Summerfest unveils new U.S. Cellular Connection Stage

Will host first concert on Friday

The new U.S. Cellular Connection Stage on the north end of Henry Maier Festival Park.

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:11 pm

With just days until the new U.S. Cellular Connection Stage hosts its first act, Summerfest officials on Tuesday offered a sneak peak of the new stage on the north end of Henry Maier Festival Park.

The new stage, which replaces the former U.S. Cellular stage that was demolished after last year’s festival, includes a larger performance area, an open-air backstage loft VIP hospitality area and the largest LED screen on the festival grounds. The stage is expected to seat about 9,000 fans, a higher capacity than the previous stage, and offers visitors a view of Milwaukee’s lakefront. The area also includes a new bar on the north side of the stage, which is accessible from the main walkway.

The stage’s 2,400-square-foot performance space and the roof’s 85,000-pound capacity will allow Summerfest to accommodate a wider variety of acts, said Jason Stuewe, Summerfest architectural desinger.

The cost of the project was not disclosed.

The stage will host its first show, a free concert from DJ and producer Diplo, on Friday, five days before the opening day of Summerfest.

While the former U.S. Cellular stage hosted primarily new and emerging alternative and independent rock acts, the new stage will host primarily country and pop music acts. Among the acts that will take the stage this year are rapper Nelly, country singer Brett Young, alternative rock band The Fray and singer Rick Springfield.

Last week, Summerfest officials celebrated the unveiling of the new North Gate and community plaza. The entryway, sponsored by Madison-based American Family Insurance, includes a new turnstile area, box office, benches and seating areas and interactive play areas.

Summerfest’s 51st season will run from June 27 to July 1, and July 3 to 8.

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