First-Ever Mile of Music Festival Kicks Off Next Week with Big Plans to Give Back to the Community

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Featuring over 100 acts ranging from retro and country rock to folk, soul and R&B, the first-ever Mile of Music festival kicks off in Northeast Wisconsin next week. The Americana-themed event will showcase the artistic talents of national headliners to up-and-coming performers, and it will also give back to the community with proceeds funding more music opportunities in local schools.

Mile of Music, August 8-11, 2013
So many kids have big dreams to pursue their musical talents and there’s nothing better than getting that first chance to experience and experiment at a young age.

Debuting next week in Wisconsin with over 100 acts among the four-day lineup, the Mile of Music festival will showcase the creative talents of its performers and give back to the local community.

Cory Chisel, a Nashville-based recording artist who grew up in Appleton, spearheaded the role of music curator for this first-time Americana-themed event as he coordinated a diverse roster of singer-songwriters and groups to appear and perform their original music. He is also the driving force behind using festival proceeds to bring more music opportunities to area schools.

With headliners like Rodney Crowell, Justin Townes Earle and Nicole Atkins set to take the stage along with Chisel and his band, the Wandering Sons, a portion of festival proceeds will go to the new Mile of Music Fund set up through the Appleton Education Foundation.

These dollars will be earmarked for additional programs to connect kids and music within Appleton public schools as this has always been something Chisel has supported. In fact, he first followed his singing aspirations more seriously himself when an anonymous donor underwrote a scholarship for him to participate in the Appleton Boychoir.

Today, when Chisel’s travels bring him back to his hometown for a show, he makes it a point to spend one-on-one time working with students and encouraging their musical passions. He believes that opportunity is everything. "So many kids have big dreams to pursue their musical talents and there’s nothing better than getting that first chance to experience and experiment at a young age," Chisel said. "We hope this festival is able to open some doors for future music makers."

A "cover-free zone," the Mile of Music will take place from August 8-11 with a mix of everything from country, gospel and soul to R&B, jazz and folk. Tickets are available for Headline and Feature Stage shows, but most performances will be offered free of charge at 40 different venues lining the streets of Downtown Appleton.

"This festival will showcase Downtown Appleton’s vibrant hospitality, businesses, walk-ability, safety and growing creative spirit," said Dave Willems, whose Willems Marketing firm is managing the bold endeavor. "It’s exactly a mile through our Americana downtown and we’re going to fill it with music."

In addition to the Mile of Music Fund, the festival will also funnel proceeds into the community through the Creative Downtown Fund which was organized to provide seed money to artistic-inspired projects.

The Mile of Music is a new artisan festival kicking off in August 2013 that will feature 100 singer-songwriters and bands performing live in Downtown Appleton, Wis. It is a collaborative effort headed up by Nashville-based national recording artist Cory Chisel and organized among several organizations and individuals throughout the Appleton area community. For volunteer, sponsor, ticket or other event information, visit

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