Piet Levy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
For the first time in 53 years, summer in Milwaukee won't have a Summerfest.
The crown jewel for the City of Festivals, and the largest music festival in the United States, was canceled for the first time, due to the coronavirus pandemic, Thursday morning in a unanimous vote by the board of Summerfest's parent company, Milwaukee World Festival Inc.
In March, Milwaukee World Festival announced plans to condense the 11-day bash into a nine-day event in September.
But the public health emergency continues, and Summerfest in September won't happen. Now Summerfest officials look to 2021.
Some headliners scheduled to play this year have already confirmed they'll be at Summerfest next year. Dave Matthews Band, originally booked for July 2, will now play Summerfest's American Family Insurance Amphitheater on July 1, 2021. Halsey was supposed to play the Summerfest amphitheater on July 3 this year; she'll instead headline the 23,000-person-capacity venue on July 3, 2021.
Chris Stapleton and Sheryl Crow will now play the amphitheater July 8, 2021, instead of on June 30 this year. Justin Bieber and Guns 'N Roses are rescheduling their tours but have yet to announce new Summerfest dates.
Nine amphitheater shows and seven shows at the BMO Harris Pavilion had been announced for the 2020 festival. Amphitheater headliner Sam Hunt and pavilion headliner Charlie Wilson were the only artists who announced moves to Summerfest's September 2020 window before the festival canceled. There's no word yet if they'll reschedule, or if any other confirmed acts for 2020 — including Luke Bryan, Blink-182 and Khalid — will play Summerfest next year.