2020 DNC Music Guide
Congratulations Milwaukee! It was announced that the city will host the 2020 Democratic National Convention, which takes place from July 13th-16th of 2020. That being said, thousands of travelers will be coming into the city, and we have plenty of new music fans to entertain. Luckily, Breaking And Entering has put together a guide to Milwaukee music during the 2020 Democratic National Convention. Here’s who, what, and where to check out musically:
Official DNC Music Lineup
No official artists have been announced for the 2020 DNC. Keep an eye out for more updates as they become booked
Popular Milwaukee Venues
The following venues are known for their live music in Milwaukee. Find out which of these venues is right for you:
Cactus Club (10 Minutes from Downtown, Bay View)
This Bay View club has the look of a dive bar, but has an eclectic 20+ year history of booking independent music, with both local and touring acts playing there frequently. Bands like Death Cab For Cutie, Spoon, Queens of the Stone Age, and The White Stripes have all played at this venue before making it big. It was also the venue in which the members of Sylvan Esso first met one another.
Linneman’s (5 Minutes from Downtown, Riverwest)
If you’re looking for a venue that the Violent Femmes used to play rather frequently in their Milwaukee days, Linneman’s is a great local music spot. Located in Riverwest, a vibrant, artistic community, this venue has live music just about every night of the week.
High Dive (5 Minutes from Downtown, Riverwest)
If you’re into a gritty, DIY-feeling venue, High Dive is your spot. It’s a very small corner bar, but it frequently books indie and punk bands to play their space. You’ll be up close and personal, but you’ll have fun.
Riverwest Public House (5 Minutes from Downtown, Riverwest)
Located just down the street from Linneman’s, Riverwest Public House operates on a co-op basis, and is a thriving venue for Milwaukee area talent.
Bremen Cafe (5 Minutes from Downtown, Riverwest)
Also conveniently in the Riverwest neighborhood, Bremen is a small nook that generally has an eclectic mix of music to check out. Local bands and smaller touring acts usually make up the venue’s calendar.
Quarters Rock N’ Roll Palace (5 Minutes from Downtown, Riverwest)
Notice how these all say 5 minutes from Downtown? That’s because these venues are all located either on the same street or near one another, making Riverwest a hub for local music. Quarters has a gritty feel to it as well, but it’s a spot to check out if you’re looking for some up-and-coming bands.
Sabbatic (5 Minutes from Downtown, Walker’s Point)
Sabbatic is a punk rock bar that, while looking a little tough, can be a very fun place to hang out. While there isn’t local music every night, there’s a good number of acts that play either acoustic sets or more DIY feeling shows inside the bar. If that’s not enough, there’s also great drink specials and a delightful band of misfits behind the bar.
Walker’s Point Music Hall (5 Minutes from Downtown, Walker’s Point)
In the up and coming Walker’s Point neighborhood, Walker’s Point Music Hall is a great mid-size venue for hearing live acts of all genres. One of the newer additions to the music scene, Point Hall is operated by the same people that put on the DIY Rebel Music Stage at Summerfest every year.
Captain Pabst Pilot House (Downtown)
Within walking distance of Fiserv Forum, Captain Pabst Pilot House isn’t affiliated with the Pabst Theater Group, but rather the beer that called Milwaukee home for decades. The venue features a mixture of mostly local artists, and everything from acoustic sets to jazz, depending on the night.
The Miramar Theatre (10 Minutes from Downtown, East Side)
If you’re looking more towards electronic / club music, check out The Miramar Theatre’s calendar to see who is playing during the convention. Now operated by Brew City Bass, the city’s electronic music scene frequents this longtime Milwaukee venue.
Bad Genie (Downtown)
With a more local flare than most clubs, Bad Genie is home to several local DJs spinning a wide variety of dance music. If you’re looking to have a good time with a little less pretentiousness than a normal club, Bad Genie can be your spot.
Site 1A (5 Minutes from Downtown, Historic Third Ward)
Also operated by Brew City Bass, Site 1A is one of the city’s premier clubs. A myriad of traveling and local DJs frequently play there, and will likely spin music late into the night during the DNC.
Lucid Light Lounge (Downtown)
Much in the vein of Site 1A, Lucid Light Lounge is home to mostly local DJs, with a club atmosphere and, you guessed it, a ton of lights that flood the bar. If you’re looking for a VIP club experience, you’ll get it at Lucid.
Pabst Theater / Riverside Theater / Turner Hall Ballroom (Downtown)
While it is likely that the venues run by the Pabst Theater Group will be at least partially utilized for DNC events, the Pabst / Riverside / Turner Hall are some of the finest venues in the city. All three are historic buildings, with beautiful vintage decor, and all three host world class talent. Stay tuned to find out the venue’s schedule for the nights of the convention.
The Back Room at Colectivo Coffee (10 Minutes from Downtown, East Side)
Another Pabst Theater Group owned venue, with a deceptively large space behind a coffee shop on Milwaukee’s East Side. The Back Room serves as the smallest of the Pabst Theater Group’s venues, with more of a club feel than their theaters. This venue frequently plays home to larger independent touring acts.
The Tonic Tavern (10 Minutes from Downtown, Bay View)
Also located in the Bay View neighborhood, The Tonic Tavern features everything from jazz to rock to anything in between. While there isn’t music every night at Tonic, the bar is cozy and the atmosphere is great.
Shank Hall (7 Minutes from Downtown, East Side)
Named after the fictional Milwaukee venue in the movie “This Is Spinal Tap”, Shank Hall is a spot that regularly brings in touring bands, and is another institution of Milwaukee music. You never know who you’ll see at Shank Hall, but the sound is some of the best in the city.
The Rave / Eagles Ballroom (Downtown)
Located just west of the campus of Marquette University, The Rave / Eagles Ballroom has a long history of hosting nationally touring acts. The venue boasts three different sized venues on each floor, ranging from a smaller basement bar to the massive Eagles Ballroom. Stay tuned for the venue’s calendar during the DNC.
Connect with Breaking And Entering
While you’re in Milwaukee, there’s a ton of local music for you to listen to as well. Make sure you connect with Breaking And Entering to stay in touch with Milwaukee’s music scene: