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Chrvches, Walk The Moon, Jimmy Eat World, Coin and more help Milwaukee celebrate at the beloved Summerfest

Summerfest is a unique experience; essentially, it isn’t a music festival. Rather, it is a celebration of the best and worst that Milwaukee has to offer, including a spectrum of delicious food vendors, a market with offerings from local artists and artisans, and, unfortunately, a crowd that should be avoided if you’re a girl walking by yourself.

Year after year, the almost always solid lineup with acts of every genre and sub-genre which attract a wildly diverse crowd tend to make up for how absolutely terrifying that crowd can be, especially after dark. Spanning two full weeks (June 26-30 and July 2-7), the prospect of attending every set is daunting. Add to that some overwhelming heat and the fact that the Summerfest grounds are literally an expanse of pavement, and you get the serious distaste for the festival expressed by most Milwaukeeans over the age of 35.

One thing Summerfest has absolutely nailed for the past four years that I’ve photographed is their extensive roster of past and current rock and alternative artists; Walk The Moon and Third Eye Blind this year were some of the returning favorites. The Uline stage had the best lineup of 2019 (but the worst photo pit) with Coin, Young The Giant, Walk The Moon, Jimmy Eat World, and Milwaukee’s own rising stars Newvices. Uline’s recently updated construction, including an elevated VIP viewing area and one really nice backstage bathroom, also provided the crowd with an ideal setting to dance, sing, and (because it’s Milwaukee) drink.

Chvrches

Walk The Moon

Honestly, seeing the aforementioned Jimmy Eat World followed immediately by Third Eye Blind had an emotional impact that took a few days to process. All I can remember from the former is watching Jim Adkins sing Bleed American through my viewfinder and hypothesizing that maybe all early 2000’s emo frontmen look like Benjamin Gibbard. While I was unable to photograph Third Eye Blind, standing at the back of a massive crowd yelling every word to Motorcycle Drive By and Never Let You Go while I was unable to even see the stage was its own special kind of awesome.

A favorite at Uline was Coin’s performance before Young The Giant’s set, during which the crowd absolutely lost its mind during Talk Too Much. Similarly, Walk The Moon on opening night was a high-energy dance party with songs from all three of the band’s albums, beginning with One Foot and ending on the forever wonderful Anna Sun. The only act that led me away from the safety of Uline’s location at the edge of the grounds was the otherworldly CHVRCHES. Lauren Mayberry’s fierce disposition and impressive energy paired with the band’s heavy synths and gorgeous lighting design transcended the concrete surroundings and offered the crowd a glimpse of something absolutely magical.

Overall, while Summerfest may not be for everyone, it’s certainly something that any music fan should experience at least once despite feeling more like a state fair than a traditional festival. From the music to the people to the food, there’s something for everyone.

Walk The Moon

Walk The Moon

Walk The Moon

Walk The Moon

Walk The Moon

Walk The Moon

Walk The Moon

Walk The Moon

Walk The Moon

Jimmy Eat World

Jimmy Eat World

Coin

Coin

Coin

Jimmy Eat World

Chvrches

Chvrches

Chvrches

Chvrches

Chvrches

Chvrches

Meghan Quadracci
Meghan Quadracci is a portrait and music documentary photographer in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. See her work at megquadracci.com.

Chrvches, Walk The Moon, Jimmy Eat World, Coin and more help Milwaukee celebrate at the beloved Summerfest

Summerfest is a unique experience; essentially, it isn’t a music festival. Rather, it is a celebration of the best and worst that Milwaukee has to offer, including a spectrum of delicious food vendors, a market with offerings from local artists and artisans, and, unfortunately, a crowd that should be avoided if you’re a girl walking by yourself.

Year after year, the almost always solid lineup with acts of every genre and sub-genre which attract a wildly diverse crowd tend to make up for how absolutely terrifying that crowd can be, especially after dark. Spanning two full weeks (June 26-30 and July 2-7), the prospect of attending every set is daunting. Add to that some overwhelming heat and the fact that the Summerfest grounds are literally an expanse of pavement, and you get the serious distaste for the festival expressed by most Milwaukeeans over the age of 35.

One thing Summerfest has absolutely nailed for the past four years that I’ve photographed is their extensive roster of past and current rock and alternative artists; Walk The Moon and Third Eye Blind this year were some of the returning favorites. The Uline stage had the best lineup of 2019 (but the worst photo pit) with Coin, Young The Giant, Walk The Moon, Jimmy Eat World, and Milwaukee’s own rising stars Newvices. Uline’s recently updated construction, including an elevated VIP viewing area and one really nice backstage bathroom, also provided the crowd with an ideal setting to dance, sing, and (because it’s Milwaukee) drink.

Chvrches

Walk The Moon

Honestly, seeing the aforementioned Jimmy Eat World followed immediately by Third Eye Blind had an emotional impact that took a few days to process. All I can remember from the former is watching Jim Adkins sing Bleed American through my viewfinder and hypothesizing that maybe all early 2000’s emo frontmen look like Benjamin Gibbard. While I was unable to photograph Third Eye Blind, standing at the back of a massive crowd yelling every word to Motorcycle Drive By and Never Let You Go while I was unable to even see the stage was its own special kind of awesome.

A favorite at Uline was Coin’s performance before Young The Giant’s set, during which the crowd absolutely lost its mind during Talk Too Much. Similarly, Walk The Moon on opening night was a high-energy dance party with songs from all three of the band’s albums, beginning with One Foot and ending on the forever wonderful Anna Sun. The only act that led me away from the safety of Uline’s location at the edge of the grounds was the otherworldly CHVRCHES. Lauren Mayberry’s fierce disposition and impressive energy paired with the band’s heavy synths and gorgeous lighting design transcended the concrete surroundings and offered the crowd a glimpse of something absolutely magical.

Overall, while Summerfest may not be for everyone, it’s certainly something that any music fan should experience at least once despite feeling more like a state fair than a traditional festival. From the music to the people to the food, there’s something for everyone.

Walk The Moon

Walk The Moon

Walk The Moon

Walk The Moon

Walk The Moon

Walk The Moon

Walk The Moon

Walk The Moon

Walk The Moon

Jimmy Eat World

Jimmy Eat World

Coin

Coin

Coin

Jimmy Eat World

Chvrches

Chvrches

Chvrches

Chvrches

Chvrches

Chvrches

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