As the 51stannual summer fest came to a close this past Sunday I was inspired to learn of its history. The world’s largest music festival, as a Milwaukeean one of the most anticipated events of the summer. Where did it start? Well in the 1960’s at the time Mayor Henry W Maier started the first summer fest in 1968. At that time the festival took place at 35 different locations throughout the city. Held now at what we know now as the summer fest grounds along the lakefront, might not have ever been If not for a deal that started in the 1920s. In 1927 the lakefront was used as airport, in collaboration with the US Army. The site called Maitland airport once held nuclear style missiles as a safety measure against possible Russian Attacks. Closing in 1969 the site was sold to the city, and then leased by Summer Fest investors for $1 a year.
Today the space stands at 75 acres earning its title as the world’s biggest music festival in 1999 by the Guinness book of world records. The biggest stage has seen some of the biggest stars, and on Sunday night big name rappers Lil Wayne and Snoop Dogg closed out the 11 day long festival…until next year.