The Summer Soulstice Music Festival
This annual street festival on the East Side showcases local and emerging Wisconsin-based music acts, and over its 12-year run has gained both local and national attention for its diverse line-up. Attendance in 2013 was estimated at over 20,000, with a total of 20 bands and acts on three stages and numerous daytime activities. Geronimo was brought in to expand the audience of the festival and professionalize its implementation.
To enhance the East Side’s positioning as a crossroads for culture and expand the festival’s offerings beyond music, we added a third “family stage” and an “Arts Avenue.” Beginning at noon, we brought in acts and activities to appeal to the whole family during the daytime hours. We featured regionally famous jugglers, magicians, and acts, as well as creative activities from local institutions such as the Milwaukee Zoo, Discovery World, the Art Institute, Murray Hill Pottery and Whole Foods. All the major Wisconsin sports teams were represented by mascots, cheerleaders, activities and/or stars. This included the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Bucks, Brewers, Mustangs and Wave. Thirty local artists and craft vendors displayed and showed their wares as well. During this time, we created other non-music activities throughout the festival: bicycle polo, BMX demonstrations, ski ball, a dodge ball tournament, and even bocce ball played on real sod courts set up on the street. Of course, 20 local restaurants and vendors provided award winning food for the attendees for the duration of the festival. As day began to fade, the festival turned to music, and a line-up that has generated national press took to the stages until midnight.
Geronimo substantially increased the size of the event, significantly broadened the appeal to a much wider audience, expanded sponsorship and participation, and greatly increased sponsorship dollars and overall income.