Lil Wayne and the Backstreet Boys top the list of Summerfest 2022 headliners

For the first time since 2019, Summerfest, America’s biggest music festival, returns to the heart of summer — and Lil Wayne, Backstreet Boys and Charli XCX will be in attendance.

The superstars are among more than 100 headliners for the 2022 festival that officials revealed on Tuesday morning. Wiz Khalifa and Wu-Tang Clan join Wayne at the American Family Insurance Amphitheater on June 25. (The Backstreet Boys will headline the amphitheater on July 8, with another show to be announced for June 30.)

Tickets for the Backstreet Boys show go on sale at 10 a.m. April 8 at the box office (200 N. Harbor Drive) and by ticketmaster.com. Tickets for Wayne, Khalifa, and Wu-Tang Clan go on sale at 10 a.m. on April 15. Pricing has yet to be announced, but Backstreet Boys tickets will include Summerfest general admission on July 8, and Wayne tickets will cover general admission for June 25.

Summerfest Ground Stage Headliners

Once again, Summerfest has one of the most diverse lineups of any festival in the world, with Willow Smith, John Fogerty, Death Cab for Cutie and the Village People among the stage headliners revealed on Tuesday.

The headlining lineup also includes several acts with Wisconsin ties, including Violent Femmes; Milwaukee-born Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Steve Miller Band; Grammy-nominated blues rock trio The Record Company (fronted by Wisconsin native Chris Vos); Christian rock band Skillet (with three Kenosha-based members); and Buffalo Nichols, the up-and-coming blues band of Milwaukee music scene veteran Carl Nichols.

The 2022 festival also marks the final lineup overseen by Bob Babisch, Summerfest’s vice president of entertainment, who is retiring at the end of 2022 after 46 years of booking the festival.

The headliners announced Tuesday will perform on eight stages, seven of which are accessible to Summerfest general admission ticket holders. The festival’s biggest draws will be performing at the 23,000-capacity American Family Insurance Amphitheater, shows that require separate and more expensive tickets.

Previously announced headliners for the amphitheater during Summerfest 2022 include Jason Aldean, Justin Bieber, Machine Gun Kelly, Halsey, Rod Stewart and Thomas Rhett.

The Milwaukee Festival returns to the lakeside Maier Festival Park June 23-25, June 30-July 2, and July 7-9 – the three-day weekend format that was introduced last year.

If it feels like the last Summerfest happened not too long ago, that’s because it did. Summerfest was last held in September to allow more time for the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine. The pandemic forced the festival to cancel in 2020, a first since its creation in 1968.

Between its September run, fewer days of operation (for decades it was an 11-day event), and a worrying rise in COVID cases due to the delta variant, Summerfest had its weakest attendance since at least 1986 in 2021, with 409,386 guests. Traditionally, the festival sees over 700,000 people pass through the turnstiles.

But organizers at Summerfest parent company Milwaukee World Festival Inc. hope this year’s event will be more like Summerfest fans, not only returning to late June to early July, but also dropping all protocols of COVID safety from 2021.

One-day Summerfest general admission tickets are available for $25 at summerfest.com. Senior general admission tickets (62 and over) are available at the door for $20. Tickets for ages 3-10 are $6 at the door, with children 2 and under admitted free. Generally, there are also several promotional details, which have not yet been announced for 2022.

Multi-day general admission passes are also available on the Summerfest site. For a limited time, three-day passes are $50 (a $10 discount) and nine-day passes are $100 (a $25 discount). Six-day passes are also available for $105.

Tickets for the Summerfest Amphitheater concerts are available at the box office and by ticketmaster.comand cover Summerfest general admission on an applicable concert date.

And tickets for reserved seating in sections one through five of the BMO Harris Pavilion at Summerfest will go on sale next week, with details to come.

The full Summerfest schedule is expected by late spring, with more headliners expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

Summerfest’s parent company, Milwaukee World Festival Inc., is also hosting a job fair Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 114 N. Jackson St. Jobs will be offered on-site, with starting salaries ranging from $14 at $17 per hour. The Milwaukee World Festival is seeking to fill over 2,000 positions. More information can be found at jobs.summerfest.com.

This story is developing. It will be updated.

Contact Piet at (414) 223-5162 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @pietlevy or Facebook at facebook.com/PietLevyMJS.

Piet also talks concerts, local music and more on “TAP’d In” with Evan Rytlewski. Listen to it at 8 a.m. Thursdays on WYMS-FM (88.9), or wherever you get your podcasts.

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