Summerfest to host Big Gig BBQ event

Milwaukee World Festival introduces new one-day affair

Atlas BBQ is among the restaurants that will serve food at the Big Gig BBQ.

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:24 pm

Milwaukee-based Summerfest operator Milwaukee World Festival Inc. today announced a new one-day event, Big Gig BBQ, geared toward motorcycle and barbecue lovers.

Atlas BBQ is among the restaurants that will serve food at the Big Gig BBQ.
Atlas BBQ is among the restaurants that will serve food at the Big Gig BBQ.

The nonprofit will host the event along with Meijer and Miller Lite on Sunday, Sept. 4, from 5 to 10 p.m. at the Henry Maier Festival Park grounds on the lakefront. It is an officially sanctioned event of the Milwaukee Rally, and will appeal to foodies, bike enthusiasts and music lovers, MWF said.

Milwaukee Rally, an annual motorcycle event hosted by Milwaukee-area Harley-Davidson dealerships, this year will take place over Labor Day weekend, Sept. 1 to 5. Its events are held at various locations, including the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee.

The Big Gig BBQ will feature barbecue foods from Atlas BBQ, Double B’s BBQ and Burgers, Maxie’s, Saz’s State House, Smoke Shack, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, Famous Dave’s Bar-b-que, Pitch’s, Silver Spur Texas Smokehouse BBQ and The Charcoal Grill and Rotisserie. Miller Lite, Leinenkugel’s and Blue Moon beers will also be served.

MWF will announce a national headliner musician for the event at a later date. Blues, country and rock music will be played live at the Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard and South Pavilion throughout the evening.

Don Smiley, president and chief executive officer of Milwaukee World Festival, said the organization had tried to arrange this event for several years, but could never squeeze it into the busy schedule at the Henry Maier Festival Park.

“When everything aligned we were really excited. This will be a great event for our community and it will really tie up the summer,” Smiley said. “We work hard to find new and innovative ways to bring patrons and businesses together to strengthen the Milwaukee community. We are thrilled to introduce a brand new event to festival fans and continue to do what we do best—serve up great food and provide nationally acclaimed entertainment in a world class festival setting on Milwaukee’s lakefront with the help of our partners.”

General admission tickets are $15 and children 10 and under will be admitted free. Complimentary motorcycle parking will be available on the grounds, capacity pending, and for other vehicles will cost $10. Tickets and more information are available at

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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