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Milwaukee's Summerfest back with a vengeance, more than 100 headliners announced

Like many huge events, the music festival some call the largest in the world was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic.
Credit: Summerfest

MILWAUKEE — The music festival that bills itself as the largest in the world is back, bigger and overflowing with star power after a 2020 cancellation due to COVID.

Summerfest unveiled a number of artists and acts that will rock the Milwaukee lakefront this September, an eclectic lineup with everything from old school rock to rap, country to electronica. 

“We could not be more excited to unveil the lineup for Summerfest,” Don Smiley, president and CEO of Milwaukee World Festival Inc., said in a released statement. “From first-timers, including Chance the Rapper, Miley Cyrus, and Run the Jewels, to 'Fest favorites including Dave Matthews Band, T-Pain, Styx and Chris Stapleton, our lineup continues to be one of the most diverse and unique in the industry.”  

We are literally talking something for everyone: from politically charged hip-hop supergroup Run The Jewels, to jam band Dave Matthews, to country artist Brett Eldredge, to Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, to NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal, performing as DJ Diesel.  

Summerfest, like many big entertainment events across the country, was scuttled in 2020 due to concerns over COVID-19. While organizers decided to move ahead with the music festival in 2021, it was pushed to September from the normal dates in late June and early July, and reorganized to spread out over three weekends: Sept. 2 to 4, 9 to 11 and 16 to 18. 

Credit: Summerfest
Summerfest calls itself the world's largest music fest, with a 23,000 seat amphitheater and seven main stages located right on Milwaukee's lakefront.

Headliners were announced Thursday for the just-remodeled American Family Insurance Amphitheater, and the seven other venues that dot the shoreline of Lake Michigan. Organizers have not announced specific COVID-19 health protocols, but promise to do so in the near future. 

"Summerfest is committed to providing a safe environment for its fans, vendors, sponsors, and staff," reads a press release issued by Milwaukee World Festival Thursday. "Festival officials are working closely with local civic officials and health professionals to implement health and safety procedures and protocols. More information will be shared soon." 

For a look at the lineup or to buy tickets, check out the Summerfest website.