be in the know

Please note: AGAIN THIS YEAR – In an effort to make viewing fair for everyone we will not allow chairs to be placed in the entertainment area BEFORE the gates open at 5:00 on Friday and 11:00 on Saturday.  Any chairs left there will be removed.  Thank you for your cooperation.

DISCLAIMER: The Event promoter (Visit Madison, Inc.), Event Staff, City of Madison, Sponsors, or contracted vendors are not held liable for injury, loss, property damage, inclement weather or natural disasters on event premises.

Q. How does the new law smoking law affect this festival?

A.There will be  “no smoking” within eight feet of the restroom, portolets, and Brown Gym (and all enclosed public places).

Q. Is there an increase in wristband prices this year?

A. Wristbands prices will remain $30/$35 this year.  Pre-Sale (wristbands with food coupons) will be available while supply lasts.  Advance Sale (wristbands available after Pre-Sale are sold out) will be available Wednesday, August 19th online, at local businesses until August 20th, and at the Visitor’s Center until 5pm on August 20th.  Beginning August 20th no wristbands will be sold until the gate. Gate prices will be $35 if you “wait ’til the gate”. If you purchase at the gate on Friday your wristband will be good both days. If you purchase at the gate on Saturday your wristband will still be $35. Children 12 and under are still free with a paid adult. Credit card fees may apply.

Q. When and where can I purchase wristbands?

A. Pre-Sale beginning May 10th - August 1st ON THIS WEBSITE, click the menu button BUY TICKETS.

In person at the Madison Visitor’s Center, Koehler Tire, and Craig Toyota, Ribberfest committee members.  Pre-Sale wristbands are also on sale starting July 6, at the German-American banks, Kroger, Farmers Bank of Milton, CVS Pharmacies Madison and Hanover, The Bottle Shop, Miller Automotive, First Financial.

A limited number of Pre-sale wristbands will be sold.  You will want to purchase them early so as not to miss the special deal of getting $10 in food and beverage coupons.  We don’t expect them to last until August 1st so buy early! Many people wait and you don’t want to be disappointed.

Q. Will my wristbands be mailed to me?

A. No, all wristbands purchased online will be available at Will Call.  Those picking up their wristbands at Will Call need to show a photo I.D. in the name of the person who ordered. You will get an email receipt when you purchase online.  Bring that receipt or a picture I.D.  If someone other than purchaser is picking up wristbands they MUST HAVE the actual email receipt.  Will Call is at each gate (West St. and Poplar Street)

Q. What time do the gates open each day?

A. Gates open Friday at 5p and Saturday at 11a

Q. May we bring pets?

A. No. We are sorry but we cannot allow pets in the festival. With the heat and crowd it is not a safe or comfortable environment for animals. Service dogs only.

Q. Why are we not allowed to bring umbrellas or canopies?

A. We have open seating. Umbrellas, chairs with canopy visors or canopies in front of festival attendees would obstruct stage viewing for others. 

Q. Do you offer handicap parking?

A. Yes. We have an area designated for handicap parking at the corner of West and First Streets.You may drop off handicap patrons at the West St. gate at West and Vaughn streets, overflow handicap parking may be available at Jefferson & Vaughn streets.

Q. Why can’t we bring in our own food and beverages?

A. We ask our festival attendees to support the event by purchasing food and drinks within the event; so we DO NOT allow food or beverages carried in. Insurance liabilities does not allow alcohol to be carried into or out of our event.

The policy to not allow food and drink carried in, limits the potential of outside alcohol violation.

AGAIN THIS YEAR! You may bring an empty water bottle into the event and fill it at our water containers located at each gate, ticket tents, and the souvenir tent.

Q. I have heard you do not accept cash at the event, is that true?

A. No, we do accept cash in some cases. You may purchase tickets with cash to be used at the food and beverage vendors which are $1 each and are valued at $1. Vendors will only accept tickets – NO CASH.

Cash may be used to purchase souvenirs, CD’s at the artists’ tent next to the stage, food and beverage tickets, and voting for the pigs in Pigmania –click on PIGMANIA on the homepage for more information on this area.

Q. Is there an ATM in the event?

A. Yes, one ATM located by the souvenir tent just east of the stage on Vaughn Dr.

Q. How do I sign up for Good to the Bone rib eating contest at the event?

A. Leave your name and a contact number at the souvenir tent.  We will fill the spots with these names first (or have a drawing if a lot of people have signed up).  If there are still spots available we will ask from the stage for contestants.  We will have a Good to the Bone rib eating contest at the July 9th, Music in the Park event at the Bicentennial Park.  The winner may defend his or her title at this year’s event.

Q. How can I get a tent in Bluesville and what does it cost?

A. There is a waiting list for tents in Bluesville. Previous “tent owners” are offered the first option to return each year. Available tents are offered to people on the waiting list in the order they made their request.

Tents are $800.00 and include a table, chairs and 5 general admission wristbands.

Q. How can we adopt a pig and what is the cost?

A. The adoption cost for one year is $125.00.  Pigs will be delivered to you for painting and/or costuming, and display at your business.  It will then be collected and delivered to the event and displayed in the pig corral for the competition for judging. There are two awards, Judges Choice and People's Choice. See Pigmania for pictures and more info.

Please note these other festival requests:

  • Keep passages free. Don’t block sidewalks, walkways, or other areas people may pass through.

  • Dispose of trash in designated receptacles.

  • Be aware of our Recycle Containers and use them for proper items.

  • No distribution of commercial advertisements.

  • Do not enter nonpublic areas, i.e. offices, storage, vendor booths, “performers only” areas.

  • No video or audio recording of concerts. This is designated in contracts with our artists.

  • No firearms of any kind are allowed in the festival, including concealed carry weapons.