World’s largest music festival and Green Bay Packers
In 1999, the Guinness Book of World’s Records recognized Milwaukee’s Summerfest as the world’s largest music festival and it wouldn’t have happened without the Green Bay Packers.
Pro Football Hall of Fame DE/TE Henry Jordan won five Super Bowls with the Packers, but his impact on the world at large happened after his football career, not during it.
In 1970, Jordan was named the executive director of Milwaukee’s annual music festival called Summerfest. The 11-day festival draws more than 800,000 attendees, eclipsing the estimated 175,000 that attend the five-day Glastonbury Festival in England.
Summerfest was struggling when Jordan joined the team, but under his direction, the festival acquired a 15-acre plot of land along Milwaukee’s lakefront. Permanent stages and facilities were created, firmly planting Summerfest in Milwaukee’s year-round business community.
Jordan ran Summerfest until he died in 1977. Some of the Summerfest highlights during Jordan’s tenure were:
- Summerfest smile logo, which is currently still used, was created by Noel J. Spangler & Richard D. Grant (1970)
- Comedian George Carlin shouted his infamous “List of 7 Words You Can’t Say On TV” (1972)
- Phil Donahue begins taping annual shows at Summerfest (1974)
- Comedian Billy Crystal headlined the Comedy Stage (1976)
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