Zine fest Guest Info
Special notice regarding COVID-19:
The information below pertains to a "typical" year where our fest is held in person. Obviously things aren't quite so typical now: we had to cancel 2020's fest last second, and are still making decisions regarding 2021. Please stay tuned to our social media (@milwaukeezinefest and @thebinderymke) for pending announcements. This page and the MZF homepage will be updated accordingly when more information is available.
When is Milwaukee Zine Fest?
Milwaukee Zine Fest is typically held in early 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 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.
Where is Milwaukee Zine Fest Held?
Milwaukee Zine Fest typically 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 and second 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!
During the pandemic of 2020/2021, adjustments will be made to run the fest virtually, through the mail, or in other creative fashions depending on health safety needs as things evolve. More info will be posted with 2021 festival announcements.
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.