APPLETON — If you’re planning to go to Mile of Music — the free original music festival that runs Thursday through Sunday in and around downtown Appleton — know that you’re free to truly choose your own adventure.
With 40 venues, more than 200 artists and around 700 shows – weather permitting – it’s easy to move from place to place and from genre to genre.
Want a quieter atmosphere than the headliner show at Jones Park? Head to one of the smaller, indoor rooms.
Not vibed with the acoustic act you’re watching? Go to the bar next door and there is a completely different sound and energy.
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That’s one of the great things about Mile of Music – there’s a lot of variety in both music and atmosphere.
You may have your own favorites from past years that you’ll definitely want to catch this year. Or maybe you’re looking to discover someone new.
This is not intended to be a comprehensive list of who to see, but here are some interesting artists and shows — some familiar and some not so much — that you may want to consider:
Cory Chisel, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jones Park
Well, let’s start with Mile of Music co-founder, Appleton native and Grammy-nominated musician, who is back at Mile after dropping out before last year’s event due to health issues. This show is expected to be, if not the, highlight of the weekend.
Dan Rodriguez, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jones Park
Another Mile of Music favorite, the Americana musician from Minneapolis also has a prime time to play a big game in the biggest venue.
Hannah Wicklund, 5:25 p.m. Friday, Houdini Plaza
The 24-year-old rocker from South Carolina is one of Mile co-founder and executive producer Dave Willems’ picks for a performer to watch. This may interest you : Albany youth sports program raising money for equipment.
Jackie Venson, 8:10 p.m. Thursday, Jones Park
Her profile on the Mile website lists her genre as R&B/Soul/Pop/Rock. On the same subject : YouTube Music now shows ‘Other performances’ of your current song. Whichever flavor she chooses — and you can throw in blues, too — she tore up last year’s festival and is poised to be a new favorite.
Celisse, 4:10 p.m. Sunday, Houdini Plaza
Another of Dave Willems’ picks for crowd favorites, the blues/folk/soul performer has played with a ton of recognizable names – Lizzo, Mariah Carey, Melissa Etheridge, Joni Mitchell and Kesha among them. See the article : The Santa Barbara Mental Wellness Center hosts the 26th Annual Mental Health Arts Festival. She is here for the first time.
Dos Santos, 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Jones Park
These are Mile’s first Spanish speaking singers. They are a five-person band from Chicago that will take on a wide spectrum of Latin music.
Jamie Kent, 8:30 p.m. Friday, Bose Listening Lounge, Hilton Paper Valley
Another Mile favorite, the Americana/Country singer-songwriter from Nashville returns for his sixth time. His show at Paper Valley will be a good opportunity to take in a “listening room” performance where the audience is asked to be quiet. But Kent will also host “Peace, Love & Nashville,” a showcase of artists at Spats on Saturday afternoon.
Andrew Leahey & The Homestead, 4:05 p.m. Saturday, Spats
There’s no Wild Adriatic or the Vegabonds at this year’s festival, but this Nashville-based band back for its fourth Mile is just as much fun. As part of the “Peace, Love & Nashville” show, they will rock the stage.
Sawyer Fredericks, 3 p.m. Saturday, Fox River House
If you’re a fan of “The Voice,” you may remember Fredericks as the 16-year-old winner of Season 8 in 2015. He’s now 23 years old and is coming up on his first mile with “Free-range Folk” . The more intimate outdoor setting at the Fox River House might be a good place to check him out.
Mateo Vosganian, 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Spats
Unfortunately, Wild Adriatic is not on tour now, but its drummer is coming to Appleton anyway. Vosganian will curate and host the Mile Jam to close out the festival on Sunday evening. He also plays with the group Precious Metals. The Spats Show should be a great way to end a great weekend.
Again, this is just a sampling of musicians and they all do different performances too. So check the Mile of Music schedule – and be sure to pay attention to schedule and venue changes.
Contact Larry Gallup at (920) 996-7216 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @LarryGallup.