The largest venue at the World's Largest Music Festival, Summerfest, is about to be replaced.
The American Family Insurance Amphitheater, which opened as the Marcus Amphitheater in 1987, has hosted an amazing array of musical acts since it opened with a Beach Boys concert during that year's Summerfest. Acts from Rock to Pop to Country to Hip-Hop have graced the stage.
However, the design of the amphitheater is considered outdated for many, as earlier this month the Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. (MWF) Board of Directors officially approved a budget of $50 million to build a new American Family Insurance Amphitheater. The current one begins demolition today (9/25/18).
Much of the new venue, which will retain the name American Family Insurance Amphitheater, will be ready in time for Summerfest 2019, which runs June 26 - July 7, 2019 (except for the one Monday in there, of course...)
Construction will actually consist of two phases: the first includes lifting part of the existing roof and reconfiguring the stage to allow for larger productions, along with an improved backstage area with new artist amenities for artists. The second phase will begin after Summerfest 2019 and provide concertgoers with all the new goodies: new concourses (which have definitely needed upgrading), new restrooms, new seats, more hospitality areas, and more concessions with an increased variety of food and beverage options. Phase Two should be done in time for Summerfest 2020.
And that's not as far away as you might think!
Check out my Summerfest podcast from this past June with VP/Marketing Sarah Smith Pancheri on the EricCast below!