Mile of Music is host to over sixty performances and takes place in downtown Appleton, with many of the venues found along College Avenue. Several other spots around town showcase 200 up-and-coming musicians and all of this entertainment is free.
Bluegrass, indie, soul, and folk are just a few of the genres you can enjoy at the festival. Local talent is given a chance to shine. Emerging artists from all over the country are encouraged to perform at Mile of Music, too.
Lovers of the arts are invited to attend workshops and interactive activities. More than 80,000 attendees choose Mile of Music as a summer concert event. Make this a stop on your itinerary and explore the stores, bars, museums, and coffee shops along College Avenue and several nearby side streets.
While in the area, hike a trail or learn about the history of the region. Take a walk through Lawrence University’s campus and visit the Appleton Library, an institution that makes residents proud.
Mile of Music is a free festival, designed to draw people to Appleton so that they can enjoy the region while supporting local establishments. Musicians from near and far play both inside and outdoor venues without charging a fee. Check out a pub patio, a conservatory green space, and a coffee bar. Visit a brew pub and a family theater. To view concert locales, see www.mileofmusic.com. Bring the family for a good time on a budget.
Highway WI-441 and Interstate 41 will lead you into Appleton. Located three hours from Chicago, Appleton is called one of the Fox Cities in Wisconsin and is located along the Fox River. Despite being a busy area, you may see the beauty of the river as you approach the festival. Tune in to the local radio station to receive alerts on the weather and road conditions.
Appleton has several parking options, although you can expect that the area will be busy and spots full early in the day. Head to the festival first thing in the morning to secure a place for your tow vehicle or rig. Some businesses have off-street parking, and there are metered spots and parking garages. You might appreciate using the Passport Parking App for free to find out more information and pay for your parking remotely.
A fun way to get around downtown Appleton is the on the trolley. Taxis and ridesharing companies serve the area as well. Mile of Music has their own free and fun bus that runs on a section of College Avenue between State and Richmond Streets. Hop on and take advantage of rest for your feet.
You may not be able to park your rig for the night close to Mile of Music venue, but there is camping for RVs within a half an hour’s drive, including state parks. You can also venture further for additional excellent choices by visiting New London, Manawa, or Sherwood.
Claim a spot at a campground on Lake Winnebago or Fox River. Alternatively, go for a location that has wide-open spaces and plenty of trees. Not all of the campgrounds in this region have full amenities (no sewer is often the case), so be aware and choose a location based on your priorities. A family decision is always the best, so have a meeting-of-the-minds and look over the choices in the area.
The Mile of Music bus is a fun way to see the concerts and performances. Use this mode of getting around part of the day, and walk from shop to bar to cafe the rest of the time. Comfortable walking shoes are a must. Consider bringing two pairs, so that tired feet have a change of footwear which often serves as a pick-me-up. A stroller for the kids is an essential item and may keep tiredness at bay.
August is ideal for festival-goers in Appleton. Pack light and airy clothes aimed at providing ease of movement. Jeans and shorts, topped by a shirt that offers coverage from the sun, are typical apparel choices for Mile of Music attendees. A sweater for evening concerts or even daytime air-conditioned venues can be packed in your day bag. For the campsite, pack wash and wear clothing for the kiddos that can withstand dirt stains and chocolate spills from a night of s’mores toasting.
Keep the campers at your site happy by packing games for both indoor and outside fun. Bring extra towels for lakeside afternoons, and lawn chairs for sitting around the campfire at night. Add toiletries, cooking utensils and pots, along with a flashlight and small radio to your packing list. Bring extra hoses and clamps to ensure that water hookups go without a hitch.
Sunscreen and bug spray are two essentials for any camping trip, whether parking beside a river or in the middle of the forest. Bring along after-sun cream as well, just in case. When setting up camp, set the ground rules for fire safety. Always adhere to fire safety recommendations, especially in the dry season. Never leave camp when the fire coals are still hot.
With a full day of walking and lots of standing ahead, start festival mornings with a hearty breakfast of pancakes and fruit. Bring sandwiches to Mile of Music for snacking on under a shady tree. For the evening meal back at camp, put the barbecue and charcoal briquets to good use by cooking up a feast of steaks, potatoes, and salad.
Mile of Music is the perfect venue for food sampling in Appleton. Choose from food truck specialties, pub food, coffee shop fare, diner dishes, or enjoy a sit-down restaurant meal in between your favorite concert. The variety of eateries to choose from during the festival matches the array and diversity of the performers.
Mile of Music merchandise is for sale at multiple locations, although some of the venues are open weather permitting only. Support artists from across the country by purchasing CDs and t-shirts. There will be other vendors in the downtown area who are not tied in with Mile of Music but are happy to display and sell their wares to festival-goers.
Mile of Music has a “vision of respect” mission statement which asks for mutual respect between performers, volunteers, staff, sponsors, and attendees. Security staff will patrol the Mile of Music and volunteers (identifiable by their badge and festival t-shirt) will also be in attendance around the perimeter of the stages. Alcohol is served in designated areas only and cannot be carried from venue to venue. The Appleton Police Department will be on hand to enforce this rule.
Be prepared for glorious weather but at the same time, be aware of the possibility of rain, too. Pack raincoats, boots, and umbrellas just in case; the rain will not slow anyone down if adequate rain gear is on hand. The evenings will be pleasantly cool and pleasant for campfire songs and s’mores, and sleeping will come easy to all. Leave the RV windows open to enjoy the sounds of the great outdoors.
A well-stocked first-aid kit is an essential piece of camping equipment. Before leaving home, take an inventory of the supplies and top up items like cotton gauze and band-aids. Check the dates on antibiotic creams and antiseptic ointments to ensure that the efficacy of the product is up to par. If you have a service animal, bring their certification and official vest.