FAQs

What is the Give By Text?

In 2014, Rhythm & Booms attendees are asked to help keep this much loved community event sustainable for the future by making a tax deductible donation of $5.00 via text. The large expense of putting on this event cannot be borne by sponsors alone. Of course, donations of any size are always welcome by mailing them to Madison Festivals, 5976 Executive Dr. #B, Fitchburg WI 53719.
To Give By Text: Text FESTIVAL to 20222. Please confirm by responding YES or it won't go through. No need to give your credit card. The donation will be billed to your mobile phone account or deducted from your balance.

Is there a rain date?

No. All activities including the fireworks show will occur as scheduled unless there is a weather-related emergency (lightning, tornado) or other issue that would put anyone in harm’s way. Safety is the first priority.

What can't I bring to Rhythm & Booms

For safety reasons the following items are NOT permitted within the Rhythm & Booms event area: ALL of John Nolen Drive, from Olin Avenue to the Williamson/Blair St intersection; Broom St from Wilson to John Nolen Dr; and North Shore Dr from Bedford to John Nolen Dr. The no carry-in zone begins where the shoreline of Lake Monona meets Olin Park/John Nolen, just north of Lakeside St. and extends to the John Nolen/Williamson St./Blair St. intersection.
All persons and parcels are subject to search. *There is an assortment of food and beverage stands throughout the venue on John Nolen Drive.*

• Coolers
• Grills
• Food items
• Beverages (except baby formula)
• Tents, canopies or structures of any kind
• Grills
• Glass containers
• Alcohol
• Thermoses
• Sparklers or fireworks
• Briefcases, backpacks, luggage pieces, or duffel bags
• Wagons
• Animals, reptiles or any type of pet
• Umbrellas
• Weapons (including knives)
• No taping or roping off of large areas
• No overnight camping. Event grounds officially close at 11 pm Saturday.
• Bikes, skateboards or skates - you must walk them in for pedestrian safety. If you ride your bike to Rhythm & Booms, a bike corral is available on the west end of Monona Terrace.

Items allowed to be brought into Rhythm & Booms event grounds include:

• Factory-sealed water bottles
• Empty reusable water bottles
• Chairs
• Seat Cushions
• Blankets/Tarps (10 x 10 maximum), towels, sleeping bags & pads
• Cellular Phones
• Sunscreen
• Small Personal Music Systems, radios and televisions
• Binoculars, cameras and camcorders
• Purses
• Baby Bags
• Strollers (only if carrying a child)
• Rain gear (jackets/ponchos)

Please check the City of Madison Parks Department for restrictions at local parks.

Where will the Water Wagon Be?

The Water Wagon will be located near the Monona Terrace.

Water Wage

How did Rhythm & Booms get its name?

The title reflects the dynamic impact music and fireworks make together. The sound of fireworks particularly vibrate in one's chest like booms. Thus the name reflects the intensity of the show.

How many people does it take to produce Rhythm & Booms?

More than 2,000 people are involved in making Rhythm and Booms a safe and enjoyable show. This includes all the public safety officials, cleanup crews, vendors, volunteers and participants. Click here for a list of people and groups that work on Rhythm & Booms.

Where can I park for Rhythm and Booms?

Rhythm & Booms patrons should plan ahead when determining a parking strategy. Park as far away as you can comfortably walk and plan on parking in areas that will get you headed in the direction of town you intend to go. Reference the Rhythm & Booms Maps when planning your parking location.

Additional information can also be found on the City of Madison's Rhythm & Booms page.

At Alliant Energy Center, there are 8,500 parking spaces (Dane County charges $7.00 per car). Tailgating is not allowed on Alliant Energy Center property. Rhythm & Booms will offer a bus from Alliant to the event grounds for $1/person. Return ride is free.
The John Nolen entrance will not be open on June 28th; please use Olin, Rimrock, or Rusk entrances.

There are 7,500 parking spots in public and private parking ramps downtown. For more information on garage and lot locations, visit the City of Madison Parking Utility website.

Click here to download the City of Madison Parking and Getting Around map.
RV PARKING: RV and camper parking is available at Alliant Energy Center for $21 per vehicle.
BIKING: Biking to Rhythm & Booms is a great option. Madison B-Cycle will offer a FREE bicycle corral on the west end of Monona Terrace. Enter off John Nolen. No bikes, skateboards or skates may be used within the event venue. You will be asked to walk them in for pedestrian safety. Madison B-Cycle's lot will open at 2:00 PM and close at 11 PM. B-Cycle will provide additional bikes for rent within the downtown area on event day.
MADISON METRO Please contact Madison Metro for more information at 608-266-4466 or visit their website.

See parking ramp locations. Looking for a spot? Visit the City of Madison Parking page for live ramp updates. Parking and shuttle service will also be available at Alliant Energy Center.
John Nolen Dr., North Shore Drive and Broom Street will be closed.


Saturday, June 28
North Shore Drive from John Nolen to Bedford
Broom Street from John Nolen to Wilson
Blair/Williamson to Olin
4 a.m. - Outbound CLosed
1 p.m. - Inbound Closed

Sunday, June 29
John Nolen Re-opens
6 a.m. - Inbound
8 a.m. - Outbound

What is the weather generally like for Rhythm & Booms

Weather for the end of June in Madison averages 70 degrees, with a low of 60 and maximum of 81. Generally it gets cooler at night, so bring a sweatshirt or jacket.

Will rain cancel the show?

Fortunately, fireworks can be shot in the rain and as long as the show can be shot safely, it will go on. Only lightning or high winds would cancel the show. Rhythm & Booms is such a massive logistical undertaking, it is impossible to postpone it to another night.

What time does Rhythm & Booms start?

Activities and the music at the Marcus Stage run from 2 - 9 PM, when the fireworks preshow begins. The fireworks show is from 9:30 - 10 PM. Music will continue at the Marcus Stage from 10 - 11 PM.

What time do the fireworks start?

The fireworks show begins at 9:30 PM and ends at 10:00 PM. .

What accommodations are made for the physically challenged?

The entire event area is accessible and there are no designated viewing areas. Handicap parking is available in all area garages on a first-come/first served basis.

What does it cost to go to Rhythm & Booms?

Rhythm & Booms is free to the public thanks to the generous support of sponsors. However, sponsors cover just 1/3 of expenses. One third comes from beverage sales (food vendors keep their own income). The last third is expected to come from the community - individuals, families and businesses who have enjoyed attending or watching the fireworks show from one of the many areas around the lake. We are asking you to please make a tax-deductible donation of $5 by texting FESTIVAL to 20222. By texting YES, you agree to a one-time donation of $5 to be added to your mobile phone bill or deducted from your prepaid balance. This can be done anytime: today, on event day, or weeks later. Please help us keep this event sustainable! Rhythm & Booms donates $48,000 to local nonprofit groups that provide the 2,500 volunteers needed for the day and also raises funds for the American Family Children's Hospital.

Are hotel rooms available for Rhythm & Booms?

Hotel rooms can be booked on our website. For information on hotel and travel accommodations, please click here: Lodging

How did Rhythm & Booms get started?

What started as a better than average fireworks display by Madison Fireworks Fund in 1993 has become the pinnacle of pyrotechnics in the Midwest. With the support of Madison Festivals, the community, sponsors, city and county officials, Rhythm & Booms was moved from a park on the northeast side to downtown Madison in 2014. It is held along the closed John Nolen Drive with barges placed in Lake Monona for people to view from all around the lake. Rhythm & Booms is Wisconsin's largest one day event, attracting a regional and even national audience. Rhythm & Booms has made a lot of people happy, helped local businesses, nonprofits and charities, and entertained millions. It is Madison's signature summer event!

What are the dates for Rhythm & Booms through 2017?

Rhythm & Booms is always held the last Saturday in June. It is never held on July 4th so as not to interfere with the many neighborhood and community celebrations in the greater Madison area.
2014 — Saturday, June 28
2015 — Saturday, June 27
2016 — Saturday, June 25
2017 — Saturday, June 24

Where is the best place to go to view Rhythm & Booms?

John Nolen drive between Williamson Street and Lakeside Street. Check out the schedule for shows and activities going on in Olin Park during the day.

How do I become a food vendor at Rhythm & Booms?

Food vendors are generally signed up by April. If you are interested, please contact Erin Dougherty, Operations Director: Erin@madisonfestivals.com or 608-310-7291. Vendor information is also listed on this website under the Vendor tab.

How do I become a souvenir vendor at Rhythm & Booms?

Souvenir vendors should contact Erin Dougherty, Operations Director: Erin@madisonfestivals.com or 608-310-7291 to inquire about vending opportunities. The form is on this website under the Vendor tab.

Who do I contact about marketing and promotional opportunities at Rhythm & Booms?

If your company is interested in using Rhythm & Booms to market goods or services, or hospitality opportunities, you should contact Brodie Birkel, Marketing Director: brodie@madisonfestivals.com.

Who do I contact if I am interested in business opportunities and providing goods or services to the Rhythm & Booms?

If you have a product or service that you believe could be utilized by Rhythm & Booms, please contact Ryan Richards, Event Director: richards@madisonfestivals.com.

Who do I contact if I have a group that could perform at the event?

If you have an act or are a musical group that you believe could be utilized by Rhythm & Booms, please contact Ryan Richards, Event Director: richards@madisonfestivals.com.

Is First Aid available?

First aid and safety looms large in the planning. City of Madison EMS will be positioned on site. Staff from the DNR and Dane County Sheriff will be positioned on Lake Monona.

What are Rhythm & Booms road closings?

John Nolen Dr. from Williamson St. to Olin Ave. and North Shore Dr. from John Nolen to Bedford. Please note some private condos and businesses may also be blocking public access to their lots.

Any helpful hints?

Wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to walk some.

Arrive as early as practical for the best space. Food and beverage service starts at 2 p.m.

Park as far away from the event area as you can comfortably walk. This will make exiting traffic easier.

Use Madison Metro buses to get to the event. There is expanded service all day.

Bike to the event. A free bike corral is provided by TREK on the west end of Monona Terrace.

City of Madison parking garages are accessible until full. Hourly rates apply until 2 pm when Special Event Parking rates start: $5 cash at entry; no waiting to pay when you exit.

Follow the Rhythm & Booms traffic plan, and you’ll get home faster.

What should I do if I get separated from my child?

Contact the nearest police officer and they can help you. Please tell your child before coming to the show, should you get lost, contact a police officer.

What does it cost to produce Rhythm & Booms?

The total cost of producing the event is nearly $800,000. But for a benefit to the community of many times that, our sponsors, corporate donors and Madison Festivals board believe it is worth every penny.

What are the rules for boaters during Rhythm & Booms?

See the Public Safety tab on this website for Tips for safe boating at Rhythm & Booms.
NO WAKE ZONE. A No Wake Zone is in effect on Lake Monona the entire day of the event. The area is regulated and monitored by the Coast Guard, Dane County Sheriff's office and Wisconsin DNR officials for public safety.
There is a BUOY LINE from Williamson/Blair Street to Olin Park. All public and commercial traffic must remain behind this line from 12 pm Saturday through 11 PM Saturday.

Olbrich boat launch will be closed 8:00-10:30pm on Saturday, June 28.

Waves and congestion: Many boaters may attend this event. After the fireworks conclude, boaters leaving the area may produce wakes and ignore navigation rules. Be patient and plan to take a little extra time to return home.

Fatigue: Many boaters enjoy the event from before Noon until after the fireworks display. That much time on a boat can be tiring and lead boaters to make serious mistakes.

Drinking: Those unlawfully drinking alcohol amplify the risks to themselves and other boaters. Public safety officials will remove intoxicated individuals and process them at the Olin Boat launch.

Solutions and Tips: Pre-trip your boat: Preventative maintenance to your boat will help you avoid problems later. Properly working navigation lights and safety/distress equipment are a must.
Observe safety rules at all times: No wake zones and navigation rules of the road exist to keep boaters safe; abide by them!
Wear Lifejackets: Just do it!

Use appropriate anchors.

The safest place for a boater to enjoy Rhythm & Booms is FROM THE BANK!

Who is Madison Festivals, Inc.?

Madison Festivals, Inc.(MFI) is a not-for-profit organization that operates and develops events that build community. The Taste of Madison, Rhythm & Booms and Madison Marathon events enrich the lives of residents, highlight the city to visitors and raise thousands of dollars for local nonprofits and charities that provide volunteers. MFI does not receive financial assistance from the City of Madison or the State of Wisconsin. Primary sources of revenue are corporate sponsorships and donations, beverage sales, runner registrations and vendor fees.

Where do proceeds go?

Proceeds from the events allow Madison Festivals to provide free events to the public such as the Taste of Madison and Rhythm & Booms, while supporting over 100 local nonprofits and charities that provide volunteers. In 2014, over $160,000 will be paid to local groups.

How do I qualify to sit in the reserved seating area?

Tickets for the Rhythm & Booms Rooftop Party at Monona Terrace are available online.