Willems Marketing & Events, Inc., producer for the annual Mile of Music festival, and Fox Communities Credit Union, one of the event’s original community collaborators when it launched in 2013, have reached agreement for the longtime Valley credit union to become Mile of Music’s new presenting sponsor.
Mile of Music, which will announce details of the 2019 festival next week at OuterEdge Stage as part of its annual Countdown To Mile Week/First 50 lineup reveal and noontime concert event, is in the middle of finalizing sponsors and artists for the four-day celebration of original music this summer. It will be the seventh festival (dubbed Mile 7) and is set for August 1-4 throughout Downtown Appleton.
Dave Willems, president of Willems Marketing & Events and executive producer of Mile of Music, said the agreement with Fox Communities Credit Union not only helps secure the free festival’s future but also helps boost The Mile’s continuing efforts to build Downtown Appleton’s reputation as a leading destination for live original music. He said the decision by Fox Communities to greatly expand its commitment and move into the Presenting Sponsor role is significant for a community-modeled, grass roots festival that continues to defy the odds by offering free access to eager attendees since it started in 2013.
“This is an important step in continuing the vision of having a remarkable music and community event that is truly accessible to the entire community,” said Willems. “Fox Communities Credit Union’s willingness to step up and dramatically increase its financial support by stepping into the lead sponsorship position – along with their overall organizational commitment for this community festival – goes a long way toward securing The Mile’s purpose as a free celebration of original music that is like no other, that brings a unique vibe to our downtown community, and that plays a big part in making life more interesting for all of us who live and work here.”
The overall commitment from Fox includes the opportunity to continue its lead sponsorship role for subsequent festivals, Willems noted, but is also significant in that it puts a big, bright bow on what’s already been a strong collaboration. He said Fox Communities was the first company to lend its support in the Spring of 2013 when he approached them to help establish a dedicated civic checking account for Mile of Music through Willems Marketing.
Another big piece of the collaboration to date has been Fox’s launch of the Bike to the Beat event back in 2016, which has become wildly popular. Offering live music as a backdrop to the community bike ride, Track 4 of Bike to the Beat will be held on Saturday, Aug. 3 and is expected to again host 3,500-plus bike riders of all ages, adding to the overall vibe of Mile Weekend.
Cathy Harvath, vice president of marketing for Fox Communities Credit Union, said the opportunity to further Fox’s connection to such a difference-making event for the Appleton community was one the organization couldn’t pass up. “Mile of Music continues to be a shining example of how our communities within the Greater Appleton and Fox Cities community work so productively together,” she said. “We’re excited to expand our commitment to such a magical, organic blending of the artist and business communities along with the non-profit and municipal sectors, all of whom knock it out of the park each August to make something very special happen.”