30 newcomers among Mile of Music's First Fifty

Organizers Cory Chisel, left, and Dave Willems announce the First Fifty acts of the upcoming Mile of Music festival, April 20, 2017, in Appleton. Singer Dan Rodriguez is at right. (WLUK image)

APPLETON (WLUK) -- Mile of Music has announced the First Fifty acts for this year's Mile 5 festival.

The four-day festival is set for Aug. 3-6 at various locations throughout downtown Appleton.

The first 50 acts announced include 30 newcomers and 20 returning acts. Those returning include Wild Adriatic, LOLO, Swear and Shake and JC Brooks. First-timers include San Fermin from Brooklyn, New York; Ron Gallo from Nashville; Cat Clyde from Ontario, Canda; and Octave Lissner from Paris, France. Musicians are coming from 20 states, plus Canada and France.

In all, organizers say there will be about 225 acts playing 1,000 sets at 70 venues.

The successful idea of Mile of Music is now heading into its fifth year.

Dave Willems, a Mile of Music cofounder, said, "We started it with the idea that it would hopefully be a bit of a game changer for the community, but you can never imagine that it's been embraced as much as it has been."

The first 50 artists for Mile of Music were announced Thursday to get the community ready for what's to come in August.

Willems said, "The first 50 is really about getting people excited that summer's around the corner, the festival is coming, but also that these bands are coming from 20 different states. They're not just local bands or regional bands."

Which shows the far reach that the festival has.

Cory Chisel, a Mile of Music cofounder, said, "I think it's bigger than most of us really thought it would be."

Since Jones Park is out of commission because of construction of the Fox Cities Expo Center, this year, Mile of Music organizers say they needed to figure out some new options for venues.

Willems said, "We wanted to make sure for this year and next year that we kind of pooled some of our venues together. We found some new spaces, and we've done that, we're still working on some of the outdoor spaces."

No matter the venue, organizers say the festival is doing its job in turning Appleton into a music hub.

Chisel said, "Instead of the artists coming to visit once a year, we want to make this into the sort of creative center for where the art actually gets made."

Brian Gottlieb, with Tundraland, said, "I don't know anywhere else where there's such a stage and such open arms for original artists."

Those open arms are ready for a fifth year that's even more successful.

Chisel said, "I think it's key that we don't bask too long in the success of one year, but keep trying to make it better."

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