Milwaukee Alderman Rainey: Let us work to surpass our reputation as City of Festivals

Statement from Alderman Khalif J. Rainey

I’d like to thank the C.O.O. of Roc Nation Desiree Perez for taking the time to reach out to me following my request for Milwaukee to host the Made in America festival. While Philadelphia ultimately decided to retain the event in its city, I am hopeful our communication will be the first of numerous conversations as we explore future possibilities for the City of Milwaukee.


My suggested venue for Made in America was Henry Maier Festival Park. I continue to believe that facility is underutilized, and there are additional opportunities for it. In recent years, we’ve seen traveling music festivals dwindle in favor of major music festivals that are a destination for travelers from all over. The success of these massive events has been demonstrated for decades by Summerfest and more recently Lollapalooza, Coachella, and SXSW – just to name a few.


I have no doubt we can accommodate more than one world class music festival each year while continuing to attract major conferences such as the Democratic National Convention. When we think about the economic impact Made in America would’ve brought, approximately $100 million, it behooves us to continuously explore new opportunities. 


Milwaukee’s nickname as the City of Festivals is well-deserved, but let us not rest on our laurels.