Getting to the Big Gig: Transportation tips, details to make your Summerfest commute easy

MILWAUKEE — When planning your visit to Summerfest during the 50th edition, fans have a variety of options on how to get to the festival. The key is to plan ahead, as there are many convenient transportation choices available throughout the Greater Milwaukee area to make the Summerfest commute easy to navigate.

PREPARING FOR YOUR VISIT:

Planning ahead will help fest-goers get to the festival with ease and enhance the overall Summerfest experience.  Below are some tips to help you plan your visit.

  • Park at Summerfest Grounds:
    • Parking lots open daily at 9:00 am. All parking is on a first-come, first-serve basis.
    • Pre-paid parking passes for specific dates during Summerfest may be purchased at the American Family Insurance Box Office or at Summerfest.com.
    • Accessible parking spaces are available in Lot H. Vehicles must have appropriate plates or permits to park in accessible spaces.
    • If you are parking at Summerfest for a show at the American Family Insurance Amphitheater, please plan enough time to navigate traffic and park, prior to concert start time, as lots fill up quickly.
  • To access all the information you need in advance – admission discounts, performance line-ups, food and beverage vendors, and more:
    • Download the Summerfest app and build your personalized schedule.
    • Pick up a Summerfest brochure at a local outlet.
    • Visit Summerest.com.
  • Security Policies – the festival encourages guests to leave their bags at home to cut down on waiting at the gate for security. Keep the following policies in mind as you enter Summerfest:
    • Visitors will enter the festival through metal detection and should be prepared to comply with security requirements.
    • If patrons bring bags, please allow ample time to enter – ALL bags are subject to inspection prior to entering.
    • NO backpacks or bags larger than 9x10x12 will be allowed on the grounds.

Transportation options for Summerfest 2017 include:

BUS AND SHUTTLE SERVICE:

Milwaukee County Transit System

Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) offers easy options that get you straight to the gates of Summerfest. Catch an MCTS Freeway Flyer or an Ozaukee County Express from designated parking lots.

  • Take advantage of the MCTS Downtown Shuttle along Wisconsin Avenue and park within walking distance of a Shuttle stop. Or, you can ride a local bus route and walk a short distance to the Summerfest Grounds. Visit Summerfest.com for more information on the Downtown Shuttle program. Visit RideMCTS.com for more information and suggested routing or call (414) 344-6711 for 24-hour automated bus information.

MCTS Freeway Flyer Service

For a fast and easy way to the Summerfest Mid Gate, park at any of the following Park-Ride lots and hop on a Freeway Flyer to Summerfest:

  • College: College Avenue, at I-94 (both lots)
  • Whitnall/Hales Corners: I-43, east of S. 108th Street
  • State Fair Park: I-94, S. 76th and W. Kearney (limited amount of free parking available)
  • Watertown Plank Road: Watertown Plank Road, west of U.S. Hwy 45
  • Holt: Holt Avenue, west of I-94
  • Loomis: Loomis Road, south of Coldspring Road
  • Brown Deer East: Brown Deer Road, west of I-43
  • Saukville Walmart: 33/Green Bay Ave. east of I-43
  • Grafton Target/Home Depot: 60 west of I-43
  • Weekday Schedule (Approximate Times)
    • 11:30 am – 5:00 pm: Service every 30 minutes from Park-Ride lots and Summerfest
    • 5:00 pm – 12:30 am: Service every 15 minutes from Park-Ride lots and Summerfest
  • Weekend Schedule (Saturday and Sunday – Approximate Times)
    • 11:30 am – 12:30 am: Service every 15-20 minutes from Park-Ride lots and Summerfest
  • Fares:
    • Freeway Flyer round-trip cash fares: $7. Pre-Fare Digital Ticket: $6.
    • Freeway Flyer round-trip with MCTS M•CARD: Stored value of $5. Riders with a 1-, 7- or 31-Day Pass on an M•CARD add $2.50 (cash or stored value). Valid M•CARD Transfer add $2.50 (cash or stored value).
    • Exact fare is required. Operators cannot make change. Children under age 6 ride free when accompanied by an adult. Children, Seniors, and Disabled persons may be eligible for reduced fare. Visit RideMCTS.com for more information. U-PASS (Summer Semester), Freedom Pass, GO Pass and the Commuter Value Pass are accepted as full fare on all MCTS buses.

Wisconsin Coach Lines / Coach USA Milwaukee Waukesha County Service

For the 25th consecutive year, Wisconsin Coach Lines takes you to Summerfest with safe, convenient, and affordable service straight to the Mid-Gate.  Park for free at any of the 4 Park and Ride lots

  • The shuttle originates from the Nagawaukee Park-Ride in Delafield (Hwy 83 and I-94). Other pick-ups include the Meadowbrook Park-Ride lot (I-94 and County Highway G), the Goerke’s Corners Park-Ride lot (I-94 and Barker Road), and Eble Park Ice Arena (19400 W. Bluemound Rd.).
  • Service runs every 30 minutes.
  • The shuttle drop-off and pick-up at Summerfest is located west of the Mid Gate on Chicago Street.
  • The shuttle operates every day of Summerfest beginning at 11:00 am with the last shuttle departing Summerfest at 12:15 am.
  • Round-trip tickets are $10 and purchased at point of origin. Children under 12 who are accompanied by an adult are only $5 round-trip through the 3PM departure to Summerfest.
  • Call (262) 542-8861 or visit WisconsinCoach.com for more information.

Racine & Kenosha Service

Wisconsin Coach Lines does not have dedicated service to Summerfest, but offers 7 northbound and southbound weekday trips and 4 weekend/holiday trips per day as part of their daily commuter service to serve Racine and Kenosha Summerfest attendees with a bus stop 2 blocks from the North Gate. Call (262) 542-8861 or visit WisconsinCoach.com for route and fare information.

Ozaukee County Express

The Milwaukee County Transit System operates service from Ozaukee County straight to Summerfest.

  • Buses pick up at the Saukville Walmart (Hwy 33 and Green Bay Ave.) and Target/Home Depot (Hwy 60) in Grafton.
  • Service runs every 15 to 30 minutes depending on the time and day.
  • Round-trip fare is $7 cash, $6 Pre-Fare Digital Ticket or $5 M•CARD. Riders with a 1-, 7- or 31-Day Pass on an M•CARD add $2.50 (cash or stored value). Valid M•CARD Transfer add $2.50 (cash or stored value).
  • Exact fare is required. Operators cannot make change.
  • Children under age 6 ride free when accompanied by an adult. Children, Seniors and Disabled persons may be eligible for reduced fare.
  • Visit RideMCTS.com for more information.

GO Riteway Summerfest Shuttle from Washington County 

Park your car – it’s FREE. Then, take GO Riteway’s shuttle to Summerfest from two convenient locations in Washington County: the Washington County Fair Park, Highway 45 and Pleasant Valley Road and the Life Church parking lot, in Germantown Center, Mequon Road and Squire Drive.

  • Daily round-trip service is offered throughout the day, beginning at 11:00 a.m. from Washington County Fair Park; and 11:30 a.m. from the Life Church parking lot in Germantown.
  • Return service from Summerfest is offered hourly from 4:00 pm with the final bus departing Summerfest at 12:30 am. GO Riteway’s drop-off and pick-up location at Summerfest is the North Gate.
  • Round-trip fare to the Fest is $16 for adults and $5 for children under 12.
  • For more information, visit goriteway.com or call GO Riteway Transportation Group, (262) 677-3282.

Badger Bus Madison Service

Badger Bus will offer special service from Madison to Summerfest 5 times a day during the festival.

  • Return schedule from Summerfest will operate four (4) times each day. Please check the online schedule at badgerbus.com for details on the Summerfest schedule.
  • The bus will drop off and pick up at the corner of East Michigan and Jackson Street, four blocks from the Summerfest North Gate.
  • Purchase tickets at BadgerBus.com/Summerfest for a special online round trip fare from Madison to Summerfest of only $25.
  • Email info@badgerbus.com for more information.

Bublr Bikes

The City of Milwaukee’s bike share system. Currently the system has over 30 stations and conveniently serves the Summerfest grounds at Discovery World, a few steps from Summerfest’s northern entrance. Users can check out a bike from any station and check it back in at any other station. Find stations at bublrbikes.com. 

SpotHero

Reserve your parking in advance through SpotHero and get there on time, stress free.

  • To reserve your parking spot, visit the Summerfest SpotHero Parking Page and book a spot with rates up to 50% off drive-up.
  • With SpotHero, you can book a spot near Henry W. Maier Festival Park and walk to the festival or book a spot along the shuttle route and take the shuttle to Summerfest.
  • New to SpotHero? Download the SpotHero iPhone | Android app and enter promo code SUMMERFEST17 for an extra 15% off your first park!

Uber – Official Rideshare Provider of Summerfest

Uber provides affordable and reliable rides within minutes across Milwaukee and 500+ other cities worldwide.

  • Rides are available on-demand 24/7 so no reservations needed.
  • To help concertgoers easily meet their drivers, Uber and Summerfest have teamed up to create special Uber Zones for pickups and drop-offs. The main Uber Zone is located right outside of the Mid Gate at E. Chicago St. & N. Jackson St.
  • To request an Uber ride, Summerfest attendees will need to:
    • Open the Uber app · Enter drop-off location · Confirm pickup location · Select preferred vehicle · Tap the “Request” button
    • New users can get a free ride (up to $15) using code Summerfest2017. Offer valid through 11:59PM on 7/9/17.

Train Service to Milwaukee

Amtrak Hiawatha Service

  • Coming to Summerfest from the Chicago area or Racine/Kenosha? Jam without traffic and take the train. Amtrak Hiawatha Service offers easy access to Summerfest from the Milwaukee Intermodal Station.
  • You can catch the train to the fest from Chicago Union Station, Glenview, and Sturtevant (Racine/Kenosha).
  • For the 50th edition of Summerfest, Amtrak is adding a special 11:55PM Train back to Chicago on Saturday July 1 & 8. There will be a special shuttle bus, located by the South Bar Bus pick-up location to take guests to the Milwaukee Intermodal Station to catch the train. The shuttle bus will depart at 11:25PM (the only departure time).
  • Visit AmtrakHiawatha.com for details.

Please visit Summerfest.com for detailed maps and festival information.

For updated information on roadwork, visit the Department of Transportation website at Dot.state.wi.us.