Fox Communities Credit Union Becomes Presenting Sponsor; Revamped Jones Park Returns as Venue
APPLETON, Wis. (For release April 18, 2019, 11:45 a.m.) – Returning to Downtown Appleton for its seventh rendition this summer, Mile of Music, presented by Fox Communities Credit Union, will again feature 200 artists, 900-plus live performances and more than 50 interactive education sessions during its four-day run set for Thursday through Sunday, August 1 – 4. The announcement of Fox Communities as the new presenting sponsor and the news that Jones Park would return as a key venue led the announcement from event organizers.
At the annual kick-off news conference at OuterEdge Stage on Thursday, Festival organizers also revealed the “First 50” artists set to play the all-original music celebration as part of a noon-time concert for downtown advocates, sponsors and host venues that featured three Mile 7 performers.
In addition to the big news about Jones Park and Fox Communities, Dave Willems, whose Willems Marketing & Events produces Mile of Music, said the emphasis started last year to help venues become more music-focused during the weekend will continue as part of the long-range plan to focus on quality over quantity when it comes to the artist and music fan experience. He noted that a concerted effort to work with venues and festival-goers to curate a better listening and music-first experience at each of the festival’s host music venues will ratchet up even further for Mile 7.
Regarding Jones Park, Willems said it’ll be fun to have that main attraction back, especially now that the park has a new look and vibe. “Having Jones Park back in the mix means it will really be the first year where the footprint is clicking on all cylinders…with a full stable of indoor venues complemented by several outdoor venues (Houdini, Jones, Spats, Emmett’s, potentially Washington Square, and several others) that have evolved into excellent stages over the first six years. My guess is every single person who comes to Mile 7 will want to take a peek at Jones, and we’ll have it rockin’ on Friday and Saturday for two full days and nights.”
Cory Chisel, co-founder of the Festival, will be one of the performers to play Jones Park and agrees that this year will be extra special. “I think everyone’s looking forward to a great Mile 7 featuring lots of the things we’ve come to love along with a few surprises, but it’ll make it extra special to have Jones Park in the mix and to give it a test run,” the Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter said.
The plan is for Jones to be in the schedule on Friday and Saturday, with as many as 7 or 8 band performances each day. Artists at Mile of Music perform 50-minute, original music showcases.
Willems 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 odds by offering free access to eager attendees since it started in 2013. “Fox Communities 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, “ Willems said last week when the sponsorship was announced.
Cathy Harvath, vice president of marketing for Fox Communities Credit Union, noted their involvement since the inaugural Mile and the collaborative nature of the event since it was first announced. “Mile of Music continues to be a shining example of how our communities within the Greater Appleton community work so collaboratively to make cool things happen,” 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. Everyone comes together to knock it out of the park each August and that’s inspiring.”
The first group of 50 represents 20 states, Washington D.C. and Canada, with 30 artists new to the festival and 20 returning fan favorites. In addition, Chisel was announced as performing either Friday or Saturday at Jones Park as part of the re-opening of the reconstructed facility, his music partner Adriel Denae was also announced as one of the four artists in addition to the 50. The other two are Tae, from Green Bay, and Todd Albright, from Detroit. Both Tae and Albright performed at the noon-time concert, along with the Milwaukee duo, Nickel & Rose.
Mile of Music blankets the one-mile stretch of Downtown Appleton over the extended weekend with live music at 60-plus different indoor and outdoor locations, showcasing original indie and roots music from up-and-coming performers.
Several festival staples from years past are back for Mile 7 such as First Songs, the Mile of Music Bus, unscheduled Performance Pop-Ups and the popular Chisel-hosted A Song Before We Go showcase, where a medley of artists share a farewell song to close out the final day. The Music Education Team from Lawrence University, led by Leila and Brian Pertl, will also be back to organize dozens of interactive, hands-on activities for attendees, ranging from world percussion events to instrument workshops and songwriting sessions. The Music Education Team will again number close to 30 music educators.
Another 150 acts will be announced over the next six weeks to round out the roster by June 1, with the full schedule of dates and times to follow by mid-July. To check out the line-up of artists and any news related to the festival and “Mile Week,” visit www.mileofmusic.com.
Willems added, “We’re 100 days out to Mile Week, and that means The Mile Team at Willems Marketing & Events kicks into a higher gear, but we also feel so fortunate to be making this happen in a community that collaborates so well and that truly seeks to make Appleton a special place on the map.”
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