By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Sep 16, 2021 at 1:26 PM

In the wake of the Milwaukee County Transit System canceling its Summerfest flyer service this year due to a shortage of drivers, the Big Gig has launched its own bus shuttles.

The buses, which will run during the festival’s remaining six days – Sept. 9-11 and 16-18 – cost $12 round-trip. Service runs about every 30 minutes, beginning at 11 a.m.

The buses will serve three park and ride lots – College Avenue at I-94 (both lots); State Fair Park at I-94, South 76th and West Kearney Streets; and East Brown Deer Road, west of I-43 – and will drop off and pick up just west of the Summerfest Mid-Gate on East Chicago Street.

The shuttles will not operate for the Wednesday concerts at the American Family Insurance Amphitheater on Sept. 8 and 15.

“The buses are back – we know that many of our fans utilize bus transportation to get to Summerfest and we wanted to provide them with a convenient and affordable option to attend the festival,” said Don Smiley, President and CEO of Milwaukee World Festival, Inc.

“Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. is organizing this service and have secured a national company, Vectour Group, which has run shuttles for major events nationwide to offer this service during Summerfest.”

The drop off/pick up location at Summerfest is located just west of the Summerfest Mid-Gate.

Tickets are available in advance at Summerfest.com. Riders can also pay – debit and credit cards only – when exiting the bus or when arriving at the festival grounds.

Riders are also encouraged to wear masks on the shuttle.

Leave the car at home and consider these other options for arriving at Summerfest:

Bublr Bikes

The City of Milwaukee’s bike share system has dozens of stations across the city. Details on locations and how to rent bikes can be found at bublrbikes.com. The stations nearest to Summerfest are at Discovery World to the north and Trestle Park, 501 E. Erie St., to the southwest.

The Hop Streetcar

While The Hop streetcar – which is free to ride – has not yet completed its line to the lakefront, the stop at Broadway and St. Paul in the Third Ward is a short walk to the festival. The streetcar has extended its hours and will run until 1 a.m. on all nine nights of the festival.

Schedule and riding information is at thehopmke.com.

Bar shuttles

In the past many area taverns have offered shuttle service to the festival grounds. While the pandemic may have eaten away at the number of places offering shuttles, here are some that are doing it this year.

Please confirm shuttles with the venues before you head out as information may change in these challenging times.

SOUTH

Fat Daddy's
120 W. National Ave., (414) 347-0524
fatdaddyball.com

Shuttle starts at 5 p.m., Wednesdays-Fridays, and at 3 on Saturdays. Free with drink purchase.

O'Lydia's
331 S. 1st St., (414) 271-7546
olydias.com

Shuttles run open to close during Summerfest. For the Wednesday concerts they start an hour before and conclude when the show is over. Drink purchase is required to ride.

RedBar
2245 E. St. Francis Ave., (414) 212-8470

4 p.m. until midnight, with a break from 8 to 9 p.m., all three weekends.

Steny's
800 S. 2nd St., (414) 672-7139
stenystavern.com

Running continuously starting at 1 p.m. and running until the park closes. Food or drink purchase required.

WEST

Camp Bar
6600 W. North Ave., (414) 763-3793
Campbarmke.com

Wednesday, beginning at 5 p.m., Thursday-Saturday, from 4 p.m.. Free with Miller or White Claw purchase.

Paulie’s Pub and Eatery
8031 W. Greenfield Ave., (414) 257-2854
pauliespubandeatery.com

Daily during Summerfest, beginning at noon, ages 21 and up. Last shuttle back 1/2 hour after the festival closes. Also running for Wednesday night concerts, beginning at 5 p.m.

NORTH

Camp Bar
4044 N. Oakland Ave., (414) 962-5182
Campbarmke.com

Wednesday, beginning at 5 p.m., Thursday-Saturday, from 4 p.m.. Free with Miller or White Claw purchase.

Milwaukee Brat House
4022 N. Oakland Ave., (414) 539-5826
shorewood.milwaukeebrathouse.com

Buses begin each day of the fest at 1 p.m. and run as often as possible between the bar and the North Gate, near Discovery World, until the grounds close at midnight. , they’ll be running as often as possible, and will continue pickups until the summerfest grounds are closed at midnight.

EAST

Crossroads Collective & Hooligan's
Farwell and North, (414) 763-9081
crossroadscollectivemke.com

These two East Side venues are collaborating on a shuttle that runs Thursdays-Saturdays, during the Big Gig, starting at 5 p.m. Thursdays, 6 p.m. Fridays and 2 p.m. Saturdays, and run about every half hour until midnight. Proof of purchase at Crossroads or Hooligan's required.

Izzy Hops
2311 N. Murray Ave., (414) 249-4489
izzyhops.com

Shuttles run 5 p.m. until midnight, Thursdays-Saturdays, during Summerfest.

Jack’s American Pub
1323 E. Brady St., (414) 763-2830
jacksamericanpub.com

Shuttles start at 1 p.m. each day of the fest and run as often as possible between the pub and Summerfest’s North Gate. Free for all customers.

DOWNTOWN

Milwaukee Brat House
1013 N. Old World 3rd St., (414) 273-8709
downtown.milwaukeebrathouse.com/

Buses begin each day of the fest at 1 p.m. and run as often as possible between the bar and the North Gate, near Discovery World, until the grounds close at midnight. , they’ll be running as often as possible, and will continue pickups until the summerfest grounds are closed at midnight.

Oak Barrel
1033 N. Old World 3rd St., (414) 897-8320
oakbarrelmilwaukee.com

Shuttles run all day on festival dates. 3 p.m. start on weekdays and 2 p.m. start on weekends. Wednesday concert shuttles begin at 3:30 p.m.

Third Street Tavern
1110 N. Old World 3rd St., (414) 897-8137
thirdstreettavernmke.com

Shuttles run all day on festival dates. 3 p.m. start on weekdays and 2 p.m. start on weekends. Wednesday concert shuttles begin at 3:30 p.m.

Who's on Third
1007 N. Old World 3rd St., (414) 897-8373
whosonthirdmke.com

Shuttles run all day on festival dates. 3 p.m. start on weekdays and 2 p.m. start on weekends. Wednesday concert shuttles begin at 3:30 p.m.

NOTE: Check back for updates on more places running Big Gig shuttles this year.

Rideshare

Rideshare pickup and drop-off zone is a block west of the Mid Gate at East Chicago and North Jackson Streets and outside the North Gate at East Michigan Street near Art Museum Drive.

Driving/Parking

If you must drive, you can find complete parking information for cars, motorcycles and bikes at summerfest.com/summerfest-parking. Reserve spots off-site using Spot Hero. You can find current traffic conditions and road closure information at 511wi.gov.

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 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 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.