The gates are open at Summerfest as fans roll in on day one

Posted at 12:32 PM, Jun 23, 2022

MILWAUKEE — The gates are open at Summerfest and fans are rolling in!

For the first time in a couple of years, Summerfest is actually happening during summer! For the next three weekends, thousands of fans will head to Henry Maier Festival Park to watch and listen to hundreds of acts from around the world.

TMJ4 News was there on opening day to catch reactions from festival-goers.

Whether it's the food or music that brings you out to Summerfest, people just can't get enough.

Some would call Kevin Kelsay a super-fan, not just because he's been the first person in line for two years in a row.

"I've been coming to these grounds to hear music since before it was Summerfest," Kelsay smiled. "My sister dragged me here in the late 60s."

You read that right, it's been decades and he said so much has changed.

"Railroad tracks filled with tar that stuck to you, and mud. It was pretty sparse when things started," he said.

Summerfest Day 1 Highlights

Now, there are 12 stages, which means more music, and that's what keeps him coming back for more.

"It's a phenomenal opportunity to hear so many types of music that you otherwise would not be exposed to," Kelsay said.

He's seen thousands of artists, but one stands out the most.

"I'd have to say Prince, the two performances I saw were unforgettable," Kelsay smiled.

Beyond the music, he said coming to the festival brings back so many great memories.

"Most of them are the people I was with when I was here," he said. "Those are the things that are the real highlights."

He hopes to come back next year with his niece and her child.

So, after decades of coming to the festival, we had to ask how many more years he hopes to be the first in line. Kelsay laughed and said "as long as I'm kicking."

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