Key Milwaukee

June 2013

An A-Z visitors guide to Milwaukee Wisconsin. Sponsored by Key Magazine Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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SUMMERFEST TIPS By MIKE EWING BEFORE THERE WAS Lolla-pa-hooza or South-by-South-Whatever, there was Summerfest. The 46th Annual (and still World's Largest) Music Festival brings a tidal wave of tunes and brews to Milwaukee's lakefront. Planning for the fest can be overwhelming, so here are a few pieces of advice for first-timers: Pick Your Poison (or Another Band You Like) With so many acts playing The Big Gig, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. Luckily, you can sift through the hundreds of bands to find new ones you may like through the Summerfest website ( While browsing the schedule for any particular day, you can search by genre and listen to a song by many of the acts. This preview track is largely limited to headliners, but is still a more efficient way to find out if you like a band than wandering aimlessly through the festival. Summerfest has one of the most eclectic lineups out there, so the odds are good there are acts you'll enjoy on the schedule. Walk or Take a Shuttle As people stream around the Summerfest grounds, the surrounding roads turn into rapids of swerving pedestrians, Harleys and cars. Avoid getting swept away by taking one of the many shuttles that head to the fest from local bars or hopping on a Freeway Flyer from the 'burbs (info at ). Just make sure you remember WHICH shuttle/bus you need to catch, where their pickup location is, and to get there before the last shuttles leave at 12:30 p.m. Stake Your Claim One thing that distinguishes Summerfest from many summer music extravaganzas is the placement of benches in front of the stages. This leads to a few things. First, things don't get as bone-crushingly crowded as they do at other festivals. Second, dancing around like a maniac is mostly impossible when standing on top of benches. So, Summerfest probably has more fist pumping than any other festival. Finally, it also means that it is very difficult (read: Impossible) to show up at the last minute and get a front-row view of the most popular acts. So if you want to get up close to a headliner or any band playing after 5 p.m., get there early. Stop, Plop, & Listen With so many options, it's tempting to focus on a headlining act or make lap after lap around the festival grounds like you're in the Indy 500. If you ever feel bored or lost, your best option is to head towards whichever stage best reflects your particular tastes. Or even better, head towards the K-Nation | Cascio Interstate Music Stage and support some local Milwaukee (and Midwestern) bands. What these acts lack in notoriety they make up for with energy. Two of my favorite acts of the whole fest will be there, including the powerful post-punk Delta Routine, 9 p.m. on July 5, and rowdy pop-rockers Archie Powell & the Exports, 9 p.m. on July 7. Have Fun & Keep Your Cool Between the high temperatures and volumes of beer consumed, bodies and tempers can get hot at Summerfest. Make sure you drink plenty of hops-free H20 during the day. Be polite to strangers. Be wary of wobbly drunks and guys with their shirts off. Unless that guy is you, in which case: rock on. Do you have any Summerfest tips? Share them with us at or on Twitter at @MilwaukeeKeyMag. BARS & CLUBS TRY YOUR LUCK at POTAWATOMI BINGO CASINO 1721 W. Canal St. 645-6888 or visit Located minutes from downtown and open 24 hours a day. In addition to gambling and top-name entertainment, the Casino's Fire Pit is a top sports bar. FOR A GOOD LAUGH…COMEDYSPORTZ 420 S. 1st St. 414-272-8888. Milwaukee's longest-running comedy show offers improvisational comedy designed for all ages. Call for times, reservations DOWNTOWN MILWAUKEE BACCHUS, 925 E. Wells St. 765-1166. Sophisticated spot with one of the most extensive wine lists in the Midwest. Located in the historic Cudahy Towers. BEST PLACE, 901 W. Juneau Ave. 630-1609. Experience brewing history. Tavern open noonmidnight, Thurs.-Sun. COUNTY CLARE, 1234 N. Astor St. 272-5273. Irish food with an American spin, plus Irish drink and entertainment. DISTIL, 722 N. Milwaukee St. 220-9411. Upscale experience with exclusive bourbon and rye selections. Open 4 p.m.-bar close Mon.-Sat. MILWAUKEE BRAT HOUSE, 1013 N. Old World 3rd St. 273-8709. Serving brats and fun until closing. MYKONOS GYRO & CAFE, 1014 Van Buren St. 224-6400. Serving until 3 a.m. Thurs. and 3:30 a.m. Fri. & Sat. RUMPUS ROOM, 1030 N. Water St. 292-0100. Great beer and cocktail selection.

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