It's been a long time coming, but it looks like we're finally going to get a full calendar year of concerts.
The last time that happened was 2019 when Milwaukee had a record for the most arena, amphitheater and stadium-size concerts in the city's history. That was thanks largely to the Milwaukee Bucks' Fiserv Forum, which hosted 32 concerts for its first full calendar year of operation, far surpassing any arena's annual concert slate in the city's history.
On top of that, there were shows in 2019 at the Milwaukee Brewers' Miller Park (now American Family Field), Alpine Valley Music Theatre, the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena and the American Family Insurance Amphitheater. But the live music industry shut down at the dawn of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. Milwaukee venues only started hosting shows again this past July.
Business has been a bit bumpy since, but there are signs of optimism. The American Family Insurance Amphitheater, which reopened after undergoing a $51.3 million renovation, hosted 18 concerts in 2021 — the most in a single year since 2004, and enough to make it the 12th top-grossing amphitheater in the world for the year, according to concert trade publication Pollstar. It's expected to host 22 in 2022, according to parent company Milwaukee World Festival Inc.'s calendar of events.
Based on box-office returns in 2021, Pollstar is projecting the top 100 tours in 2022 will collectively gross $5.63 billion and will collectively sell about 65 million tickets, a 12% jump from 2019.
Of course, we're not past the pandemic yet, and some shows were postponed and canceled earlier this year. But so long as vaccines continue to be effective, concerts will continue, and it's clear there's going to be some major artists eager to make up for lost time with Milwaukee stops.
Make sure to keep checking back to this list throughout 2022 for up-to-date information. We'll also add links to our reviews for many of these shows.
23: Jason Aldean with Gabby Barrett (American Family Insurance Amphitheater, Summerfest)
24: Justin Bieber with Jaden, Harry Hudson and ¿Téo? (American Family Insurance Amphitheater, Summerfest)
30: Disturbed and Lamb of God with Chevelle and New Medicine (American Family Insurance Amphitheater, Summerfest)
1: Machine Gun Kelly with Avril Lavigne and Iann Dior (American Family Insurance Amphitheater, Summerfest)
2: Halsey with the Marias and Abby Roberts (American Family Insurance Amphitheater, Summerfest)
7: Rod Stewart with Cheap Trick (American Family Insurance Amphitheater, Summerfest)
8: Backstreet Boys (American Family Insurance Amphitheater, Summerfest)
9: Thomas Rhett with Ryan Hurd and Rhett Akins (American Family Insurance Amphitheater, Summerfest)
Piet also talks concerts, local music and more on "TAP'd In" with Evan Rytlewski. Hear it at 8 a.m. Thursdays on WYMS-FM (88.9), or wherever you get your podcasts.
Our subscribers make this reporting possible. Please consider supporting local journalism by subscribing to the Journal Sentinel at jsonline.com/deal.
DOWNLOAD THE APP: Get the latest news, sports and more
This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Milwaukee concerts in 2022 to have a full calendar year of shows