Music fills downtown Appleton as Mile of Music begins

Peridot performs at Houdini Plaza in downtown Appleton Aug. 4, 2016, as Mile of Music begins. (WLUK/Alexa Santos)

APPLETON (WLUK) -- The fourth Mile of Music festival began Thursday morning in downtown Appleton.

More than 70 venues will be hosting concerts during the five-day festival.

Each concert is free of charge.

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The sights and the sounds are certainly a good indication that Mile of Music is back in Downtown Appleton.

Donna Buchinger from Little Chute said, "We're having a blast."

These sisters say they took vacation time to spend all four days enjoying the music at Mile Four.

Buchinger said, "We've been down for every Mile of Music, and have enjoyed them. We weren't going to miss out on any of it this year."

Amy Peters from Hollandtown said, "We all love music, and we like meeting the artists, and it's such an intimate setting that you actually do get to meet some of the artists."

Mile of Music coordinators say more than 100 community sponsors help to make the event free, and accessible to a big crowd.

Dave Willems, Mile of Music Cofounder, said, "It's going to be a cool opportunity for our community to showcase itself again. It's a nice way to connect music fans with our community, and we're looking forward to doing it all weekend."

Because the festival is free, event coordinators say it's hard to measure how many people come each year.

But they say it's easy to see it has grown by the packed house at one of the first performances of the festival Thursday morning.

Willems said, "It's very humbling actually."

Katie Boeck, a Mile of Music artist, said, "It's really, really cool how all the businesses in the community have come together to lend their spaces as venues. It just seems to me like there's a lot of support for music in this area."

Those I spoke to say their only agenda for the weekend is enjoying themselves.

Boeck said, "I just want to try to have the best time, and see some great music more than anything."

Peters said, "Hopefully find some new and exciting artists, that's what we want to get out of it."

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