Summer Set Music Festival Preview

A Unity Travel Festival Preview | Summer Set Music Festival 2016

The What, Who, When, Where, and Why for the festival!

What it’s about

SSMF is entering it’s 5th year and has become a staple for music festivals in Midwest. The main stage is built inside of the Somerset amphitheater which, as you can guess, makes for awesome acoustics. Guests can camp on site at multiple different camp sites or (if camping isn’t your thing) choose from a variety of customized hotel/ticket combos (only available at Unity.Travel).

Summer Set is known for providing an amazing and diverse lineup of artists ranging from a variety of dance music genres. If you’re a music lover, this festival is definitely for you!

Who hosts it

Ever heard of a little event called Spring Awakening?? (it’s actually not little, it HUGE!) Well, the same promoter that brings that massive event to Chicago also handles Summer Set. We’re talking about React Presents!

We’ve had the opportunity to work closely with React over the past couple years, and they have a killer team. These guys and gals understand what it takes to make an event pop off!

When it is

August 12-14, 2016

Summer time in Wisconsin is known for being quite exceptional. The festival takes place during the afternoon and runs all the way to the early hours of the morning. The sunset is going to be killer and the late hours extraordinary.

Although Wisconsin summers are gorgeous, there are a few things to watch out for. It will be very humid and there will be some serious bug action going on. Plan to drink water and pack the Deet!

Where it is and where to stay

Somerset Amphitheater, Somerset, WI

The festival grounds are amazing! The main stage is built right inside the Somerset amphitheater. The rest of the festival comes to life inside of the hills of the massive campgrounds in the area. Many of the dance floors have been reinforced and there will be plenty of water stations and bathrooms.

This event takes place pretty close to the middle of nowhere in a town called Somerset, WI. The venue is AMAZING, but there isn’t anything but farms and fields nearby. It makes for an impressive ambiance, but it can be a little challenging to get all the way out there. Definitely worth the trip in our opinion.

If you are not the camping type, then there are specialty hotel packages available for the event. You are going to want to stay in one of the nearby cities and consider taking a shuttle to/from the event. For a list of hotel, shuttle, and ticket combo options, check out our packages here. 

Traveler’s Secret: Plan to eat at the festival and if you want beer for your hotel room then pick it up early. Wisconsin doesn’t sell liquor past 9pm and beer sales close at midnight. Also, many restaurants are not open past 9-11 pm.

How to get there

Somerset is a little town about an hour east of St. Paul, MN. If you flying in then you are going to want to use MSP. If you’re coming from the south (Milwaukee or Chicago) then there are several northern passageways, some are faster than others depending on traffic and construction. Check your GPS for specifics.

If you are coming up from Chicago specifically, there is a Unity charter service that will get you to Summer Set. Check out the details here! 

Getting into the festival and finding parking is, like any festival, a little tricky. Somerset isn’t a big town and the roads are limited which makes traffic in/out of the event chaotic at times. The Summer Set staff do a great job directing traffic, but expect a little delay if you try to arrive during peak times.

A really simple solution for avoiding traffic would be to grab you and your group some Unity Travel shuttle passes. We are running shuttle service from many different hotels in the surrounding areas. Even if you’re not staying at the hotel you could still park and ride to avoid the chaos. More details on shuttles here.

Food, Drinks, and Festival Activities

We have 2 words for you… CRAFT BEER! The beer selection available at many of the vendors around the festival is great! We are talking about Saisons, summer shandies, and great IPAs. Of course you can still find the standard _____ Light and shots if that is your thing.

Food options are solid. SSMF brings out some great food truck style vendors which will help you stay full and your taste buds happy.

Aside from the music, there are some pretty cool art installations all over. These are great for pictures and for finding shade during the day.

The crowd and the vibes

Scanning the crowd you’ll see totems, ravers, hip hoppers, and die hard festies all dancing together. The festival grounds are set up in a way that allows for everyone to have plenty of room to dance and hang out on the dance floor. Even during the headlining sets (2015) there was plenty of room to jump around and navigate through the crowd.

There really isn’t a single bad thing we can say about the crowd that attends Summer Set. Not sure if it is a midwest thing or just the overall vibes of the event, but the people seriously make this event so much better. We’ve met some great people and built lasting friendships during our time at Summer Set.

Why attend

Look at the lineup! Need we say more??? Seriously, the Summer Set lineup is one of the most unique collection of artists that you are going to find at any festival in the country. A prefect blend of dance music, hip hop, and indie genres that are going to be great for expanding your music palette.

You should 100% attend Summer Set and plan on going year after year!

Our Rating: 5/5 Must Go!


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