Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Summerfest Wrap-Up

By Evan Rytlewski
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In last week’s news poll, the Shepherd asked whether readers would like to see more local music, the same amount of local music or less local music at Summerfest. Yeah, it was a feel-good question, and it doesn’t take a psychic to predict the results, of course: Most readers said they’d like to see more local music at the Big Gig (84%, to be exact.) Still, the results are impressive, considering there is a real opportunity cost associated with more local music at Summerfest (less national acts, which have long been the event’s true draw).

This year’s Cascio Groove Garage stage reaffirmed that there is a large audience for Milwaukee music. Although smaller than the monster corporate stages to the north of the festival grounds, the stage regularly drew a vibrant crowd (a mix of aficionados who staked out specific groups and passersby who liked what they heard). As co-sponsors of the stage, the Shepherd and ExpressMilwaukee promoted it with everything we had, but we weren’t being hyperbolic when we said it hosted many of Milwaukee’s best bands. It really did. Once again, here’s a sincere thanks to all those that played the stage: You really were the highlight of the festival.

Meanwhile, here’s one last plug for ExpressMilwaukee’s Summerfest section, which flaunts a ton of concert reviews and photos from both the Cascio Groove Garage and beyond. Check it out.
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