Big Wigs At Summerfest

Milwaukee Summerfest officials are getting the word out about a VIP program at the Marcus Amphitheater – site of the festival’s major concert draws.

For $3,000, an individual gets right of first refusal to purchase two tickets to any and all of the concerts at the festival this summer. With 150 premium seats reserved for the “Big Wig Experience” program, Summerfest hopes to sell 75 packages, raising $225,000 for ground maintenance.

Along with the elite seats, purchasers get VIP parking, air-conditioned port-a-potties, access to the shed’s clubhouse with free drinks, and their names embossed on their reserved seats.

The “Big Wig Experience” has actually been in place for three years, and a version has been around for many more, but it hasn’t had a big promotional push until now.

“It’s a program that really wasn’t talked about, advertised or promoted in the past and I saw a lot of upside to talking about it and letting other companies know about it,” Summerfest CEO Don Smiley told Pollstar.

Unlike years prior, the program is being promoted via direct mail and incoming calls, plus it is mentioned in Summerfest’s collateral materials, he said.

Because Summerfest is a non-profit company, 75 percent of the Big Wig fee can be written off as a tax deduction.

This year’s festival lineup includes James Taylor, Chevelle, Yonder Mountain String Band, The Allman Brothers Band, Shinedown, and Story Of The Year.