Heightened security efforts at Summerfest

CREATED Jun 26, 2013

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MILWAUKEE - With nearly one million people expected to come through Summerfest over the course of 11 days, safety is an important aspect of this festival.

In light of recent tragedies around the country, officials here have made a few security tweaks.

One of the most noticeable changes at the Big Gig in 2013 is what you can bring in.

Particularly, security is looking at the size of your bag.

Guests will be asked to fit their bags into wooden boxes located outside every gate.

They are nine inches wide, nine inches long and 12 inches deep.

“If your bag can fit within the box then its subject to search, if it’s too big then you’ll be asked to either check it in a gear check or take it to your vehicle,” explained John Boler, Summerfest's Chief Marketing Officer.

No back packs will be allowed, no matter their size. 
A partnership with police and video surveillance has been tweaked, too, though organizers don’t want to give away specifics.

“In light of the activities that happened in Boston and around the world, I think you will see event operators enhancing, modifying security plans throughout the world. Summerfest is no different.”

Nicole Stone doesn’t mind, even if she’d be forced to leave her bag behind.

“I think it’s a good idea," said Nicole.

"You can get a lot of stuff in big bags, so you never know what someone might bring in.”

She and Michael Paasch try not to dwell on what could happen, but appreciate the effort to keep Summerfest the enjoyable time it’s meant to be.

“It adds a little piece of mind that people are taking measures.  Even though you don’t see it everywhere, you feel the presence of it when you’re first coming in.”

In the event of rain, you are allowed to bring in umbrellas.  They are not allowed into the Marcus Amphitheater.