Mile of Music Festival: What to Know Before You Go

Downtown Appleton comes to life the first weekend in August (1-4) with the sounds of live music from hundreds of original artists.

Mile of Music is in its 7th year as Appleton’s only FREE original music festival. Four full days of music featuring 200 artists from around the country with 900 live performances at 70 different venues along College Avenue. With so much great music and fun to choose from, you’ll definitely want to pre-plan to be sure you don’t miss a thing! Here’s a list of some ideas to help keep you up-to-date and in the know on festival details.

Admission to the festival is FREE, so places definitely get busy. If you have your heart set on catching a specific artist, plan to get their early to ensure you get in on time. Expect lines for most indoor venues, which account for 77% of music at Mile 7, as some may have a wait to get in depending on their size. If smaller venues have reach capacity, they’ll to wait for people to leave before they can let more in, so keep that in mind and be patient, they’re doing the best they can to accommodate.


All downtown parking ramps will be open during the festival. Street parking is also available – it is metered during the day but free after 6pm and no charge on Sundays.


Purchase a Music Maker pass to receive some extra benefits during the festival and other Mile events throughout the year! Festival benefits include admission to the kick-off event the Wednesday night before the festival, admission to the new "In-The-Round" and the Mile Medley showcases, exclusive access to the music-makers lounge where you can enjoy complimentary snacks, beverages and meet with Mile artists, and a "merch-pack" including Mile of Music t-shirt, koozie, poster, and sticker. CLICK HERE to learn about more incentives and how to purchase.


The Music Education Team will be once again offering educational sessions throughout the festival varying for different interests and age groups. Attendees can interact with artists and and explore music first-hand. Click here to view the schedule and location of those sessions.


You’ll definitely want to put this activity on your list! Local transportation company, Valley Transit, has a fully wrapped Mile of Music bus that will run a loop route downtown and will feature Mile bands on board, so you can listen to live music while you ride!


While the majority of the venues are bars and do require 21+, there are 29 venues for all-ages to enjoy!

  • The Alley Project at The History Museum at the Castle
  • Appleton Public Library
  • Building for Kids Children’s Museum
  • City Center Plaza Atrium
  • Copper Rock Coffee Co.
  • Fox Cities Performing Arts Center
  • Green Gecko Grocer & Deli
  • The Grove
  • Heid Music
  • History Museum at the Castle
  • Houdini Plaza (outdoor)
  • Jones Park (outdoor)
  • Lawrence Memorial Chapel
  • Lawrence Conservatory Green Space (outdoor)
  • Lawrence Conservatory 156
  • Lawrence Conservatory 96 - Barber Rehearsal Studio
  • Lawrence Harper Hall
  • Makaroff School of Ballet
  • Mile of Music Bus
  • The Mile Store - 213 E. College Ave
  • Mondo! Wine Bar & Retail (outdoor patio)
  • Mud and Prints
  • Outer Edge stage
  • Red Lion Paper Valley Hotel – Courtyard (outdoor)
  • Red Lion Paper Valley Hotel - Ballroom
  • Spats (outdoor)
  • Stone Arch Brewpub Tap Room
  • Tiny House Listening Loung in the Lawn at Orsmby Hall
  • Washington Square


Stay on top of the latest updates before and during the festival with their FREE app. You can map out your Mile experience, preview artists, view showtimes and locations, create your own individualized schedule and more! Available on the App Store and Google Play.


Downtown local businesses will feature music themed window displays so be sure to stop and check them out! Head inside participating stores to register to win Mile of Music Swag and to pick up your favorite artist merchandise. You may even catch the artists at the shop! Click here to view a list of participating businesses and the artists they'll be sponsoring.

Don't forget to ride the free Downtown Appleton Trolley to enjoy the public art, scenery and variety of ethnic restaurants!

Photo credit: Mile of Music

About the Author

Fox Cities

Greater Appleton Wisconsin
Subscribe to our E- Newsletter