By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Jun 14, 2022 at 10:59 AM

Summerfest will be announcing a "new" multi-year sponsor and details of the sponsorship at a press conference on Tuesday, June 14.

That sponsor is Potawatomi Hotel & Casino, which had been a Summerfest sponsor until 2014.

For many years, the casino sponsored a stage that is now the Johnson Controls World Sound Stage and also hosted bingo at the Big Gig.

Summerfest CEO making Tuesday's announcement.

The sponsorship includes naming rights to the Founders' Club VIP Area of the American Family Insurance Amphitheater, which is where the announcement was made by Summerfest CEO Don Smiley.

"We are thrilled to welcome back Potawatomi Hotel & Casino to Summerfest with a multi-year sponsorship, further strengthening our brands as two of the top tourist destinations in Milwaukee," said Smiley.

"This new partnership will further enhance our commitment to the city and community, as we continue to fulfill our nonprofit mission of bringing the community together through music and special events.

New Summerfest President Sarah Pancheri and Potawatomi CEO and General Manager Dominic Ortiz also spoke.


Potawatomi's sponsorship also includes Fan Appreciation Day and a new BIG WIN promotion on Sunday, July 9 – the last day of this year's Summerfest.

Summerfest attendees that day will get in free from noon until 3 p.m. and the first 30,000 will get a free ticket to next year's festival, as well as a BIG WIN entry ticket.

Depositing the ticket into a specially marked bin at the Mid-Gate between noon and 3 enters one into the drawing, which will take place at 4 p.m. at the Miller Lite Oasis Stage. Patrons must bring their 2023 ticket to the drawing.

Five tickets will be drawn and holders of those tickets will roll four dice. If all four turn up a Summerfest smile that entrant will win $1 million.

The other four winners will also win cash prizes based on their rolls.

Potawatomi Fire Keeper Club members will also have access to 20,000 entry and 2023 festival tickets that will be distributed at the hotel and casino on June 20. 22. 28 and 30, beginning at 8 a.m.

Visit for complete contest details and rules.

"It's a great opportunity for these two homegrown institutions to work and grow together to make Milwaukee a can't-miss destination for people throughout the country," said Ortiz.

"This is such an exciting time for Potawatomi Hotel & Casino to partner with Summerfest as the 'World's Largest Music Festival' becomes bigger and better than ever."

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.