MILWAUKEE — On the eve of Summerfest, fans and organizers alike are ready for the Big Gig after the festival last year was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I just want people to have a good time,” says Summerfest Entertainment Director Bob Babisch.
It’s been more than two years since Summerfest 2019 wrapped up. This year’s festival was pushed back to September to give more time for COVID-19 vaccines to do their job and life to get somewhat back to normal.
But Babisch says there was a time when everything was up in the air.
“A couple of times there it was dicey on whether we were ever going to be able to do a festival again,” he said.
But gates to Summerfest 2021 open Thursday Sept. 2 at noon, and fans are pumped to see people enjoy live music again.
“Being able to see other people and enjoy the music live is really important to a lot of people,” said Amanda Kryzak, who came to see Green Day Wednesday night with her mom.
While the festival doesn’t officially open until Thursday, thousands of fans waited in line for the American Family Insurance Amphitheater Wednesday. The “Hella Mega Tour” featuring Weezer, Fallout Boy and Green Day was part of the Wednesday Kick Off concert series.
COVID-19 safety protocols are in effect for this year’s festival. Fans must show proof of vaccination (either a hard copy or on their phone) or proof of a negative COVID-19 test in the last 72 hours. Masks are not required but recommended for the few indoor locations. Summerfest will run the first three weekends of September.