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Mile of Music announces 'First 50' acts for this year's festival

Crowds gather for Mile of Music in downtown Appleton, Aug. 6, 2015. (WLUK)

APPLETON (WLUK) - Mile of Music's fourth year is set to take place in downtown Appleton Aug. 4-7.

Friday morning, festival planners announced the first 50 acts - 30 new, and 20 returning. The lineup is expected to surpass 200 acts when it's completed.

The initial lineup has performers from 25 states and four countries.

Cory Chisel is a local musician who helped create Mile of Music. He was even nominated for a Grammy, but he says that pales in comparison to the accomplishments of Mile of Music.

Chisel said, "I care more about Mile of Music than I do about Grammy nominations. Being able to create in the area that created me is the biggest sort of award I could get."

Chisel says he's excited the event has made it this far.

"We were not certain that we'd actually make it to the first year, so now that we're with ease gliding into our fourth year, it's exciting," Chisel said.

At an announcement Friday, event organizers revealed this year's first 50 acts, and what improvements they're making.

Dave Willems, the Director of Mile of Music, said, "We'll start to accent the festival with music documentaries, and visual arts, and some of those things that really start to give a whole experience."

Organizers are also looking at more outdoor venues and more music performances, so everyone can enjoy what they came for.

Willems said, "We know music can make a difference in peoples lives. We look to make Appleton and the Fox Cities a music destination within Wisconsin."

While the festival celebrates new and emerging artists, experts say it also presents a good educational opportunity.

Leila Pertl, the Music Education Curator with Mile of Music, said, "That musical seed is always there. That right belongs to everyone, and the opportunity here at Mile of Music is incredible to find that seed, open it up, and interact with Mile of Music performing artists while you do that.

This year, there will be more than 50 educational hands-on events at the festival, too. Now, it's just a matter of counting down the days.

Chisel said, "I look forward to this. August can't come soon enough."


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