Eppstein Uhen Architects selected to design Summerfest’s new amphitheater

Firm has worked on several recent renovations at Henry Maier Festival Park

A rendering of the planned American Family Insurance Amphitheater prepared by Eppstein Uhen Architects.

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:12 pm

Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. officials have selected Milwaukee-based Eppstein Uhen Architects as the lead architectural firm to design the new American Family Insurance Amphitheater at Henry Maier Festival Park.

A preliminary rendering of the planned American Family Insurance Amphitheater that was released in January 2017, not reflective of current design progress. 

Plans for the new amphitheater, which will replace the current main stage on the Summerfest grounds, were first unveiled in January 2017 when officials announced that Madison-based American Family Insurance had signed on as a 10-year title sponsor of the festival.

The project is expected to cost between $30 million and $35 million.

Eppstein Uhen was chosen for the project after a competitive selection process, Milwaukee World Festival Inc. officials said.

“The process was very competitive and all of the candidates provided excellent concepts and design ideas,” said Don Smiley, president and chief executive officer of Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. “In the end, it was EUA’s broader vision that lead us to our final decision.”

Eppstein Uhen has worked on several projects on the Summerfest grounds in recent years, including the design work for the renovation of the South Gate and box office, the Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard stage and the waterfront BMO Harris Pavilion stage. The firm also designed the new U.S. Cellular Stage on the north end of the park, which is set to open this year.

“We are honored to be selected as the lead design architect,” said Greg Uhen, chief executive officer of Eppstein Uhen. “As the flagship venue for Summerfest, the amphitheater has played a huge role in shaping the Milwaukee music experience over its 31 year span, hosting some of the world’s best artists to sellout crowds. Production complexity and fan expectations have evolved, and I am personally excited to reimagine the American Family Insurance Amphitheater, exploring new possibilities to elevate the experience for decades to come. This is going to be fun.”

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Lauren Anderson
Lauren Anderson covers health care, nonprofits, education and insurance for BizTimes. Lauren previously reported on education for the Waukesha Freeman. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studied journalism, history and African studies. In her free time, Lauren enjoys spending time with family and friends and seeing live music wherever she can.

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