Well readers, the rules are back. My rules in which many must follow, or to simply just to give advice. For this it’s the new traditional Stephen’s Spot Rules of Summerfest. Reviewing again for 2019. By the way, we all know last year that the park celebrated 51 years. But it’s the 52nd year in it’s Golden Age, the fun is still the same. As always a reference: consult Summerfest’s rules of the park here. By the way, I am crediting the park with most of the information I know just to clarify.

First, let’s go over what I said last time in a long sentence mixed with something new. Many of you veterans of the park already know, yet again. Rookies, pay attention! And to those whom been away or seem to try to find your way back, consider this as a refresher course.

Since Summerfest is very well known in Milwaukee, I know about the place well. I first volunteered at the place at the then African World Festival in 1997, saw some shows, and worked in the late 90’s plus the year of 2000. Hard to believe that 20 years ago this summer, I was working there! I know the gates, security things, and the places to park near and far from the venue. So if you ready to party like crazy, start learning and reviewing. By the way, I don’t currently work for the company, BUT I KNOW the rules and regulations for my experience.

1) Summerfest as everyone knows is 11 days starting June 26th to July 7th. Except July 1st. And everyday there will days where you can get in free. Learn it! Especially the timeframes given. Like today, there was free way to get in for donations for the Hunger Task Force from Noon – 3:00pm . Please PAY ATTENTION TO THE TIMES! And pay attention (PLEASE PAY ATTENTION) to the news, internet, social media platforms and radio promos about Summerfest as well. Oh, Summerfest will be open on the 4th of July.

2) The park does have information booths. Need a program? They have them. Or for you mobile folks, you can download them via the net or straight to your smartphone. Your choice. Oh if you got the Sunday Milwaukee Journal Sentinel this past Sunday or the Shepherd Express, you might got a program with the paper.

3) CALLOUT WARNING: Listen Up! If you are an out of towner and have been stuck on the Wisconsin highway for about 2 and half hours getting to the park, that is your loss! The reason why I’m saying this, because when I was working for the company, I got hollered by a man (a white disgruntled man from Illinois mind you) about him being stuck on our highways for two hours. He verbally asked for the manager and the freaking former mayor John Norquist of all people. I am not making this up. This is a true story working at the main gate back in ’99. Keep in mind from my experience, Summerfest Security doesn’t control the freeways for the patrons to get to the park. My advice for you Wisconsin visitors (that yes the traffic will be hectic due to construction mostly, or the 1st shift folks going home, 2nd shift folks going to work), get there early!!!!! Like a day early. Or hours early when traffic is not huge!!! (Yes Illinois, I have NOT FORGOTTEN!)

4) If you ever think that you’ll be videotaping for your own personal use in or near the park (i.e. camcorders/video equipment), don’t record nothing! Knowing security they will take away the recording devices. They got rules for that. And the same goes for the Amp! Leave the camcorders at home. But there is one exception: If you have credentials from a performer or media organization like Fox 6, Channel 4, or the Milwaukee Courier Newspaper that might be fine.

5) If you’re about to pick up a ticket for a concert and if you run into a member of Security or Admissions personnel to pay them for the assistance to wait or ask questions to assist, don’t even try it! Buy the ticket and get an early pick up, or a mailing.

6) Cameras (mostly small cameras) are allowed on the grounds. It’s cool. But in the Amp, Nope. They won’t allow it. Don’t try it. BUT, like camcorders if you have credentials from a performer or media that might be fine. Also, and no selfie sticks. They won’t allow them. Sorry!

7) Like bathrooms, and merchandise areas, there are ATMs on the grounds. Be sure to spot them just in case you need that extra green.

8) Leave your weapons of Swiss army knives at home! The red shirts will take them, as well as any other suspicious item that is deemed dangerous. Just a word of warning.

9) Usually the workers in the colored shirts don’t reveal their names. Best advice, know their numbers! Like 563. Or in this case: Red 563. or Yellow 450.

10) CALLOUT: For the first time goers: Summerfest attracts big crowds. Just a word of warning. Again the park attracts crowds!

11) Best thing to ride at the grounds: Besides the arcades and the interactive stuff, the Skygliders. Take them. It’s legendary and use your cameras for sky pics!

12) Don’t be afraid to help those who don’t know much about the park. Give them some pointers! Now, if you can’t be at Summerfest, but know what the day schedule is, and if your bestie needs that social media assistance: Tweet it. Facebook it. Instagram it. Text it. Google it. #Hashtag it. You know the routine! Help them out. And if you use LinkedIn, use that too!

13) For the bus folks, as you know Summerfest got shuttles (MCTS, Restaurants, Bars, etc) . You know the deal. No need to tell you. And that goes for the Uber/Lyft folks.

14) They say that Summerfest has nothing for the kids. Um……..they do. Look at the children’s theater schedules, and they have a Children’s Fest day. Take them to that. Usually between Noon and 3pm on the day after Independence Day. Speaking of that, if your child gets lost and it happens often let the security folks know! Summerfest does in fact has an Lost Children’s Area for those who don’t know!

15) Yes, you can buy food and drinks at the park. BUT…………if you buy food on the outside as well as drinks trying to get in, can’t do it. Just like having cans and/or glass bottles. Nope can’t bring them in. Sorry! (Just a thought from my Security days) If you have an empty bottle, that is acceptable to bring in.

16) If it’s raining and if you have an Umbrella, yes you can bring it. BUT…….not in the Amp. If it’s hot, better take a towel just in case. If you get hurt, injured or get sick, Summerfest does have First Aid Stations and MFD will be on stat. Plus don’t be surprised if you see cool tents to take a break from the heat. For you with kids, the Elizabeth Bo Black splash pad will be in effect.

17) Like any other venue, there are areas that you can lock up your stuff. Ask the personnel in the info booths for that. Usually it’s for the special needs patrons, but feel free to ask questions.

18) Upon entry, you will be searched. Just a heads up. Bags, strollers, etc. Expect the pat downs and maybe the overhead security things. Summerfest will have metal detectors and wands. Just like in high school in the 90’s with the searches. BAG POLICY: Like the stadiums, other entertainment parks, Summerfest has a bag policy. Please pay attention to this very carefully!: 9″ x 10″ x 12″. When coming to the park, the carry ins of Tote Bags, Cinch Bags (or Drawstring Bags) and Small Purses/Clutches are allowed. If you have a Fanny Pack, that will be acceptable. BUT: If you have a Backpack, Camera Bag, Large Purse or a Cooler – THOSE ITEMS ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE! They cannot be brought into the park. What might happen is either you take the bag back to your parking spot nearby or donate it. That’s what they said! And plus, Summerfest will give you a bag to empty the contents of your original to put in. And they have made this mandatory for everyone, even those who work at the park to follow the same examples as everyone else. If you take the Bus, Uber, Lyft or a buddy to drop off, make sure they pack small with the bags acceptable! If they get dropped off with the wrong bag in all, it’s a wrap. Also, there is an exception that if you have a bag that is for needs like medications, or baby diapers/wipes. And I know many will forget and get angry about a bag that they can’t bring in, and their car is parked in Greenfield or Chicago!
BOTTOM LINE: Just a word of advice, read the rules AHEAD OF TIME! All of this is part of updated security. Just to be safe.

19) Now check this, if you bought a concert ticket to see or any other headliner at the Amp, yes, you can get through the gates with that as well. Mostly the South Gate.

20) Keep in mind, Summerfest does have cameras all around the park. If you mess up, don’t expect to be spotted or thrown out! Warning for those who might be drunk in all. I’m just saying!

21) For the record: Pets are NOT allowed at the park. BUT……….service animals are acceptable as well as many other needs for the elderly and disabled.

22) And as far as parking: Many know well that parking can be a hassle for a good spot. My advice, look for the areas near the park, like parking lots near Michigan or Jefferson Streets. The U.S. Bank Building near Cass Street has festival parking available for those who want to use it. Yep, pay the required amount. Plus also if you have a concert ticket plus a parking validation with it, you are straight. Also if you’re lucky per say, there are parking spots close by the park near the South Gate that you could try. But, it’s a slim chance though.

23) For the record, Summerfest does have urban acts lined up for 2019: Bone Thugs – N-Harmony, Lizzo, T-Pain, Chaka Khan, The Roots, Lionel Richie, Snoop Dogg, Lil Wayne, Schoolboy-Q , Charles Walker Band, Just to name a few. PLEASE CHECK THEM OUT MILWAUKEE!!!!!!

24) Currently, construction right now as we know at times is a beast. Take real caution and be safe. Plus think ahead before planning to drive please!

25) As far as Fireworks: No need explaining. You all should know that the first night of Summerfest and July 3rd. Pick a spot and view with the cameras and smartphones on stat.

26) Now I shouldn’t point this out, but I should. If there is an issue with a Summerfest employee, volunteer or a worker that you might disagree with, the staff does have supervisors on site. Talk with their managers!

Caught up yet? Good.

NEW STUFF THIS YEAR: or the extra reminders you already know.

The park now has Wristbands for re-entry. And are always plentiful. Between Noon and 6:30 that is. But will not be issued on the last day of the event.

Look for the Summerfest Street Team. They are always around. Matter of fact, they might be looking for you!

For all you UBER drivers or Lyft Drivers, I hope you got your plans set up for the extra green. No need to tell you. Or those Ubering a chance to earn money for the first time big gig rides. Feel free to sign up here.

Lyft Drivers, I’m assuming that many of you are probably making ideas for your drivers to set up the schedules. Get the Apps out! Make that money.

For the Power Pass Users, you’re lucky! Use that pass to get in for the days and shows of your choice.

Reminder: The Summerfest Store on the grounds has many merch for your spending. And many of the merch is homegrown. Support the local shops!

If going to the BMO Harris Pavilion Stage for a show, you might have a special pass for the headlining acts. Some of the passes might be sold out, but there are those you can get depending on the shows. For more information, click here.

The Miller Oasis Stage is once again back. And like last year, make a note of it. They have a sale going for some of the performers making that music. The stage still has the Level Up Viewing Deck for your viewing pleasure. Check it out.

The North Gate area is still new. All decked out.

The Amp is now under the banner of American Family Insurance. And still going through renovations. But you can still party though. And no scheduled acts are set for July 4th. (update)

On June 27th, between Noon and 6pm, get into Summerfest for $5.00! It’s a #TBT special with Pick N’ Save.

June 28th is Show Your College Pride Day. Wear your college shirt or hat to get in between Noon and 3pm. Oh, just for clarification: the colleges are comprised of these schools only: Alverno College, Bryant & Stratton College, Cardinal Stritch University, Carroll University, Carthridge College, Concordia University, Gateway Technical College, Herzing University, Marquette University, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee Area Technical College, MSOE, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. And the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. Other schools, sorry. That includes my UW-Stout.

Everyday at Summerfest, there will be an Emerging Artist Series shows that will take place. And word is you can vote for an artists that are coming up.

For the Milwaukee Streetcar folks: yes you can ride near to Summerfest for Free! And yes, the Hop is still free to take!

For the last day of Summerfest, as everyone knows between Noon – 3:00pm it’s free. But there is also a chance to win an admission for Summerfest 2020 next summer.

For other info that you need to ask, comment or question, either business or personal, consult the Summerfest Website for details.

Now, go party and be safe!

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