Transportation and Parking
Security policies - Summerfest encourages guests to leave their bags at home to cut down on waiting at the gate for security. Visitors will enter the festival through metal detection and should be prepared to comply with security requirements. All bags are subject to inspection prior to entering. NO BACKPACKS or bags larger than 9x10x12 will be allowed on the grounds. Fans that show up with ANY type of backpack or bag larger than 9x10x12, you will be instructed to empty the contents into a clear bag provided by Summerfest in order to be admitted. The prohibited bag will then be donated to Goodwill or you can return it to your home or vehicle. Special consideration may be taken for parents with infants and those with medical needs. Read the full security policies in our FAQ section.
Transportation and parking options for Summerfest 2018 include:
Your Best Route
Summerfest is set on Lake Michigan in downtown Milwaukee. Remember to plan ahead and allow extra time for travel. We have listed some sample routes to Summerfest parking lots below. Each section (North, South. West) details several route options. As part of the Milwaukee Streetcar project, the following impacts will be in place during Summerfest:
- Kilbourn Avenue, between Milwaukee Street and Jackson Street, is open to one lane of traffic eastbound
- St. Paul Avenue, between 2nd Street and Water Street, is open to one lane of traffic eastbound
- Michigan Street, between Van Buren Street and Cass Street, is open to one lane of traffic in each direction
Find a way around the local street construction and straight to the Big Gig by viewing our 2018 Traffic Impact map.
Milwaukee County Transit System
Milwaukee County Transit System offers easy options that get you straight to the gates of Summerfest. Catch a Milwaukee County Transit System Freeway Flyer from a Park-Ride lot or take advantage of the Downtown Shuttle. You are encouraged to purchase a MCTS•CARD in advance. Get your MCTS M•CARD online here
MCTS Freeway Flyer Service
- No waiting at the Park-Ride lots! Simply board the bus and pay at Summerfest.
- Riders must pay the full fare of $7.00 before boarding the bus to leave Summerfest. Upon making payment, you will receive a wrist band to permit you to take the return trip to the Freeway Flyer parking lots.
- Riders that use the Freeway Flyer to go home after attending Summerfest, and did not ride the Flyer to the grounds, will pay the full fare of $7.00 when boarding the bus to leave the grounds. One-way fares ARE NOT AVAILABLE.
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
- Silver Spring: Port Washington Road, east of I-43 (extra parking on the 3rd floor of Bayshore Town Center structure)
- 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
- 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.
- More information about the Summerfest Freeway Flyer can be found here: ridemcts.com/routes-schedules/summerfest-other-festival-service. View the map here.
Uber To The Fest
- Official Rideshare Provider of Summerfest
- To help concertgoers easily meet their drivers, Uber and Summerfest have teamed up to create a Uber Zone for pickups and drop-offs. The main Uber Zone is located right outside of the Mid Gate at E. Chicago St. & N. Jackson St. Riders can enter the Rider Lounge at Chicago Street.
- To request an Uber ride, Summerfest attendees will need to:
- Exit the Mid Gate at E and walk toward Chicago Street.
- 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 SF2018. Offer valid through 7/8/18.
- With a lot of movement around the city, here are a couple tips to follow for the smoothest experience.
- You will always be able to see your fare before you accept the trip. We expect the busiest times to be on the weekends or as the headline acts finish up their encore.
- Always check the license plate in your app with the license plate of the vehicle.
- Confirm your name with your driver.
- If you are planning on traveling with a big crew, be sure to order an uberXL our UberSUV which can fit up to six riders comfortably.
Bus Shuttle Services
Many local bars and restaurants run shuttle services to and from Summerfest. View the 2018 bar and pub shuttle guide that lists a number of options all across the city. Courtesy of our friends at OnMilwaukee.
Wisconsin Coach Lines / Coach USA Milwaukee - Waukesha County Service
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.).
- 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 $11 and purchased at point of origin. Children under 12 who are accompanied by an adult are only $6 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 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.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Summerfest Car / Bike / Motorcycle Parking
Car: Parking lots open daily at 9:00 am. All parking is on a first-come, first-served basis. Pre-paid parking passes for specific dates during Summerfest may be purchased online. Preferred parking is $25 a day and Premier is $40 a day. There is no RV parking on the Summerfest grounds. For information on nearby RV parking please visit the Wisconsin State Fair RV park. 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.
Motorcycle: Free motorcycle parking is located near the Mid Gate and opens at 9:00 am, sponsored by Harley-Davidson®, on a first-come, first-served basis.
Bicycle: Bicycle parking is located near the Mid, North and South Gates.
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. For information on station locations and how to borrow a bike, visit bublrbikes.com.
SpotHero Advance Discounted Parking
We recommend booking convenient and affordable parking in advance through SpotHero, the nation’s leading parking reservation app.
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? Click here to download the SpotHero app.
Let Park Milwaukee help you get the most out of your Milwaukee experience with the least amount of hassle. For an extensive list of public parking lots in the area, visit Park Milwaukee.
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). Visit Amtrak.com/summerfest for more details, to purchase tickets, and to take advantage of Amtrak’s buy-one-get-one half off ticket offer.