How the World's Largest Music Festival Books Bands

This week on the New Music Business podcast features Bob Babisch, the Vice President of Entertainment for the glorious Summerfest. Following its 1968 debut, Summerfest has evolved into what is now recognized as “the World’s Largest Music Festival” and Milwaukee’s cornerstone summer celebration with approximately 800k people. Babisch manages tens of millions of dollars in the entertainment budget for Summerfest on an annual basis, and has worked with a plethora of artists over his 46 years in the music industry, from The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder to Whitney Houston, Lady Gaga and Kanye West. Learn more about Summerfest here: https://www.summerfest.com


5:05 Welcome

7:38 The history of Summerfest

9:42 How many people each stage holds

11:54 Structuring the festival lineup

13:27 Showcasing local Wisconsin artists

16:45 Keeping up with the times

18:30 When Summerfest starts booking acts

22:15 Fishing where the fish are

23:38 The finances behind Summerfest

30:17 The production crew

35:25 Change over times and standard line checks

38:46 Video screens on stage

39:51 Festival hospitality

41:39 Smaller ground stages

43:44 How to get booked at Summerfest

47:29 Final question


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Connect with Bob Babisch:


Website: https://www.milwaukeeworldfestival.com

Website: https://www.summerfest.com

Instagram: https://instagram.com/summerfest

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sfestbob


Edited and mixed by Maxton Hunter

Music by Brassroots District

Produced by the team at Ari’s Take


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