Summerfest now open, Big Bang and Rascal Flatts tonight

CREATED Jun 27, 2012 - UPDATED: Jun 27, 2012

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  • Graphic: TODAY'S TMJ4

MILWAUKEE - The first day of Summerfest may bring temperatures in the 90's along Milwaukee's lakeshore, but it will also bring big headliners to many of the festival's stages.

The festival has opened with crowds streaming into the Summerfest grounds.

"We're looking forward to throwing open the gates and having a good time," Summerfest Music Director Bob Babisch told Newsradio 620 WTMJ's "Wisconsin's Morning News" on Wednesday morning.

"There's great bands every night.  We try to do a little something for everybody."

People who donate three non-perishable food items between 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. can get in free.  Tickets are $9 on Wednesday until 4:00 p.m., $16 between 4:00 p.m. and 12:00 a.m.

While the Big Bang fireworks explode overhead, country superband Rascal Flatts will rock the Marcus Amphitheater.

The show begins at 7:30 p.m. with Little Big Town, the Eli Young Band and Eden's Edge as opening acts.

Wisconsin's own Steve Miller Band will become the first group to headline the new BMO Harris Pavilion when they take the stage at 10:00 p.m.

"This new facility looks magnificent," Summerfest Vice President John Boler told TODAY'S TMJ4's "Live at Daybreak."

"It's a really neat flexible space.  Maybe the crowd isn't quite as big, but you've got a nice covered area...but we've got a total venue capacity of about 10,000.  For the people in the standing room area, we brought in high-definition screens."

Fiery blues guitarist/vocalist Larry McCray was to open for him at 8:00 p.m.

The new stage has a different ticket policy for some of its seats.  Click here for more information.

Other headliners:
Miller Oasis at 10:00 p.m.: R&B legends Kool and the Gang
Briggs and Stratton Big Backyard at 10:00 p.m.: Government Mule
Summerfest Rock Stage at 10:00 p.m.: We Came as Romans
Harley-Davidson Roadhouse at 10:00 p.m.: Lupe Fiasco
Potawatomi Bingo Casino Stage at 10:00 p.m.: Phantom, Rocker and Slick
Cascio Interstate Music Groove Stage at 8:30 p.m.: Cool Woo
US Cellular Connection Stage at 10:00 p.m.: Dirty Heads

The sleeper pick from Newsradio 620 WTMJ's Dan O'Donnell:

US Cellular Connection Stage at 8:00 p.m.: Walk the Moon (indie alt-rock band from Cincinnati)

Click here for our complete Summerfest section