The big festival kicks off next week and chances are that you or someone you know are going. In recent years, I have only averaged going once during the festival but Ive been attending the festival for about 15 years. Over the years, Ive accumulated some tips about how to save money going to such a big event.
Summerfest has a number of promotions where attendees can receive free tickets. The catch with these is that you have to arrive before a certain time and most of these promotions have a limit, so youd really have to arrive early to try and ensure that you get in for free. Here are some of the promotions for free admission:
Wednesday, June 26th: Bring three non-pershiable food items between 12-3 PM and youll receive a free Summerfest ticket
Thursday, June 27th: Those ages 60 and up receive free entry between 12-4 PM.
Sunday, June 30th: Bring three non-perishable food items for kids and receive a free admission to Summerfest. This is limited to the first 2,5000 and runs between 12-3 PM.
Tuesday July 2nd: If you show up between 12-3 PM, you automatically receive free entry to Summerfest. If you can, try to arrive earlier since this will likely be extremely popular.
Sunday, July 7th: Once again, if you make it to Summerfest between 12-3 PM, you will be able to get in for free. This will probably be even more popular than the July 2nd promotion, so give yourself some breathing room that you arent cutting it close by the 3 PM limit.
Part of Summerfests appeal is the wide variety of food that is available for consumption. However, a few food items can add up quickly and be costly. If you know what you want for sure, go in with the mindset of just getting what you want. Have a sandwich or a light snack in advance of heading out so that your appetite doesnt get in the way of making the right choice.
I dont like parking at Summerfest because it isnt cheap and it is usually an unpleasant experience trying to leave. My suggestion is to take the Freeway Flyer service. It costs less and is less of a headache getting in and out of.
Lastly, I must recommend that if you plan on buying souvenirs at Summerfest, be sure to go in with a budget. I used to buy any bands t-shirt that I was seeing at the show. For some reason, in high school I felt that I had to have these souvenirs as part of my wardrobe. I cant imagine how much money I spent. To be fair, some of these shirts I still wear over a decade later, but the majority of them Ive either donated, given to my sisters or they are buried somewhere deep in my closet. Being less impulsive is something Ive worked on for a number of years. For some, Summerfest has plenty of items available that may seem like a great purchase at the time but arent all that useful. If youre going to spend money on these items, just make sure you know what your limit is.
Have a wonderful time at Milwaukees signature festival! If you have any additional tips, please let us know in the comments below.