Gabrielle Barriere

Guide to Summer Soulstice Music Festival

Milwaukee's biggest local-music block party is this weekend, with places to eat drink, see and make.

By - Jun 20th, 2019 03:54 pm
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East Side Week
2016 Summer Soulstice Music Festival. Photo courtesy of The East Side BID.

2016 Summer Soulstice Music Festival. Photo courtesy of The East Side BID.

The Summer Soulstice Music Festival on North Ave., the biggest local music block party in Milwaukee for nearly two decades, returns this Saturday, June 22nd. The much anticipated event showcases top local bands, visual artists, makers of Milwaukee’s arts and crafts, creation stations, East Side restaurants, active events and family-friendly activities. So, this weekend is gearing up to be lots of fun. And Urban Milwaukee has a guide to everything at the 19th anniversary of this festival. Go spend the longest day of the year celebrating the unique, diverse, and growing East Side.

Lets Talk Music

Summer Soulstice offers three huge stages featuring some of Milwaukee’s best musical gems. As the city’s biggest local music festival, we assumed the festival wouldn’t disappoint — and after seeing this lineup, it’s confirmed, we’ll be thoroughly entertained. From 1 p.m. until midnight, each stage will be filled with a diverse lineup of Milwaukee’s best. From funk, to rock, to pop and everything in between, there will be a show (or two or three) for every listener. It’ll be nearly impossible to stay at just one stage!

West Stage Lineup

Located near the corner of North Ave. and Oakland Ave.

1:00 — Racing Pulses

2:30 — Telethon

4:00 — Browns Crew

5:30 — For the Culture

7:00 — Higher Education Records

8:30 — Hot and Dirty Brass Band

10:00 — B~Free

Murray Stage Lineup

Located near the corner of North Ave. and Murray Ave. (With Urban Milwaukee as a stage sponsor!)

1:00 — Benny P Trio

2:30 — Versio Curs

4:00 — Zach Pietrini

5:30 — Bryan Cherry

7:00 — Soulfoot Mombits

8:30 — Bootleg Bessie

10:00 — Chicken Wire Empire

East Stage Lineup

Located near the corner of North Ave. and Prospect Ave.

1:00 — Golden Grenades

2:30 — Luxi

4:00 — Nickel and Rose

5:30 — Surgeons In Heat

7:00 — Dana Coppa

8:30 — Listening Party

10:00 — Lex Allen

There will also be a fourth stage on Cramer St. programmed later in the day. This stage is sponsored by Vitucci’s and will provide fun for the whole family.

All About Activities

Summer Soulstice is, technically speaking, a music festival. But it’s also festival bursting with activities. The fun begins at 10 a.m. and goes all night long.

Begin your Soulstice with 108 Sun Salutations. Yes, you read that right — 108 of them. Urban Om is ready to kick off the longest day of the year by leading Milwaukee through 108 Sun Salutations at the North Point Water Tower Fountain Park beginning at 10 a.m. 108 has long been considered a sacred number in Hinduism and yoga, and a sequence of Sun Salutations like this is often celebrated on solstice days. Whether you complete a quarter, half or all 108 Salutations, you will be taken to your edge. Bring plenty of water, comfortable clothes, and be prepared to breathe, sweat, detox and most importantly — have fun! Students of all levels are welcome, and it’s totally free.

After thoroughly moving your body, enjoy a nice cool-down stroll to Black Cat Alley where caricature artists will be creating masterpieces all day long. If you don’t want to carry a poster all day but still want to partake in some art? Face painting will also be available.

Beginning at noon, three shows of racing, ramps, stunts, and tricks begin over at the BMX Bike Stunt Show. Don’t miss out — this Soulstice favorite only runs until 3 p.m.! Then, from 1 p.m to 3 p.m., the Roll Train begins. The Roll Train is much more than just roller skating, it’s roller skate dancing. Watch it and learn how to do it, too. It’s a completely unique experience that anyone can join in.

Then, from noon to 6 p.m., you can climb the Adventure Rock wall. Test your strength and climb to the top of Milwaukee. It’ll be the best view of the entire festival, guaranteed. Not a big fan of heights? Well, you can stay grounded and enjoy a game of mini-golf available right outside Nine Below, where you get to customize your mini golf course and challenge your friends to a dynamic match.

Take a Walk Around

Milwaukee Maker’s Market and East Side Food Court will also open at noon. Guest will be able to roam through forty different makers and food options, featuring some of North Avenue’s best: Asian Fusion, Jet’s Pizza, Shred415 East Side, Milwaukee Candle Co., Donut Squad and many others will be there to help supply the goodies and tasty treats.

Black Cat Alley will be buzzing with excitement, and visual artists will be plentiful. Take a walk through some of the city’s best murals, creations and more.  And Don’t forget to take your photos — we’re sure the East Side BID would love to see them all.

There are tons of cool stops and shops in the area. Throw an ax at AXE MKE, or grab a coffee and pet (and maybe even adopt) a cat at Sip & Purr Cat Café. Splash Studio is now open on E. Kenilworth Place, and there’s so many unique spots in the area to grab a cold drink. Hint, hint: Hacienda Beer Company opened just this month on the corner of N. Farwell and E. North avenues

And, of course, have fun!

Summer Soulstice is really a create-your-own event. There are so many options for food, drinks, music, activities, shopping and fun that it’d be nearly impossible to not enjoy your day. In short, Summer Soulstice is packed with cool things to do and see all day and all night.

Summer Soulstice Music Festival will take place on Saturday, June 22nd from noon to midnight. For directions and parking to the North Ave. festival, click here. And for a full list of music, vendors, and more, visit its website.

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