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"It's going to be something spectacular:" Summerfest Emerging Artist Series highlights 44 artists

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Many people go to Summerfest to see the big headlines like Jennifer Lopez. But artists from Milwaukee and around the world take to the Johnson Controls World Sound Stage for the Summerfest Emerging Artist Series in hopes of making their big break. 

“When you become part of the series, you become part of history," said David Silbaugh, talent buyer and production supervisor for Summerfest. 

The Summerfest Emerging Artist Series started 14 years ago, and the artists that take the stage are in good company. 

Walk The Moon, Nathaniel Rateliff, Maren Morris, X Ambassadors, and many others have become well known. 

"It's my baby, actually," said Silbaugh. 

There are 44 artists in the series, including international artists like Thaikkudam Bridge from India and Royal Prospect from Sweden.

“I am always looking for new talent," said Silbaugh, "My favorite thing is music discovery which is why there is a lot synergy between this and 88Nine."

Seven artists are from Milwaukee, including Immortal Girlfriend and Amanda Huff. 


“They are artists we’ve had a great relationship with already, they are artists we are playing on the airwaves," said Jordan Lee, program director at Radio Milwaukee. 

July 4th will be the first time artist Amanda Huff will be performing her music on a big stage. 

“It's crazy, I feel really honored given the opportunity," said Huff. 

She describes her music as in between jazz and electronic. 

In 2018, she won three Radio Milwaukee Music Awards including Solo Artist of the Year. 

I’ve only seen her in small, intimate settings, so I am excited to see her," said Lee. 

She's excited to perform her song, "Cicada" with a live band. 

“I think it’s going to be something spectacular," said Huff. 

The following day, band Immortal Girlfriend will be performing. 

"This time around, we are going in with the mindset of just having fun above everything else and just trying to put on a good show," said  Immortal Girlfriend's Will Bush.

They describe their music as synth-based electronic, with a lot of retro-inspired sounds. They were helping other artists create music when they decided to make a band of their own. 

"Will was writing all these songs, and then I came along and added some production," said Kevin Bush. 

They won the 2018 Radio Milwaukee Music Award for Band of the Year. 

“From my perspective, it’s only a matter of time before those guys are 'blown up,'" said Lee. 

Amanda Huff will be performing on July 4 at 6:45 p.m., and Immortal Girlfriend will take the stage on July 5 at 6:45 p.m.

To see a full list of performers for the Summerfest Emerging Artist Series, click here

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