Zine fest Guest Info
Special notice regarding MZF and COVID-19
In both 2020 and 2021 MZF had to pivot to a virtual and "remote" fest due to the pandemic. We've thought long and hard about 2022; we've asked our team, our partners, and our community... and people really want to be in person again! We understand: the fest has always been about coming together under one roof.
So we're planning an in-person event with the caveat that we can't predict the future. We will run MZF in the safest way possible--and cancel if there is no way of doing so. We thank everyone in advance for understanding as we all navigate this together! More info below: to be updated as things evolve.
(Or, if you're looking for vendor-specific FAQs, there's a whole separate page for that right over here)
When is Milwaukee Zine Fest?
Milwaukee Zine Fest is typically held in April of every year on a Saturday or Sunday. It is a day-long festival with vendor sales throughout the day, accompanied by scheduled workshops and walk-up hands-on experiences. Exact dates and times are announced each year on our home page, and via social media. Please follow @milwaukeezinefest on both Facebook and Instagram for the most updated information!
Is the festival free? Do I need a ticket to attend?
MZF is always 100% free to attend, including all workshops and hands-on experiences throughout the day. You don't need a ticket or any sort of registration: just show up whenever you like during festival hours and we'll be here!
Please do support the vendors, though, by making some purchases: this is a fest to empower self-publishers, after all. Our tablers rely on you to keep their practice alive and going. Many zines are only a few dollars: we promise it'll be worth it. Do keep in mind that some vendors don't have fancy digital or swipe payment options, so plan ahead and bring some good ol' fashioned cash just in case.
Are there COVID policies in place for 2022?
Yes: MZF requires that everyone officially involved with the fest wear a mask at all times, covering their nose and mouth. This includes all vendors, volunteers, and MZF team members. Proof of vaccination is not required.
That said, we cannot require guests to wear masks. MZF is held in partnership with Milwaukee Public Library and the library does not currently require masking in their building as part of their official city-mandated policy.
MZF will highly encourage masking and provide masks. Additionally MZF will provide every vendor with a table-top sign that asks folks to mask up at their particular table (vendors may decide to use this signage or not). As a guest please respect this signage.
We also ask all in attendance to please keep as socially distant as possible. Vendorship is limited this year to keep tables six feet apart (unless the vendors specifically know each other and ask to be seated together). Hand sanitizer is available as well as easy access to ADA-compliant restrooms for hand washing.
We respectfully ask any vendor or guest who is not feeling well to please stay home. We'll miss you, but thank you for not potentially infecting others.
Where is Milwaukee Zine Fest Held?
Milwaukee Zine Fest takes place at the historic Central Branch of The Milwaukee Public Library at 814 W. Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53233. The library is fully ADA accessible: please click here for more info about site accessibility. (Other than fest day, though, MZF is headquartered at The Bindery, our permanent home at 347 E. Ward Street.)
The festival is held on both the first floor of the library (in and around the Krug Rare Books room) which can be seen on a map of the interior here. This area is accessed by the grand, central staircase at the heart of the library, and/or two elevators. Any friendly library staffer can assist you in finding us: feel free to ask!
Can I get to MZF by public transit?
Yes, absolutely--and we recommend it! We specifically hold MZF at the library due to its central location and easy access from most neighborhoods across our wonderful city.
The blocks surrounding the library are serviced by at least 10 different bus lines! Please see Milwaukee County Transit System or your favorite mapping service for directions.
The area is also served by several Bublr Bike stations and is easy to stroll or roll to from many places downtown. Get some fresh air, then come get some zines!
I'm going to drive: where can I park?
The Public Library does NOT offer free parking, nor does it have a dedicated parking lot. Downtown parking can be limited and hard to find. All parking in the immediate area is metered and limited to a maximum of 2 hours.
MZF highly recommends taking public transit and/or driving to a nearby residential area with unlimited, free parking, and then bussing/walking/wheelin’ the rest of the way. MZF recognizes that the parking situation may be inconvenient for some, but has to balance this with the desire/need for a centrally located, ADA-compliant site that is feasibly reached by many, regardless of car ownership.
We are looking into potential partner-parking options in the area, and/or a community carpool option. If either is possible it will be announced pre-fest on our FB page!
Is MZF family-friendly?
We're very friendly, for sure... and we love families of all kinds! All ages are welcome (and encouraged) at MZF. That said, we leave your decisions about your families and youngsters to you. Zines are an uncensored form of expression and often deal with sensitive and personal subject matter such as mental illness, racism, queer experience, abuse, politics, and sex.
Our safer spaces policy does ask that vendors place content warnings on their work as they see fit, and we do not allow zines which include hate speech. Still, if you are concerned as a parent or guardian, always feel free to ask the vendor what their work contains before allowing your youngster to view it.
All that said... so many zines are just silly, delightful, colorful, and full of fun, vivid art: perfect for all ages! Don't let us scare you off! (We see dozens of happy lil' campers every year and have never had a complaint.) A friendly MZF volunteer can always help you find a vendor whose content best fits what you're after.