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Meet the man who has booked all the big names for Summerfest

Posted at 11:40 PM, Jun 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-28 00:40:23-04

MILWAUKEE — If the Rolling Stones or Prince are among your favorite memories at Summerfest there's one guy to thank.

The man behind it all is Bob Babisch. He has been booking bands at the Big Gig for more than four decades. He is now in his 42 year of lining up bands for Summerfest.

A total of 812 bands have been booked for just this year's gig.

TODAY'S TMJ4 Charles Benson sat down with the man responsible for booking thousands of gigs. Here are parts of their conversation.

Benson: I think you should be in the Guinness Book of World Records - the guy who has booked the most bands

Babisch: Oh I'm sure there's people, club owners wo have done as many as I have through the years,

Benson: But they don't have 11 stages?

Babisch: Well that's true.

Benson: Do you have an idea how many bands you have booked?

Babisch: No, and it's been so long, started here when I was 26, 27...

Benson: You've hardly aged.

Benson: When you look at the bands you have booked, are you're like wow I can't believe we just got them?

Babisch: Oh yeah.

Benson: Who was that?

Babisch: Stones, Stones and maybe Prince.

And the hits keep on coming for Bisch - like landing Billie Eillish, the fast rising 17 year old popstar for July 6th.

Babisch is the first to tell you he has a good team helping him. It's all about creating the right vibe.

"Its really fun for us to go out during the day - not with a golf cart but walking and just feel the vibe of the whole building the whole grounds where the excitement is, what's fun out there," said Babisch. "That's the energy of the festival."

It's still work but not a bad gig for a guy who started out working in a record store during college.

Out of all the bands the one that he would want to watch is an easy answer for him.

"Best band in the world is the Stones. I hope Mick lives forever."