Milwaukee’s music and entertainment venues bring some of the most exciting touring acts to the city, plus unique locally-produced shows.
Built in 1895, the nationally recognized Pabst Theater showcases a traditional and elegant opera house design. The marble staircases and intricate designs still amaze many concert goers today, and this local landmark is the oldest theater in Milwaukee’s theater district. Bringing in over 200 different acts annually, the Pabst Theater is also the home of the Milwaukee Repertory Theater’s annual production of A Christmas Carol (a Milwaukee holiday tradition) and a great place to see any kind of show.
As one of the oldest theaters in Milwaukee, Turner Hall is a national and local landmark. The hall, which used to be a showplace for German painters and other immigrant artists, has now been a performance area for The Black Keys, Vampire Weekend, and many others. It’s also the venue of choice for many of the city’s coolest events, from one of the city’s favorite New Year’s Eve parties to the local resurgence of masked Mexican wrestling.
Even if you’re not spending your nights at shows, you can still listen local in Milwaukee. Tune in to 88Nine Radio Milwaukee to hear innovative new music from national and local artists. Or check out 91.7 WMSE, a community station that’s been putting the most diverse music on the city’s airwaves for more than 34 years.
Summer Concert Series
You’ll find free outdoor concerts almost every night of the week during the summer in Milwaukee’s local parks. These shows feature a diverse assortment of music from visiting artists, popular local bands, classical ensembles and more. Bring the family and some friends, purchase treats from local food trucks and vendors and enjoy Milwaukee’s thriving summer concert season.
For 11 days every summer, Milwaukee’s lakefront transforms into one giant concert. The world’s largest music festival brings in more than 800 acts to play 11 permanent stages, featuring national headliners and indie artists representing almost every genre, including alternative, rock, country, R&B, pop, reggae and more. There’s a reason many locals and visitors alike call this the best week of their summer!
The Riverside Theater, once in peril due to a catastrophic fire, now hosts performers such as Sheryl Crow, Oasis, Bob Dylan, and Willie Nelson.
The BMO Harris Bradley Center is known to most as the home to the Milwaukee Bucks and the Marquette Golden Eagles, and was the host of the second and third-round games of the 2014 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. But this arena is also the spot to find national tours from artists like Lady Gaga, Cher, P!nk and Taylor Swift.
The Northern Lights Theater at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino is the place to get up close and personal with your favorite performers. This two-level theater features booth and table seating on the lower level and traditional theater seats above. There’s not a bad seat in this house to see great musicians and comedians perform, including such diverse artists as Willie Nelson, Ringo Starr, Jay Leno and Tony Bennett.