p.m. – Neal Francis
9:30 p.m. – Black Pumas
My pick – Black Pumas were everyone's Grammys night discovery, loving this bluesy and soulful rock combo on music's biggest night. And now you get to see them live, bringing their awards-worthy sound to the BMO Harris Pavilion (which will probably STILL be trying to clean up the glitter from Kesha last weekend).
UScellular Connection Stage
Noon – Flying Fuzz
Noon – Rockonsin
12:50 p.m. – Negative/Positive
2 p.m. – Something to Do
4 p.m. – Poi Dog Pondering
6 p.m. – Gabe Burdulis
8 p.m. – Beatallica
9:30 p.m. – Turkuaz featuring Jerry Harrison and Adrian Belew
Generac Power Stage
Noon – FBI and the Untouchable Horns
2 p.m. – Mascot Theory
4 p.m. – The Lemonheads
6 p.m. – Jeff the Brotherhood
8 p.m. – Thurston Moore
9:45 p.m. – The Flaming Lips
My pick – Prepare your brain for a hallucinatory night with the Flaming Lips, the great and iconic psychedelic rock band with the insane live show to match – complete with giant inflatable robots and rides in human-sized hamster balls.
Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard
Noon – Jessie Marie & The Rippers
2 p.m. – Sensations
4 p.m. – Cam
My pick – Have you heard the moving and famed country ballad "Burning House"? Then you've heard Cam, another of Summerfest's impressive matinee headliners that'll bring some starry energy to its final afternoon.
6 p.m. – Derek Joseph
8 p.m. – Dillon Carmichael
10 p.m. – Scotty McCreery
1 p.m. – Hungry Williams
2:30 p.m. – Paul Cebar Tomorrow Sound
4:30 p.m. – Galactic featuring Anjelika Jelly Joseph
6:30 p.m. – Day Tvvo
8 p.m. – Kesley Bou
10 p.m. – Neon Trees
My pick – Another late pick-up for Summerfest that's right on time for fans of this pop rock outfit that'll play a bright and blissful show featuring hits like "Everybody Talks" and more.
Johnson Controls World Sound Stage
12:30 p.m. – Doozey
3 p.m. – Holy Pinto
4:15 p.m. – Fuzzysurf
5:30 p.m. – SUSU
6:45 p.m. – The Moon City Masters
8 p.m. – Sheila E.
9:30 p.m. – DJ Doc B
JoJo's Martini Lounge
1 p.m. – Mission Accomplished
4 p.m. – Addiction
8 p.m. – The Cheap Shots
Klement's Sausage & Beer Garden
Noon – Jon Dietz and the Twin Lakes Trio
3:30 p.m. – Bryan O'Donnell
7 p.m. – Steve Meisner Polka Band
Gruber Law Offices Sportzone
3 p.m. – Roll Train
4:30 p.m. – Milwaukee Admirals Hockey
6 p.m. – Wheelchair/Adaptive Sports
7 p.m. – Milwaukee Bucks Rim Rockers
9 p.m. – Division BMX Stunt Team
My pick – This high-flying act performs just about every day at Summerfest – and no matter which day you go, you'll be mesmerized.
Northwestern Mutual Community Park
Noon – Kohl's Wild Theater
12:45 p.m. – Accompany of Kids: Song and Dance Troupe
1:30 p.m. – Kohl's Wild Theater
2:15 p.m. – Accompany of Kids: Song and Dance Troupe
3:15 p.m. – First Stage Adventures with the Three Pigs
4 p.m. – Shandini
5:30 p.m. – David Seebach's Wonders of Magic
6:30 p.m. – Gypsy Geoff: Fire Circus Show
7:30 p.m. – David Seebach's Wonders of Magic
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.