The Magnettes, based in Sweden, will perform on the
opening day of Summerfest as part of the festival’s
Emerging Artists Series, which showcases rising acts
from around the world.
WEST BEND —
The Magnettes, David Myles and 42 other acts hope to be
the next music success story to come from Summerfest.
The Magnettes, a Swedish trio, will play at 4:15 p.m.
Wednesday at the Johnson Controls World Sound Stage with
88Nine Radio at Henry Maier Festival Park to help
kickoff Summerfest’s Emerging Artists Series showcase.
"All we’ve heard is it’s the biggest festival in the
world," said Rebecka Digervall, 23, a member of The
Myles, 36, is from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, and
will play at 5:30 p.m. July 8 on the same stage.
"I’m pumped," said the 27-time award-winning folk
In its 12th year, the series highlights up-and-coming
local, national and international talent each day of the
festival. It not only introduces crowds to budding acts,
but it also engages fans by letting them vote for their
favorite act or acts. Each day, the act with the most
fan votes receives a gift package worth nearly $3,000.
In addition, two acts will receive a college and
non-commercial radio campaign.
This year, there are 11 acts from Wisconsin, 28 from
elsewhere in the U.S. and five international acts.
The other international acts
joining The Magnettes and Myles at Summerfest’s Emerging
Artist Series —
are Alvarez Kings of Sheffield, Yorkshire, United
Kingdom (5:30 p.m., Thursday); Hamish Anderson of
Melbourne, Australia (5:30 p.m., July 7); and Harts of
Melbourne, Australia (6:45 p.m., July 7).
From Wisconsin are Rose of the West (Milwaukee, 4:15
p.m. Thursday), WheelHouse (Madison, 3 p.m. Friday),
Devil Met Contention (Milwaukee, 4:15 p.m. Friday), The
Zach Pietrini Band (Milwaukee, 4:15 p.m. July 1),
Driveway Thriftdwellers (Milwaukee, 6:45 p.m. July 1),
The Middle Ground (Milwaukee, 4:15 p.m. July 4), Abby
Jeanne (Milwaukee, 3 p.m.
July 5), D’Amato (Milwaukee, 4:15 p.m. July 6), Trapo
(Madison, 5:30 p.m. July 6), Vincent VanGREAT
(Milwaukee, 6:45 p.m. July 6) and Queen Hilma (Green
Bay, 3 p.m. July 8).
The 28 remaining acts will come from California,
Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York,
Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Vermont.
Myles hopes he’ll get some fans based on his
interests, in addition to his mix of 1950s country and
rock ‘n’ roll music.
"Everybody I talk to about Milwaukee, speaking of the
city first, I’m telling a lot of musicians that I’m
going down there and everybody’s like, ‘Aw, great,’"
Myles said. "They say, ‘Beer and cheese,’ which is
hilarious and I like both of those things."
David Myles of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, will play
in the series July 8.
Several of the past acts in Summerfest’s Emerging
Artist Series have gone on to achieve national and
international success since the series’ inception in
Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats is one of those
As a solo act, Rateliff played in the series in 2012.
In 2015, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats was
created and their first single, "S.O.B.," was a top-10
hit. Two other songs, "Look It Here"
and "I Need Never Get Old," are also top-10 hits.
This year, Rateliff returns to Summerfest, this time
with his band, as part of Willie Nelson’s Outlaw Music
Festival on the main stage July 9. That show also
features Bob Dylan and Sheryl Crow.
Another success story involves the X Ambassadors, who
were in the
2015 lineup, two years after they recorded a single
with Eminem on his album, "The Marshall Mathers LP 2."
In 2016, the X Ambassadors received award nominations
from the Hollywood Music in Media Awards, the iHeart
Radio Music Awards, the Billboard Music Awards and the
American Music Awards.
"Summerfest is enormous," Myles said. "Its reputation
is international. A lot of people know about the
festival because it is such a big one."
While the festival offers fans a chance to see a
variety of acts, the it’s equally important to the acts,
especially for ones like The Magnettes and Myles.
The performers often use large-scale festivals as a
way to see what their colleagues are doing and maybe,
find potential collaboration efforts whether it be in
song-writing, touring or something else.
"Festivals are a great opportunity, even if you’re
playing at them, to see other stuff," Myles said.
He added, "You all share the obsession with music.
And you also get to see the acts that are really
experienced that have played for a long time and make
you go, ‘OK. This is where the bar is at. That’s what we
have to work toward.’ That’s really important as an
For new acts, there is an urge to perform well. But
Digervall said they’re not nervous or scared to play in
a setting with more than tens of thousands people going
through the turnstiles.
"We’re building our fan base over here," she said.
"So this is going to help out a lot. We promise a great
"We’re looking forward to meeting a lot of new fans,"
Digervall added. "It’s all about meeting the people that
enjoy our music."
Myles said it is an honor to be a part of the
"It makes it really special for me as an entertainer,
a player, a songwriter to even be remotely be a part of
that festival," he said.
Myles added a large-scale festival like Summerfest
can change the life for a musician. He hopes that is the
case for his career.
"An opportunity like this, to play in front of a good
number of people in a city I’ve never played in is
totally a dream opportunity for me," Myles said. "This
is how you build a career, to play in front of new
He added, "It’s really important you take advantage
of those opportunities and put on a show that’s really
A series such as the Emerging Artist Series is a step
on the proverbial ladder.
"That’s why those acts move from emerging stages onto
Myles said. "We’re all emerging at one point. Ideally
some of us have had the opportunity to keep moving up.
"I started on emerging stages in Canada and now I
play on big stages.
I see it as a part of the development. I’m new to
playing in the States."
A chance to showcase debut album
It will be a special week for The Magnettes.
After their performance Wednesday, they’ll celebrate
the release of their debut album, "Ugly Youth," on
"We’re super excited," Digervall said. "We’ve been
working on this for a long time."
The Magnettes originally started with Digervall and
her friend, Sanna Kalla. They’ve known each other since
they were 5 years old. The third member, Tomas Backlund,
joined in 2014, a few years after Digervall and Kalla
recorded demos at a studio where he was the sound
Since becoming a trio, they’ve released four singles.
"It’s everything we never dared to say as teenagers,
just screaming it all out on this record," Digervall
said of the album. "It’s a lot about adolescence,
growing up, the pressures of society.
We’re super excited for it to be out and we get to
celebrate at Summerfest.
"It’s going to be a great (expletive) week."
They also can’t wait to explore the festival they’ve
heard so much about.
"People, our best friends, every time they see the
lineup, they’re like freaking out, like, ‘Holy
(expletive). You’re going to play at the same festival
as Bob Dylan and Red Hot Chili Peppers?’" Digervall
said. "Everyone is there. Everyone’s been excited,
We’re super excited to be at Summerfest."
"It’s just crazy," she added. "It’s like a head rush.
It feels like it’s not real."
To see the full
lineup for this year’s Emerging Artist Series at