PrideFest 2013: The Year in Review



During the first weekend of June 2013, some  28,340 attendees from all over the United States walked through the gates of PrideFest Milwaukee, and helped to usher in the season of summer festivals on the beautiful lakefront Summerfest Grounds.



For YEARS, PrideFest has been proud to be the festival that gets the party started for Milwaukee! Each June, organizers have been honored to break in the grounds and bring it back to life after having been shut down for months after last season’s end.  Typically, the Tuesday before Pride Weekend, the grounds are in PrideFest’s full possession, and team members waste no time in setting up the office, and laying out the grounds for vendors and equipment. The grounds are cleaned, fresh coats of paint get slapped down wherever needed, and the stages required to showcase hundreds of acts are assembled. The office is the starting and ending point for team members, who all check in for radios and carts and last minute news before opening up their stages, and return at the end of the night for team meetings, long after the grounds are cleared. While patrons are headed home, PrideFest organizers are gathering on the grounds for the evenings meeting and preliminary numbers, often not stepping foot off of the grounds until after 1am. Only to return the next morning and do it all – over – again. 

The ALL-volunteer staff of PrideFest Milwaukee works year round to secure funding and visibility for the festival. Many corporate and organizational sponsors are needed, and they provide the generous funding that helps to secure that the gates open on another  festival of Pride. Media sponsorships and in-kind/ trade deals are worked out, often with  enormous discounts. Entertainment tour schedules are scoured, and offers are sent out to artists. So many incredible performers have graced PrideFest stages over the years. Of course, this ALL requires funding. Hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars are needed to produce this three day event. Every single dollar raised, or donated goes right back into the festival to pay for cleaning, setup, fees, insurance, entertainment, unions, hotels, advertising, more fees, supplies, electricity, operational costs, etc. etc. etc. By at least not having any paid staff, PrideFest Milwaukee is able to cut costs, and with

every ticket purchased, patrons help to ensure that another PrideFest will be able to return the following year.

From the Board of Directors, the Production Team, and volunteers,  a very grateful “THANK YOU” to all of you who came out in support of LGBT Pride. We hope you enjoyed your time at PrideFest Milwaukee 2013.

We know we did!

For information on how you can help in the 2014 festival effort, please write




Our fave Video



 Special Sunday photos by Tracy Apps

Outside links to more awesome photos from great local photographers, and from our talented friends in the media –!i=2578415859&k=Gmm3vmS


Here’s a great fun video sent in by Joe Castillon  and his boyfriend Edward. Says Castillon, “I love him very much and want to spread the love I have for him. I want to show the world that gay couples are real just like any other relationship and that we are both very happy with each other. We hope to inspire others to live freely and openly in life because we are both proud gay men.” We love that you also captured our official hotel, The Double Tree Milwaukee Downtown.!