Wisconsin-Based Music Festival Draws Record Number of Attendees During Milestone Fifth Year

Smooth Hound Smith plays at OuterEdge Stage during Mile of Music (photo by Graham Washatka of Graham Images)

This collaboration continues to have such a significant impact on the community as it allows us to integrate many different music experiences and make them accessible to everyone.

The popular Mile of Music festival, presented by Tundraland, was held in Northeast Wisconsin in August with 250 artists converging on Downtown Appleton to play 925 sets of live music.

Festival organizers put the preliminary estimate of attendees at 70,000 with an economic impact of $3 million-plus as visitors came from near and far to hear four days’ worth of original Americana and Roots music at 70 different venues.

The artists ranged from local acts to international, including Canada-based Cat Clyde, Terra Lightfoot and Fast Romantics. More than half of the performers on the line-up for the festival’s milestone fifth year – Mile 5 – had played at Mile of Music before, while others like Ron Gallo, San Fermin and Welles were welcomed for the first time.

“We have worked to create a different kind of festival experience in Appleton and it’s exciting to hear from so many artists who want to come back and make The Mile a repeat tour stop,” said Dave Willems, Mile of Music managing director and co-founder.

In planning the festival each year, Mile organizers have done a lot of work to ensure that the artists are taken care of and feel at home during their stay.

This includes the extension of the popular Artist Care Program which was first introduced at Mile 3 in 2015. With the expanded program, Mile of Music facilitated many extra services for the artists, including complimentary dental exams from Romenesko Family Dentistry as well as hearing screens from About Better Care Audiology. Optical exams, physical therapy and massage therapy were among the other care services available at Mile 5.

“With such busy tour schedules, many artists don’t have the time or flexibility to schedule something as routine as a dental exam,” Willems said. “This inspired us to put together a program with care providers and the artists have been very receptive to it.”

Mile 5 also featured a similar hospitality program that focused…

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