Jeramey Jannene

How To Get To Summerfest 2024

Spoiler alert: Don't expect to drive to the front door without spending $40.

By - Jun 20th, 2024 06:42 am
Sofi Tukker at Summerfest in 2023. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Sofi Tukker at Summerfest in 2023. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Looking to head to the Big Gig?

Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a first-timer, it’s time for a refresher on all the ways to get to Summerfest. Several new options are available this year, including a streetcar extension and new eastern terminus for the Connect 1 bus rapid transit line.

The festival is also expanding its push to get you to do something other than drive to Henry Maier Festival Park.

“To get you festival ready, we have compiled a get-around guide to assist in navigating your way to Summerfest,” said Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. CEO Sarah Pancheri in a statement.  “Whether you are taking the bus, The Hop, a bar shuttle, riding a Bublr bike, walking or utilizing ride-share, we want to thank our various transportation partners who help get you to Summerfest to enjoy all the great music, food, and experiences.”

The 2024 festival takes place June 20-22, June 27-29 and July 4-6.

MCTS Festival Shuttles and Bus Routes

Coming from more than two miles away? A Milwaukee County Transit System bus might be your best bet.

There are three park-and-ride lots available: Hales Corners in the southwest at Interstate 43 and Highway, College Avenue in the south along Interstate 94 and Brown Deer in the north at Brown Deer Road and Interstate 43. The cashless shuttles are available for $10 per roundtrip.

The existing MCTS system is also increasingly well-suited to get to the festival grounds. Connect 1, the east-west bus rapid transit line, now runs to the base of The Couture. Routes 15, 18 and Green run down N. Water Street in the Historic Third Ward (get off at E. Chicago Street) and routes 14 and 30 drop riders off along E. Wisconsin Avenue. Rides are $2 if paid with the app. Cash rides are $2, but no change is offered.

Download the UMO app to plan your route and pay your fare.

The Hop

The city’s two streetcar lines have also been temporarily merged to make it easier to get to Summerfest. The Festivals Line configuration sends every streetcar down the lakefront extension and into the base of The Couture, near the North Gate. If you’re anywhere near tracks in the ground, this is going to be a free, hassle-free way to get to Summerfest.

Bar Shuttles

A time-honored tradition continues. Head to your favorite watering hole, buy a drink and climb aboard.

According to the Summerfest website, the following bars are participating from locations north and west of the festival grounds: McBob’s Pub and Grill, Spitfire’s, Jack’s American Pub, WurstBar, Milwaukee Brat House, Vier North, Shorewood Brat House, Caffrey’s Pub, Murphy’s Irish Pub, Belmont Tavern, Izzy Hops, Uncle Buck’s, Buck Bradley’s, Camp Bar Wauwatosa and Who’s on Third.

A series of bars are also offering shuttles from locations south of the festival grounds: O’Lydia’s, Steny’s Tavern & Grill, Fat Daddy’s, King Pins Spirits, Spirits, The Newport, Paulie’s Pub, Gingerz Sportz Pub, Dale Z’s, Jerseys Sports Pub & Grill, Redbar, Clementines and Patti’s Power Plant.

Be prepared: Some shuttles require a wristband for a return trip.


You can ride your own bike or you can take advantage of Bublr Bikes. Bublr offers several docks in the Historic Third Ward to leave a bike. The nonprofit will offers a large, staffed dock near the North Gate to handle surges of incoming riders, but you can use any existing dock in the Third Ward. A station location map shows you where you can grab a bike from or leave one.

The Bcycle app or one of the kiosks gets you access to a bike.

The Hank Aaron State Trail and Oak Leaf Trail both provide great off-street routes to get close to the festival grounds.


Both Lime and Spin offer rentable, dockless scooters. Parking and riding restrictions may apply.


Appear in style, but don’t be late. Lakeshore State Park offers several public docks, though they can fill up fast during festival season. More information is available on the Friends of Lakeshore State Park website.


The most reliable option for anyone in the Downtown area is likely to walk to Summerfest.

The North Gate is the nearest to E. Wisconsin Ave. and people can walk down to it via O’Donnell Park. The Mid Gate lines up with E. Chicago St. The southern gate is closest to E. Erie St.


Uber and Lyft have designated drop off and pick up spots. Be prepared for surge pricing at peak times, like when the festival lets out.


If you must, you can. But it likely won’t be cheap.

Parking in the official Summerfest lots costs $40. And if you’re coming at peak times, expect a long line.

“Parking is likely to sell out – fans are encouraged to pre-purchase parking in advance for Summerfest lots at OR [via ParkWhiz] for downtown parking structures located within walking distance to the festival grounds,” says Milwaukee World Festival.

The organization also produced a map of other parking options throughout Downtown.

Summerfest Parking Map and Transportation Options. Image from Milwaukee World Festival, Inc.

Summerfest Parking Map and Transportation Options. Image from Milwaukee World Festival, Inc.

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One thought on “How To Get To Summerfest 2024”

  1. Gordon B says:

    Taking the Oak Leaf Trail has been my go to for YEARS to/from any lakefront festival. It is such an easy way to bypass all the traffic and get home with minimal headache (just some sore legs).

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