Milwaukee Drum Organ - CODAworx

Milwaukee Drum Organ

Submitted by Creative Lighting Design & Engineering, LLC

Client: Milwaukee World Festivals Inc

Location: Milwaukee, WI, United States

Completion date: 2018

Project Team

Art Consultant

Main Stage Theatrical


Milwaukee World Festivals Inc.

Industry Resource

Professional Audio Design


Staff Electric


Eppstein Uhen Architects


Marty Peck

Creative Lighting Design & Engineering, LLC


Sitting at the gateway to the World’s largest music festival, this one-of-a kind, interactive musical installation combines art with sound and lighting technology to energize the new North End Plaza and Summerfest North Entry in Milwaukee, WI.

A cluster of futuristic organ-like pipes emit sound and light as visitors play on four keyboards that surround the sculpture. Each keyboard has five illuminating touch-sensitive note pads, which play alternating musical sounds from Jazz, Rock Band, Wind Chime and Percussion palettes.


We wanted to infuse an interactive play of light and sound to create a musical experience for people travelling to Summerfest and for people exploring the lakefront.


The Drum Organ began as a concept for a “Band Experience”, allowing visitors to Summerfest and other ethnic festivals to momentarily join together and make music together. The Plaza evolved through input from the client and architect into a musical playground, with the Drum Organ as centerpiece. As we designed it, the vertical columns began to suggest a pipe organ, and most of the notes were percussion based, hence the working title of Drum Organ, which ultimately stuck.

Additional Information

Every couple of minutes the palettes will shift to a different keyboard, allowing visitors to play a wide range of tonal sounds. In the evening, their music comes alive in a shower of beautiful lighting colors and intricate harmonious movements.