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Summerfest To Shake Up Its Format For 2021, Reveals Financial Impact Of 2020 Cancellation

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MILWAUKEE, Wis. (CelebrityAccess) — Organizers for Summerfest announced that when the event returns to Milwaukee in the summer of 2021, it will have a new format.

According to Milwaukee World Festival Inc., Summerfest 2021 will take place over three consecutive weekends (Thursday-Saturday), June 24-26, July 1-3, and July 8-10, 2021.

The festival, the largest in the U.S. based on attendance, previously was held over eleven consecutive days, but will skip Sundays and some weekdays in 2021.

“We will be eliminating two Sundays, two Wednesdays, and a Tuesday … some of the weak days that were very expensive for us,” World Festival CEO Don Smiley told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. People are more apt to go out, more apt to spend money on the weekends versus weekdays.”

Summerfest organizers also said the new format will allow them bring in more top name headliners for 2021 due to the longer booking window for the festival.

“With the cancelation of the 2020 festival, it gave us a reason to roll up our sleeves and get to work. We analyzed the charts, guest surveys, and the event landscape and ultimately determined that you, our fans, have been asking for a bigger experience,” a statement from Summerfest said.

According to the Journal-Sentinel, the festival’s cancellation for 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic was a costly decision and as a result, Summerfest announced a $10.4 million loss before depreciation for this year.

As well, cash balances are at an all-time low with about $5 million on hand for 2020 and that is expected to shrink to $3.8 million in 2021, according to the Journal-Sentinel.

Additionally, organizers are expecting making about $1.9 million less in 2021 compared to 2019, including lower sponsorship revenue and higher marketing spends, the Journal-Sentinel reported.


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