Bob Babisch, Summerfest Entertainment VP, changing roles with Big Gig

The lineup is changing at Summerfest. 

Bob Babisch, the man responsible for bringing top performers and bands to the Big Gig, is stepping back from his role. 

He started working at Summerfest when Gerald Ford was president. 

Babisch worked his way up the ranks and think of your favorite main Summerfest act.... you can thank Babisch for that.

"It’s interesting, you know, I started here 26-years-old. Something like that. Yeah, when I first started here and it’s new and it’s fresh every year."

Bob Babisch will tell you, it sure doesn't feel like he's worked with Summerfest for 46 years. 

"You get to do it for the people of your city and it’s a wonderful for the city. You feel like you’ve done something to help out," he said.

Babisch has played a major role in booking some big names for the big gig. 

"Getting The Rolling Stones was special. Getting Prince was special. They all kind of happened and it was exciting and it was wonderful." 

Now it's time for a Babisch to welcome someone new to the stage. 

"I’m very excited. I have big shoes to fill," said Milwaukee World Festival Entertainment Director Scott Ziel.

Ziel has worked alongside Babisch for over two decades. 

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"I’ve learned so much from him. To carry on the traditions and the successes that he’s been a part of, that’s what I’m here to do," said Ziel.

As for Babisch - his farewell tour is one that will last through the year. 

"And then I’ll gradually phase off into more of a consulting role."

As for a favorite moment, there's one thing this music man will never forget. 

"There’s so many memories in this place," he said. "The crowds that you see there on opening day. That’s what’s cool."

Babisch says Summerfest will be in good hands so fans don't worry. 

As for Babisch, he's 70 and says he wants to enjoy life while he still can. A little golf and hiking are on the to-do list.


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