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Summerfest delayed until September over coronavirus concerns

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Posted at 10:09 PM, Mar 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-23 23:29:08-04

MILWAUKEE — A tradition of Milwaukee's summer gets delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic. Summerfest will instead take place on the first three weekends of September.

Awesome Summerfest Dancing Machines
People dancing at Summerfest (File photo)

Milwaukee Alderman Bob Bauman, whose ward includes the Summerfest Grounds, said it is the right call to make.

Eating through Summerfest 50
Summerfest food (file photo)

"It was their only choice," said Bauman. "That is the worst circumstances for the spread of this disease. These huge events are drawing people from all over the world."

"The music industry has been profoundly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, and most live events scheduled for early summer have been canceled. In the interest of safety and in cooperation with artists, Summerfest 2020 will move to new dates," said Don Smiley, president, and CEO of Milwaukee World Festival, Inc.

Eating through Summerfest 50
Summerfest (file photo)

Summerfest will now run September 3-5, September 10-12, and September 17-19. The Milwaukee Business Journal's editor in chief Mark Kass said Summerfest typically gets between 800,000 and 900,000 visitors in two weeks.

Awesome Summerfest Dancing Machines
Summerfest (file photo)

"The economic impact on the city is huge, think of all the people who come in and stay at all the hotels, who eat at all the restaurants who are here for the whole week. All that is not going to happen now," said Kass.

Bauman says even though it might not make money it would have a postponement is better than canceling.

25 Milwaukee Summer Festivals
Summerfest (FIle Photo)

"The facility is there. It can be used. September has great weather in Wisconsin. So obviously it does not generate the crowds it usually does but nevertheless be a very positive event," said Bauman.

Summerfest is telling people if they already bought tickets to concerts, hold on to them. Those tickets will be honored.

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