MILWAUKEE- As the first weekend of the Big Gig comes to a close Saturday night, the festival’s booker says he’s happy with how things have gone, despite a handful of artists backing out of their shows.
“It’s all part of the business, part of the festival business,” Entertainment Director Scott Ziel tells Wisconsin’s Afternoon News.
Of the nearly two hundred bands to play the first weekend of Summerfest, four artists cancelled their shows due to health or other reasons. The drop-outs included Justin Bieber, Ann Wilson of Heart, 10,000 Maniacs & Willow.
Ziel, who was recently promoted ahead of the pending retirement of longtime talent booker Bob Babisch, says it’s times like these when it’s good to have a deep rolodex.
“We have people flying in from other countries so there’s VISA issues sometimes, there are travel issues, there’s the health thing, so we’re just methodical about it (replacing artists),” Ziel says. “We have a lot of great relationships with agents who have a lot of artists on standby for us.”
Weekend one of Summerfest wraps up tonight (Saturday). Hip hop artist Lil Wayne headlines the American Family Insurance Amphitheater. Other headlining acts tonight include Steve Miller Band, Atmosphere, The Band Camino, & singer-songwriter Zach Bryan.
You can find all of our Summerfest coverage, including WTMJ’s broadcast schedule, here.