Article and photos by Mark Garcia
The idea for the High Voltage show came about when Ron Brefka bumped into a Milwaukee city official and Frank, the owner of Frank's Powerplant, a local biker bar. Ron spontaneously asked both gentlemen if they would consider permitting him to host a bike show at the Powerplant to raise awareness and money for pancreatic cancer research. Without hesitation, both were in total agreement with the idea. Under the neon Blatz beer sign, the High Voltage show was born. When asked how he came up with the High Voltage show's name, Ron said it's simple. I'm a licensed power engineer, and the first show was held at Frank's Powerplant. The name had an energetic feel, and it fits.
The very first show took place on September 10, 2016. After the second show in 2017, High Voltage had outgrown Frank's Powerplant. Ron is a lifelong resident of Milwaukee, so he knew exactly where to move the show. The new location was at Humboldt Park Amphitheater, eight blocks up the road from Frank's.