Mile of Music Festival: What to Know Before You Go

Downtown Appleton comes to life the first weekend in August (2-5) with the sounds of live music from hundreds of original artists.

Mile of Music is in its 6th 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, 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.

PARKINGAll five 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! Benefits during the festival include admission to the first songs kick-off event the Wednesday night before the festival, admission to the Mile 6 Salute/Tribute and the new Mile Medley Showcases, exclusive access to the music-makers lounge where you can enjoy complimentary snacks, beverages and meet with Mile artists, and priority seating for the “A Song Before We Go” concert at Memorial Chapel. CLICK HERE to learn more about 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. You can view the schedule and location of those sessions on the festivals website.


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 still plenty of options for all-ages to enjoy!

  • Building for Kids Children’s Museum
  • Stansbury Theater/Harper hall (Lawrence University)
  • Red Lion Paper Valley Hotel – Courtyard (outdoor) and Ballroom
  • Lawrence Conservatory Green Space (outodoor)
  • Heid Music
  • Fox Cities Performing Arts Center
  • Copper Rock Coffee Co.
  • Lou’s Brews
  • City Center Plaza Atrium
  • Houdini Plaza (outdoor)
  • Lawrence Memorial Chapel
  • Outer Edge stage
  • Washington Square (outdoor-behind City Center)


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.

**Photo credit: Mile of Music Facebook page

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Fox Cities

Greater Appleton Wisconsin
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