Attendance and revenue increase at Summerfest 2013

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. officials announced preliminary data indicating, Summerfest, “The World’s Largest Music Festival,” grew revenue and attendance while introducing new partnerships and offerings at the festival.

Summerfest managed to draw and host 840,356 patrons, an increase of 4.3% over 2012’s 805,437 attendance.  Not only did attendees from the Southeastern Wisconsin participate, festival fans traveled to Milwaukee from 49 other states and 40 countries including Australia, Brazil, France, Spain, Mexico, Germany, Uganda and Poland to name a few.

Food and beverage sales at the event increased by 7% over last year’s totals in the same categories.  Additionally, business to business sales rose by 4.1% over last year’s totals, including new sponsorships with Johnson Controls, Uline, Scion, Badger Meter, Boston Store, Pick ‘n Save, Coffee Mate, Palermo’s Verlo, Direct Supply, Forward Dental, Gruber Law, K-Nation, Kemp’s, Tombstone and Jack’s Pizza. Overall, 80 sponsors and media partners were part of Summerfest 2013.

“This year’s event was outstanding!  From the music, food and beverage offerings, new daytime enhancements and promotions, attendees were able to ‘Smile On’ in a big way,” said Don Smiley, President and CEO of Milwaukee World Festival, Inc.  Ted Kellner, Chairman of the Board added, “I am appreciative of the staff who worked hard to produce this world-class event and thankful to everyone who supported and attended Summerfest this year.”

An event as successful as Summerfest, only happens because of those that work to plan, promote and execute it each year.  Approximately 140,000 hours were worked by nearly 2,000 seasonal employees during the eleven days of the festival.  Additionally, 875 volunteer shifts, equating to 5,400 hours from 400 volunteers and drivers, contributed to help the festival run smoothly..

The new enhancements proved to be popular as patrons took 4,105 paddleboat rides and 4,181 zipline rides, while the Verlo Mattress Skyglider provided 92,566 one-way trips.

As in years past, Summerfest provided patrons with the opportunity to get in free or at a discounted rate each day of the festival.  In total, 78,445 patrons entered the event for free, taking advantage of an admission promotion offer.

Additionally, 26,879 attendees entered for free on weekdays via the tickets that accompanied Fest Flags and 25,000 weekday tickets were distributed for free during the Opening Day Quarter Million Dollar Ticket Giveaway on site.

Festival fans sampled over 40 diverse food and beverage vendors which resulted in the consumption of 59,947 cheeseburgers, 22,300 brats, 13,605 eggplant strips, 41,584 mozzarella sticks, 41,978 ears of corn, 167,796 mini donuts and 33,728 ice cream cones.  On the grounds, 4,101,600 feet of towel was used along with 972 gallons of hand soap to help keep patrons hands clean after those great meals.

A large infrastructure improvement was also completed, which helped AT&T provide enhanced cell phone coverage across Henry Maier Festival Park.  To fulfill the project, 260 miles of single mode fiber strands were installed underground.  The new infrastructure is comprised of 65 antennas on 11 buildings, 18 of which are located inside the Marcus Amphitheater.

Overall, 63 bands performed a live, acoustic song in the #SFLive Lounge that was captured on video and photo and posted on Summerfest social media outlets including YouTube.  Summerfest photographers captured over 15,000 digital images during the 11-day run.