Milwaukee's PrideFest breaks its three-day attendance record

Fri. June 9, 2023 3:49 PM by News Staff

milwaukee pridefest is wisconsin’s largest lgbtq event

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PrideFest Milwaukee, which ran June 1-3, broke its three-day attendance record for the second consecutive year, according to organizers. 

Milwaukee Pride Inc., the parent organization of the annual fest, revealed that the festival drew 42,603 attendees this year. That total is almost 4,000 more than last year's post-pandemic return to June. 

“PrideFest as a whole struck a different chord this year,” said Wes Shaver, President and CEO of Milwaukee Pride Inc., in a release. 

PrideFest’s five stages welcomed entertainment from Peaches, Betty Who, Vegas magician Murray Sawchuck, Big Dipper, and more. 

Organizers said the festival - held annually at Henry Maier Festival Park in Milwaukee - included more than 400 entertainers and stage crews.

“It’s hard to put into words, but it’s clear to me that PrideFest’s appeal as a festival, in its most base and simple form, is the widest it’s ever been,” said Shaver. “Tens of thousands of people flooded Henry Maier Festival Park to not just support LGBT people and spaces, but to participate in them and the music, dancing, food, and fun.”

There was also a record in vendors, totaling 197 spaces across food, merchandise and sponsors.

“PrideFest 2023 was a smashing success. It was a great start to the festival season on Milwaukee’s lakefront,” CEO of Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. Don Smiley said. “Great music, food and beverage was enjoyed by the record setting crowd. PrideFest once again showed the spirit of Milwaukee and beyond. Organizers should be proud of the impact they leave in the City of Festivals.”

PrideFest is Wisconsin’s largest LGBTQ event.

Chicago’s Pride Fest is slated for June 17 and 18 with headliners Heather Small (M People), Slayyyter, Meet Me @ The Altar, JORDY, and Eureka O’Hara. 

PrideFest Milwaukee Photos:

Thursday, June 1 | Friday, June 2 | Saturday, June 3