Appleton, Wi (PRWEB) August 14, 2014
In just its second year, the Mile of Music festival left its mark, evolving as a top-earning creative economy event in Wisconsin. Initial tallies show that Mile 2 had an estimated economic impact of approximately $2 million as it doubled the number of artists to play and tripled the amount of live performances.
The festival featured original, handcrafted Americana music of varying styles – folk and indie rock to soul and country – with 220 performers (many returning from 2013) and 600-plus performances. It drew an estimated 35,000 to 40,000 attendees in its four-day run last weekend with a schedule that included up-and-coming performers from the surrounding area to well-known artists who traveled from all across the United States and Canada to appear.
Dave Willems, marketing executive and co-founder of the event, said Mile 2 exceeded the expectations for 2014.
“We had big crowds converging on Downtown Appleton right from the start on Thursday night, and in all, we estimate about twice the amount of visitors from 2013,” he said. “Whether it was a place that held 30 people or 300, there were many shows that filled to capacity with lines going out the door.”
Not surprisingly, this record-setting attendance led to a very successful couple of days for the 60+ Downtown hospitality venues ranging from coffee shops to pubs and music clubs.
“Several business owners have already reported that they had their best sales weekend ever, which is very gratifying,” Willems said.
Musical highlights included performances by event co-founder and Appleton home-towner, Cory Chisel, as well as The Autumn Defense, Sturgill Simpson, The Baseball Project and Butch Vig playing with The Emperors of Wyoming. A special guest appearance was made by punk rock icon Richie Ramone. Brooklyn-based Swear and Shake – a fan favorite in 2013 – also returned for a surprise Mystery Music Stage performance at Lawrence University’s Stansbury Theatre.
The variety of venues was a hit with local and out-of-state attendees and included outdoor locales like Jones Park and Houdini Plaza to host larger shows and more than 60 indoor stages that catered to dozens or hundreds.
“Our Mile has a perfect blend of venues,” Willems explained. “You could catch a show in a really intimate setting or join a big crowd and sing along.”
Other event highlights included the Mile of Music Bus which visitors could board to hear live music from performers and pop-up performances along the mile-long stretch of Downtown Appleton. An expanded family-friendly music education series was also featured with 30+ events and workshops that offered different interactive experiences including bucket drumming and Balinese Gamelan.
Following the festival’s success, event organizers are already looking ahead to next year and have announced the dates for Mile 3 – August 6-9, 2015.
“With the emphasis on original artistry, handcrafted songs and hands-on experiences, there aren’t too many other events quite like Mile of Music,” Willems said.
The Mile of Music is an artisan festival that kicked off in August 2013, and in its first two years, has brought 225 artists to Downtown Appleton to perform more than 800 live music sets. It is a collaborative event that was co-founded by Appleton marketing executive Dave Willems and Nashville-based national recording artist Cory Chisel, with support from nearly 100 community organizations and sponsors as well as more than 200 volunteers. For more information, visit http://www.mileofmusic.com.