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Construction Begins on U.S. Cellular Connection Stage

MILWAUKEE – For the last 12 years, Summerfest fans have listened to thousands of emerging artists and big-name bands on the U.S. Cellular Connection stage during “The World’s Largest Music Festival.” But it’s time for an upgrade.

“Our stage is a source of pride for all of us at U.S. Cellular, including our customers, and we look forward to improving the patron experience by introducing the latest wireless technology, new guest amenities and an improved sound experience come 2018,” said John Heimsch U.S. Cellular Director of Sales for Wisconsin and Northern Illinois.

Last year, U.S. Cellular and Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. officials announced a new ten-year agreement that included demolishing the existing U.S. Cellular Connection Stage and replacing it with a new, larger stage with an enhanced guest experience. The new stage will provide a Lake Michigan view for the crowd; feature a 25-foot LED screen – the largest screen on the grounds; offer new lakeside charging stations; and improved access for patrons. When it was announced, the new stage concept was previewed via a special Virtual Reality experience. (Click here to view)

“As we officially bid farewell to the current stage, we thank U.S. Cellular for its continued support as a stage sponsor and in helping enhance our fans’ festival experience,” stated Don Smiley, President and CEO of Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. “We are excited for the debut of the new, larger stage area in 2018.” 

On Wednesday, U.S. Cellular and Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. leaders along with Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee members interested in STEM programming had an up-close view as a giant steal shear jaw reaching 35 feet high began to demolish the old stage. Onsite construction managers from CG Schmidt, which is managing the demolition and construction project, as well as project architects from Eppstein Uhen, gave the Boys & Girls Clubs members a STEM lesson to help them understand the expansive job opportunities behind such a project.

“We love opportunities like this for our members to gain hands-on experience in exploring careers that focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” said Steve Dykema, Vice President of Development and Communications for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee. “Our members truly are the future and we appreciate U.S. Cellular often incorporating our youth members into their community activities.” 

U.S. Cellular’s brand new state-of-the-art U.S. Cellular Connection stage will debut during Summerfest 2018.

The renovation project will include:

  • An entirely rebuilt stage, completed in time for the 51st Summerfest in 2018, after the current U.S. Cellular Connection stage is torn down.
  • Increased capacity and improved access for attendees, while featuring a stunning backdrop of the Milwaukee skyline and the lakefront.
  • A larger performance area, enhanced production capabilities and improved artist amenities that will accommodate larger acts.
  • A 25-foot LED video screen, the largest video screen on the grounds, for enhanced views of performances from any location in the stage area.
  • An open-air backstage loft area that will be used for interviews, as well as exclusive hospitality experiences with up front viewing of the stage for customers and contest winners.
  • Mobile device charging amenities around the stage area, including benches with charging ports along the lakefront.


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