Now in its 36th year, the Milwaukee Irish Fest offers four days of Celtic music, culture, food and fun.

Held August 18-21 on Milwaukee’s Lakefront, the festival features 17 stages with more than 100 musical acts.

Some highlights for Milwaukee Irish Fest 2016 include:

New This Year: Milwaukee Irish Fest is excited to welcome 11 new acts to this year’s festival. New acts include international talents like Barrule, Calan, JigJam and De Barra.

Special shows for this year include:

  •  Solas - All These Years 20th Anniversary Tour
  •  Moyá Brennan
  •  Trinity Irish Dance Company

Culture: 100 years since the historic events took place, guests can learn about the 1916 Easter Rising from experts and exhibits commemorating the anniversary. Festival-goers can also find out more about the Irish-Mexican connection at the San Patricio exhibit presented in collaboration with Mexican Fiesta.

Food & Spirits: Visitors can wet their whistle with the new Irish Mule, featuring Jameson Whiskey, ginger beer and a lime wedge, or the Cask & Craft which features Jameson Caskmates Whiskey paired with a stout beer. There is also a variety of new tasty treats including the Rueben puff, deep fried chocolate stout cake, the Reuben Boxty and the meatloaf sandwich, which includes a blend of corned beef, bacon and pork on toasted rye with cheese. New this year, festival-goers will be able to grab a bite to eat in the Cultural Village at the Truck Meister Gourmet Burger food truck.

Guests can also visit Celtic Kitchen where world-renowned chef and TV personality, Kevin Dundon, and other talented chefs, will share recipes and demonstrations about the Irish Food Revolution. Dundon, owner of Dunbrody Country House Hotel in County Wexford, hosts cooking shows on Create TV and has authored several Irish cookbooks. He is also a Signature Chef for Walt Disney World’s Raglan Road Restaurant.

Sports: Milwaukee Irish Fest is proud to present the traditional team sport of Gaelic Football. Dating back as early as the 1300s, Gaelic football is a key component of Irish culture and its love for sports. Stop by the pitch at Urban Park on Saturday and Sunday to take in a match.

Music: While music is always a main attraction, the 2016 festival places special emphasis on heritage.

The Celtic World Showcase features acts from six Celtic nations, and some will perform in their native languages such as Welsh and Irish Gaelic. Musical groups including Dardanelles,Dallahan, Celtic Fiddle Festival and Wrigley Sisters will share both their musical talents and their cultural tradition.

Returning festival favorites Gaelic Storm, We Banjo 3, Red Hot Chilli Pipers, High Kings and more will have toes tapping. Emerging acts including Ten Strings and a Goat Skin and Socks in the Frying Pan will also make their return to Milwaukee Irish Fest.

Arts, Culture & More:

The Cultural Village at Milwaukee Irish Fest features art, history, genealogy and the largest gathering of Irish vendors in the world at the Moore Street Market. The Cultural Village is the center for all cultural exhibits and performances on the grounds, and includes unique displays such as the mining exhibition, which allows guests to explore the history of mining in Ireland.

Visitors can trace their lineage with genealogists, learn the Irish spoken word, and meet authors Carlo Kennedy, Judy Burke and others at the Literary Corner.

Fun for the Whole Family:

From young to old, the festival holds something for all! The children’s area includes fun and free activities like arts and crafts, story time and the Children’s Tea Room. Guests are invited to take

in a performance at the two children stages with performances by Irish dancers or Dino O’Dell.

Families can take part in Pirate Paddy’s Passport or meet new furry friends at Celtic Canines, featuring native dog breeds of Ireland.

Food & Spirits:

In addition to the newest fare at the festival, there are always Celtic classics to look forward to.

Visitors can enjoy a plate of corned beef and cabbage, a bowl of traditional Irish stew or a Milwaukee Irish Fest favorite, Gilles Jameson Frozen Custard.


Gaelic football matches are just one of many athletic attractions Milwaukee Irish Fest has to offer. Festival-goers can also try their hand at hurling in the batting cages, learn more about the centuries-old sport at the information booth or watch a match at Urban Park. Attendees can take in the currach races at the lagoon or catch a battle of tug-of-war at the south-end of the grounds.

If they’re in the mood to kick back and relax they can grab a brew and play video trivia at the Irish Fest Sports Pub.


Milwaukee Irish Fest makes it easy to get great deals at the gate. With eight admission promotions, there are tons of ways to take advantage of discounts and free entry. Gate promotions for Milwaukee Irish Fest 2016 include:

  • Children’s Discount – Kids ages 12 and under are always free
  • Senior Citizens’ Discount – Seniors (60+) get $5 off general admission (regularly $20)
  • Thursday Promotion – Free admission with a donation of school supplies for Hope House on Thursday, Aug. 18
  • Half-Price Friday – $10 general admission on Friday, Aug. 19
  • Arthritis Foundation Run/Walk to Milwaukee Irish Fest – Register for the 2016
  • Run/Walk to Milwaukee Irish Fest and receive free admission before 3 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 20
  • College Day – College students receive $3 off general admission with a valid student ID between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 21
  • Military Day – Free admission for active, reserve, retired and guard military personnel plus one guest, with valid military ID on Sunday, Aug. 16
  • Fests Feeds Milwaukee – Donate a non-perishable food item by 11 a.m. and receive free admission to the festival on Sunday, Aug. 21.
  • Two-Day Passes for Saturday and Sunday are also available and can be purchased online for only $25.

To purchase advance tickets and to learn about special partner promotions and discounts, visit General admission for the festival is $20, $15 for seniors 60+ and free for kids 12 and under.