Countdown to Mile of Music Hits Less than a Month & Festival Receives Major Lift through Grants

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As Mile of Music nears its much-anticipated return on August 6, word of the popular festival is spreading on local and national levels thanks to two significant grants recently awarded. The event will feature 800+ live performances as it spotlights original music during its four-day run in Downtown Appleton, Wisconsin.

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The original music is really what this festival is about. Pair that with some fresh, up-and-coming talent and it’s easy to see why music lovers are so eager to attend these performances and get their first looks.

With anticipation building, the Mile of Music festival – also known as Mile 3 – is gearing up to welcome upwards of 40,000 visitors to Downtown Appleton, Wisconsin, when it returns in just a few weeks.

The festival has been garnering more regional and national attention as a destination for original, one-of-a-kind music after already logging two successful years and recently receiving two significant grants.

Scheduled to run from August 6-9 with more than 200 acts and 800 live performances at 65 venues, Mile of Music was awarded a Tourism Development grant for $50,000 from the Fox Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau. It also received a Joint Effort Marketing grant from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism in the amount of $39,500.

These funds will go toward spreading the word about Mile 3 in the surrounding communities and giving it more exposure in larger markets – through multiple channels – on a national scale. In addition to enhancing the festival experience itself, the grant money will be put toward promoting the added Mile of Music-related concerts and events that are now happening year-round.

According to Dave Willems, the marketing executive who co-founded Mile of Music in 2013 with singer-songwriter Cory Chisel, this funding helps demonstrate the impact of the festival team’s original vision.

“We’ve been very fortunate to have the support of so many individuals and organizations as Mile of Music has evolved over the last three years,” Willems said. “This recent backing shows what a difference the festival has already made in our community and how much potential it has to become a signature event that showcases everything the Fox Cities has to offer.”

As Mile 3 approaches, outreach efforts are ramping up to focus on what has made – and continues to make – this Midwest festival so unique.

Mile of Music has been about original music from the very beginning, and is designed to feature many new and emerging artists versus only bringing in top-name performers. The festival team recruits artists from all across the United States, but also features a lot of hometown talent and performers from nearby Midwest locations like Minneapolis and Chicago.

“The original music is really what this festival is about,” Willems said. “Pair that with some fresh, up-and-coming talent and it’s easy to see why music lovers are so eager to attend these performances and get their first looks.”

Mile 3 will also emphasize an educational element for kids to adults with its annual series of Music Education Events. Participants can be part of the music-making process through hands-on activities like sing-alongs, songwriting and drumming sessions. They can also learn about music from different cultures around the world.

“Mile of Music is an all-inclusive event,” Willems said. “Whether it’s checking out some new bands or trying out an instrument, visitors have so many opportunities to immerse themselves in the music.”

The Mile of Music is an artisan, original music festival that kicked off in August 2013. In its first two years combined, the festival has brought 250 bands and solo 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

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Dave Willems
Willems Marketing & Events
+1 920.750.5013
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Kathy Voigt
Mile of Music
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