Summerfest Partners with American Family Insurance

NOW: Summerfest Partners with American Family Insurance
Milwaukee -

Milwaukee World Festival and American Family Insurance have entered in a partnership.

The partnership includes a new amphitheater that will hold 23,000 seats.

It will be a brand new construction with the same footprint of the current amphitheater. 

Don Smiley said they are trying to save the old roof. 

The construction will begin in 2019 and will be ready for 2020 Summerfest.

 Amenities in the new complex will include enhanced production space, additional restaurant options, new restroom facilities and new hospitality areas.

"What we do for our community is really number one for American Family and what we do for our culture," said Jack Salzwedel of American Family Insurance.

"Just an incredible brand," added  Ted Kellner of  Milwaukee World Festival. "Not only in this state but the 19 state region that we service."

Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. will construct a new North Gate and community plaza, linking Henry Maier Festival Park to downtown Milwaukee and the development associated with the Lakefront Gateway Project. Construction is scheduled for late 2017, with the gate completion anticipated for Summerfest 2018. 

They believe the construction will cost between $30 and $35 million. 

The amphitheater will replace the Marcus Amphitheater.

“It’s bitter sweet that we are moving on from here, but we understand what this means to the community,” said Greg Marcus, CEO of Marcus.

In addition, there will be a new north gate built.

There will be a 10 year partnership.

Summerfest will now be known as Summerfest presented by American Family Insurance.

Terms of the partnership deal are not being disclosed.

But everyone promised that music outreach in the community, especially reaching Milwaukee students, will be key.

The mission of providing world class entertainment at affordable prices also remains intact.

"We have the real performers here," said Mayor Tom Barrett. "You look at the list of the people who have performed at this festival, it is a rock and roll hall of fame."

Council President Ashanti Hamilton recalled the legacy of Summerfest and how its now bridging the gap to the future.

"I know the legacy the Marcus family has had and this is a passing of the baton to another great brand."


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